Founder & CEO
Michael is a serial entrepreneur and has been a CEO of Euroxchanger Currency Services, a Central Bank of Ireland regulated foreign exchange Company for 8 years. Euroxchanger is a proprietary technology company, having developed an algorithmic system model with patents filed for its online currency matching system. Between 2005 and 2010 Michael oversaw a 1000% increase in turnover and gross profit and operates the company's hedging strategies.
Prior to this, Michael worked in Economic Development with Down Business Centre, Banbridge District Council and Donegal County Enterprise Board over a 5 year period managing business start-up and development programmes. In these enterprise development roles, he assisted over 100 businesses through the start-up process.
After a number of years analysing currency market movements (1999-2009) and trading in foreign exchange for Euroxchanger Currency Services, Dynafex Trading Technologies was established to develop complex algorithmic trading models for the foreign exchange markets. Dynafex is a systems development company that is developing software and trading strategies which can be used in signaling buy and sell opportunities in currency markets
Michael established SeedUps as an innovative online matching service that allows entrepreneurs to raise 25,000 up to 500,000 seed to start-up capital. The key differentiator of the service and methodology is to allow micro seed investments in a collaborative way using the collective wisdom of crowd.
Michael holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Liverpool, a BA Hons Economics Degree and a Certificate in Marketing Diploma (CIM Dip).
Co-Founder & CTO
Gavin joined the SeedUps team from Noctua.ie, where, as CTO, he was responsible for the development of an innovative social networking and online trend analysis engine.
In 2009, he worked on various core analysis and aggregation components for Dynafex Trading Technologies, and created a networked Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) system for EuroXchanger Currency Services in the UK and Ireland.
Prior to this, Gavin worked for Intel, where he developed a number of internal client and server-side applications for worldwide deployment.
Gavin holds a Masters in Electronics and Software Engineering (MEng) from Queen's University Belfast; where he won the Invista prize for his final year project. He is responsible for Technology and Software Development at SeedUps.
Columb’s career began at EuroXchanger Currency Services where he progressed to the role of Operations Manager, overseeing the company’s operations in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. With over five years’ experience in the financial services industry, Columb has a strong understanding of the Irish SME environment through providing currency solutions to local businesses trading across the full range of sectors.
Columb holds a degree in Law and Accounting (LLB) from Queen's University, Belfast, and manages the customer operations and business processes at SeedUps.
Finance and HR
Cody has recently moved his young family to Ireland from New Zealand bringing with him over 20 years of experience in both the private and public sectors.
Cody started his career in financial services working in one of new Zealand's largest dealing rooms while studying for. A diploma in business computing in the early 90s. He spent 12 years progressing through the ranks in a variety of roles before finding his niche in the areas of project management and people capability. The last 12 years have been spent honing those skills initially in management roles with one of new Zealand's largest financial institutions before accepting roles as a senior HR advisor with two of new Zealand's marquee government agencies.
In his recent roles as senior HR advisor Cody has been responsible for providing strategic advice to business leaders as well as operational HR advice to managers at all levls. His passion professionally is in developing people capability and helping people and businesses reach their potential. Outside of his work and family commitments Cody is a keen supporter of the world champion All Blacks rugby team.
Online Community Liason
Azin joined the SeedUps team from Sita in Ireland, where as Intern Software Developer, she was responsible for development and support of International Registry Application and she developed a number of internal client and server-side applications.
In 2010, she joined EuroXchanger Currency Services in the UK and Ireland, Prior to this, Azin finished her Diploma in Mathematics and Physics in Iran.
Azin is currently in the process of finishing her degree in computer science (BSc Hons Computer Sc. FT) from University Of Ulster Magee and she holds a Foundation Degree in Computer Science (BSc Hons Comp Scien DIS IFY FT) from University Of Ulster Magee.
Non Executive Director & European Advisory Panel
Pa Nolan has almost 30 years experience in the financial services industry. One of the first five employees in FEXCO, he is currently a director having joined the board of the Company in 1984 and has continued in that capacity from 1984 to date. FEXCO is a financial services company specialising in stockbroking, foreign exchange and the payment transaction industry. Pa has recently been involved in establishing FEXCO Investment Services (Malta) Limited which focuses on the collective investment industry. He is Honorary Counsel to Malta in Ireland.
European Advisory Panel
Martin Varsavsky is an Argentine/Spanish entrepreneur, founder of seven companies in the past 20 years.
In 1984, while still in college, Varsavsky started his first business, Urban Capital Corporation, one of the early leaders of the loft movement in downtown Manhattan. This was soon followed in 1986 by Medicorp Services, a Canadian biotechnology company, a pioneer in AIDS and PSA testing. His third business, Viatel Ltd., Varsavsky's first venture into the world of telecom, was founded in 1990. This company is best known for inventing call back and building the first pan European fiber optic network ahead of liberalization. Martin Varsavsky's best-known ventures were founded during the last decade. In 1998, he started Jazztel Telecomunicaciones (Jazztel), Spain's second largest publicly traded telecom operator. In 1999 he founded Ya.com, Spain's third largest internet web site/DSL provider that includes the second largest Spanish language web agency www.viajar.com.
