Our Team

Our seasoned investment professionals and advisors bring together vast experience in international organizations like ING Investment Management, NN Investment Partners, ACTIAM, Standard Chartered Ventures, Karoll Capital Management, ABN Amro Asset Management, Energy Invest, IFC-Worldbank, CEE Equity Partners, Amrop, Symbid, EU Horizon 2020, Telelink, Deloitte, TU Delft and JP Morgan with strong credentials in technology and global impact investing.

Hans Van Houwelingen

Hans van Houwelingen – Managing Partner

Prior to founding Urban Impact Ventures, Hans was Chief Executive Officer of ACTIAM NV, a leading Sustainable and Impact asset manager with €65 billion of Assets under Management.

Hans began his career in financial services in 1999 and since 2005 fulfilled various international executive and non-executive roles in the asset management, insurance and technology industries, within respectively ING Group, NN Group, Telelink Holdings, Symbid and VIVAT. At present Hans holds non-executive director positions with Telelink Business Services and Aqua for All; he is a Mentor at Endeavor, the leading global high-impact entrepreneurship movement.

Hans received an MS degree in Industrial Engineering and Management Science from Eindhoven University of Technology and an Executive MA degree in Business Administration from INSEAD Business School, Hans is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Korstiaan Zandvliet – Partner

Prior to joining Urban Impact Ventures, Korstiaan was involved in several high-growth international start-ups and scale-ups as Independent Consultant, Strategic Advisor and /or Investor.

In 2011 Korstiaan founded Symbid, one of the world’s first equity crowdfunding platforms. In 2016 Korstiaan was appointed as Reviewer Horizon 2020 on behalf of the European Commission. He is internationally recognized as an authority in the field of alternative finance, start-ups, strategic and entrepreneurial management; and is involved in various urban and social ventures.

Korstiaan received a BA degree in Sociology from Erasmus University Rotterdam and an MA degree in Entrepreneurship and New Business Venturing from Rotterdam School of Management / Erasmus University Rotterdam.


Hristo Valev – Partner

Prior to joining Urban Impact Ventures, Hristo gained over 14 years of PE and VC experience in the CEE region, focused primarily on clean energy and technology. He was a member of the IC and an investment manager of a portfolio of wind and solar power assets with Advance Equity Holding, part of the leading Bulgarian non-banking financial group Karoll.

Hristo served as a Managing Director and CFO of Energy Invest and InterSol – investees of the PE/VC firm, while also being actively involved in energy efficiency services company as an advisor. His input was instrumental in the realization of two successful exits, as well as a founder-led leveraged buyout. He started his financial sector career as a research analyst with Karoll Capital Management.

Hristo holds an MA degree in Economics from the Central European University in Budapest/Vienna. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

Christiaan Leussink – Partner, General Counsel

Christiaan has over 15 years of broad legal and compliance experience in various large international asset management organizations like NN Investment Partners, ACTIAM, PGGM, and the Dutch Treasury, in high tech firms like Philips International and NXP Semi-conductors as well as in strategic consultancy firm Deloitte.

Christiaan holds an LL.M degree from VU Amsterdam and post-graduate degrees in Commercial Law and Securities Law from Radboud University in Nijmegen, as well as an Executive MA degree in Business Administration from ESSEC & Mannheim Business School.

Christiaan Leussink
Nadia Soultanova

Nadia Soultanova – Head of Urban Network and LP Support

Prior to joining Urban Impact Ventures, Nadia held various roles in urban innovation and digitalization. She was the Head of Investment and Business Development at the Sofia Investment Agency, the investment promotion arm of the Bulgarian capital city. In this role, she was responsible for branding Sofia as an innovation and entrepreneurial hub, building a network of partner cities and local stakeholders, as well as attracting high value-added investments.

She was the city manager responsible for the creation and approval of the Strategy for Digital Transformation for the city of Sofia.

She was the Director of Digitalization and Innovation at Sofia Municipality, where she was involved in innovative urban projects in the areas of citizen participation, e-services, open data, intelligent cities, human-centered e-service design, and data-driven policymaking.

Nadia has a real passion for people and places, and the ways people and places interact. She holds an MBA from the American University in Bulgaria and a BA from the University of New Orleans.

Rumen Trilev – Investment Associate

Prior to joining Urban Impact Ventures, Rumen was Chief Market Strategist at Telelink Bulgaria, a leading CEE digital transformation enabler with expertise in the development of wireless networks, system integration, and security and automation systems with an international network spanning 10 countries

Rumen started his career as Data Processor at AC Nielsen. He joined Telelink Group in 2006 as Business Analyst within the Corporate M&A team, executing the cross-border non-organic growth strategy.

Rumen holds a BA in Economics and an MA in Finance and Banking from the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski and is certified under the “Consultants in European Project Management Certificate Program” by the Centre for European Programs at the American University in Bulgaria.


Ivo Evgeniev – Venture Partner

Ivo has over 20 years of private equity and entrepreneurial experience across various sectors, including technology, telecom, mobility, real estate development, renewable energy, and agriculture, as well as investment banking experience with Deutsche Bank and UBS.