Martin Varsavsky's current venture is Fon. With over 4 million hotspots, Fon is the largest WiFi network in the world. The company is headquartered in Madrid Spain but its customers are worldwide, in Asia, EU and the USA. Its investors include Atomico, British Telecom, Coral Group, Skype, Google, Index Ventures and Sequoia Capital.
Martin Varsavsky manages the Varsavsky Foundation and is best known as the founder of two large educational projects in Latin America - Educ.ar (Argentina) and EducarChile (Chile), and the Safe Democracy Foundation. Martin was Ambassador at Large of Argentina from 2001 to 2005. He is also on the Board of Trustees of the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation, and is a board member of Instituto de Empresa, Spain's leading business school, where he has been teaching entrepreneurship for the past eight years.
Martin Varsavsky has written numerous articles on business and international relations that have been published in several international publications including El Pais and Newsweek. He is also a frequent speaker at conferences around the world and an active blogger. He is the recipient of various honors and rewards.
Martin Varsavsky received his BA from New York University, and holds a MA in International Affairs and a MA in Business Administration from Columbia University. In his spare time, Martin enjoys spending time with his family, cycling, piloting, photography and sailing.
Martin Varsavsky is married to Nina Varsavsky and has five children.
Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars
US Advisory Panel
Marcy Simon has over 20 years of global expertise in driving the development and reputation of companies from startups to multi-billion dollar organizations by creating multi-faceted strategies for corporate and industry positioning. She has a long history of advising high-level c-suite executives, having worked with CEOs from some of the world's most important, innovative and influential companies.
Marcy brings unique, strategic perspective and expertise to marketing communications, advertising, branding, and public relations campaigns. Her deep understanding of technology and social media is unparalleled in developing the messaging and positioning for brands. Her background in broadcast journalism, allows her to craft strategic messages, deliver quality results and manage complex global communications assignments.
Marcy is currently advising companies directly, while also serving as a managing director and strategic advisor at Burson Marsteller. She is also closely involved in the cutting edge of current technology, advising start-ups across the globe. Clients include Alibaba, Backplane, Esteé Lauder Companies ComScore, Mindjolt, Thomson Reuters, Microsoft, Sony, Founders Fund, Virgin Gaming, Google, Twitter, Bridgepoint Education, Gowalla, Motorola, Imax, TechCrunch, Ness Computing, Likeness.com and the Social Gaming Network (SGN). In addition, Marcy has worked in the public sector, most recently with the William J Clinton Foundation, The Clinton Global Initiative, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Donna Karan's Urban Zen and was instrumental in the launch of Yele Haiti.
US Advisory Panel
Mark White is a founding partner of White Summers Caffee & James, LLP and leads the firm's international practice. Mark represents emerging growth, mid-stage and mezzanine stage companies and investment funds on all matters relating to the formation, financing, growth and liquidity of technology-based enterprises. Over the span of 20 years Mark has represented companies in well over 500+ financings and over 200+ acquisitions. He represents and advises companies on a wide variety of transactional matters, including business and legal issues as they pertain to complex strategic and venture financings, acquisitions, and licensing and distribution arrangements.
Mark's practice principally covers corporate, technology, financing and corporate partnering matters for a wide variety of private and public company clients. He regularly advises companies on strategic positioning, business model and revenue generation issues, the preparation of investment materials and presentations, and the structure of complex corporate reorganizations, joint ventures, divestitures, consolidations and commercial partnerships. Mark also represents investment funds on formation issues and regularly represents investors in making portfolio investments.
US Advisory Panel
David Drake is a leading equity expert based in New York. He is the founder and chairman of LDJ Capital, a private-equity advisory firm, and of The Soho Loft, an event-driven global financial media company.
Born in Sweden and fluent in six languages, Mr. Drake is a strong advocate of innovative investing in early-stage equity and the US JOBS Act, for which he lobbied both Congress and the EU Commission. Because of his leading work in this space, he was a US Commerce Department delegate to the EU Commission in Brussels and Rome, and was invited in May 2013 to the White House Champions of Change ceremony in Washington, D.C.
His investment, The Soho Loft, produces and sponsors 150+ global events a year. One such was produced in April 2013 for the institutional media leader Thomson Reuters, with speakers from Nasdaq, NYSE, KKR and Carlyle Group. He continues to advance innovative investing through his work as an international speaker and regular writer for major publications like Forbes and Thomson Reuters. He has co-authored the book Planet Entrepreneur: The World Entrepreneurship Forum’s Guide to Business Success Around the World and is the author of Crowd Fund Economics.
His focus today is to take on board advisory positions at companies, angel networks and venture funds, and to guide them on such topics as international regulations, corporate strategy and fund structures, with emphasis on the growing trend of online investment automation for retail and angel investors.
Privately, Mr. Drake has hosted the Harvard Business Club of NY at his home, produced Carnegie Hall concerts and raised funds for the charities Trail Blazers and Best Buddies Carnegie Hall for many years. Today he is a board director of the UBS Charity of the Year, London-based ARCHIVE Global, and is co-chair of the Tree Kangaroo Foundation in New York. Mr. Drake has an MBA in Finance and an MA in International Law and Economics from George Washington University, where he was awarded the Wallenberg Scholarship for academic merit.