Ivo holds an MBA degree from INSEAD and Master’s degrees from the Technical University (Sofia) and the University for National and World Economy (Sofia).

Simon Rikmenspoel – Venture Partner

Simon is a successful serial entrepreneur in the Staffing, Health Services, and broader technology industries.

Simon started his career as a Financial Advisor with ABN Amro Bank. He founded a staffing firm at age 21 which he developed into a successful mature business over the last decade. In 2017 he founded Hiway, a smart employment agency, as well as invested in a variety of firms as a cornerstone investor in the Healthcare and the Technology sectors.

Simon Rikmenspoel
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Claudia Marcusson – Advisor

Claudia began her career in financial services in 2002 with Peppermint Venture Partners GmbH, and since then has held various international roles in investment management with State Street Bank & Trust, ABN AMRO Asset Management, Fortis Investments, and ING Investment Management. Since 2015 Claudia has been living in Singapore where she joined Standard Chartered Ventures in mid-2019.

She is a Fellow and Guest Lecturer on Emerging Technologies and Digital Transformation at the National University of Singapore as well as giving training to corporates and C-suite executives at Singapore Management University and Singapore Academy of Law.

Claudia holds an MS degree in Economics & Operations Research from the University of Hagen and an LLM degree in Chinese Business Law from the Open University of Hong Kong. She is a mentor and advisor to the board of several start-ups in Singapore, Germany, and Ghana.

Previously she was Head of Risk Management Asia Pacific for NN Investment Partners, the SRI-oriented asset manager of NN Group with €260 billion of Assets under Management.

Marina Niforos – Advisor

Marina is a Board member, advisor, academic, and investor, working at the intersection of technology and impact. She is an Affiliate Professor at HEC Paris business school and a member of the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum. She is the lead author of the IFC-World Bank report on Blockchain: Opportunities for Private Enterprises in Emerging Markets. EU Startups named Marina “one of five female leaders driving change in the European blockchain ecosystem”.

Marina has served NED mandates with the Hellenic Corporation of Assets and Participations Management Board, the sovereign fund of the Hellenic Republic, Séché Environnement, a French publicly listed company, the European Network of Women in Leadership and the US National Commission for UNESCO, appointed in 2012 by Secretary of State H. Clinton. In the past, Marina served as CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce of France and as Director for the Diversity Center of Excellence at INSEAD. Previously she was with the World Bank Group for 5 years.

Marina earned an IDP-C and an MBA from INSEAD, a Masters in Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Diploma in International Relations from SAIS-The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (Johns Hopkins University). She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Cornell University, with a B.A. in Government and International Relations.

Marina Niforos
Ellen van Bueren (2)

Ellen Van Bueren – Advisor

Ellen is a professor of Urban Development Management at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at Delft University of Technology and Principal Investigator at the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions. In her research and teaching she focuses on the governance challenges of today’s urban areas.

Ellen is also Regional Associate Editor Europe for the International Journal ‘Smart and Sustainable Built Environment’ (SASBE). She started her career with Royal Haskoning in 1995 and joined Delft University of Technology as a Researcher in 1997.

Ellen received an MA in Public Administration from Leiden University and was awarded PhD in Sustainable Built Environment from Delft University of Technology.

Rafal Andrzejewski – Advisor

Rafal Andrzejewski is the CEE representative of Asian-based M&A advisory firm TFC Capital and CEE Equity Partner for a Hong Kong Private Equity firm.

Previously Rafal was Investment & Private Equity Advisor for Bowline Capital Partners and Investment Director Poland for CEE Private Equity Partners. From 2004 to 2013 he was Managing Partner of AMROP Poland and headed their global Financial Services Practice Group. Before that he was the President of Medical Tribune Publishing Company Poland and President of the Management Board of Polish Arka-Invesco Pension Fund. Rafal started his career in the US in 1988 with Kimberly-Clark Corporation and later Avery International Corporation, followed by his appointment as General Manager Avery Dennison Poland.

Rafal received a BA in Business Administration from The Ohio State University, an MBA from the University of California, and an MA in Economics from the Economic University of Poznan.

RdK (1)

Raymond de Kuiper – Advisor

Raymond is a Client Solutions Manager at BNP Paribank Asset Management. Previously he was an Epidemic Risks Solutions Consultant at MunichRe, and prior to that – the Chief Investment Officer of ACTIAM NV, a leading Sustainable and Impact asset manager.

Raymond began his career in financial services in 1999. Until 2008 he fulfilled various international capital market roles with ABN Amro, JP Morgan, and Morgan Stanley. Until 2013 he fulfilled various financial risk management roles at Swiss Re, AON, Hewitt, and Deloitte. Raymond joined ACTIAM in 2013 as Head of Client Advisory and was promoted to Chief Investment Officer in 2018.

Raymond holds a BA degree in Technical Management from Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and an MA degree in Financial Management from Nyenrode Business University.