Internationalising with new leaders

Startups including Green Motion, DiNAQOR, Sophia Genetics and Antion Biosciences have revamped their teams to accelerate international growth. Swiss early-stage investment company, Tomahawk has done the same.

Tomahawk.VC invests in teams and founders with a 'global-first' approach. Since its launch in April 2020, the firm has concluded four investments across B2B SaaS and Decentralized Finance with teams in Germany and Switzerland. To further support its activities in-and outside Switzerland, the firm has expanded its team with the addition of three members. Massimo Schäppi joins as Partner. Massimo has been focusing on Seed as well as Series A+ investments and has built special expertise around FinTech, Enterprise Software, Big Data, AgriTech and FoodTech. He lived in Singapore, Hong Kong and Tel Aviv where he was part of the iAngels team. While being active as investment manager, he was also a member of the investment committee and shareholder of the company. In his new role at Tomahawk, he will focus on early-stage B2B SaaS and decentralised finance ventures across Europe.

Alongside Massimo, Tomahawk has welcomed two new two venture partners on board: Ricardo Normand to oversee activities in Lisbon, Portugal and Wenxin Zhang in Shanghai, China. The two will support the firm in strengthening its presence in the respective ecosystems.

New leaders to accelerate global expansion for startups
There has also been a change of leadership at various startup companies.

Head of international sales at Green Motion
Green Motion, the provider of electric vehicle charging and energy storage solution, has welcomed Thomas Ruhland to the Management Team to support its international growth. His appointment comes after the company won several international partnerships with companies such as Eaton, Automobili Pininfarina and Pipistrel. Thomas has more than 30 years of experience in the automotive, construction and energy business. Based on his proven track record in the fields of product and process engineering, production, market development and sales, he held management positions on executive and top management level in international companies as Arvin Meritor, Rittal and Zhongding Group. Thomas will apply his knowledge and experience in the positioning and further development of Green Motion in global markets.

New representatives at DiNAQOR’s subsidiaries and new CTO
DiNAQOR is a fast-growing gene therapy platform company focused on advancing novel solutions for patients suffering from heart disease. Alongside headquarters Pfäffikon Switzerland, it has offices in London, England and Boston. For its UK subsidiary, the company has appointed John McLaren as Chairman of DiNAQOR UK. McLaren is a former British diplomat, investment banker and venture capitalist. He served as a Director in banks including, Barings, Morgan Grenfell, Deutsche Bank and Barchester Group, and as a General Partner at Hambrecht & Quist. He has worked extensively in Japan, the UK, and the US, across multiple sectors, and he serves on the boards of several companies.

DiNAQOR has also welcomed Eduard Ayuso as the new CTO. Ayuso is an expert in the field of gene therapy using viral vector platforms. With over two decades of academic and industry consulting experience, he has made significant contributions to the field of in vivo gene transfer in small and large animal models of diseases, as well as AAV vector development and analytics.

Sophia genetics chief commercial officer
Just recently, Sophia Genetics completed a $110 funding round to support its entry into the US and Asian markets. The company has now hired Bram Goorden as a chief commercial officer and head of North American operations. Goorden, who will oversee the expansion of the firm's global reach, joins Sophia from Foundation Medicine, where he was VP of international business and Partnering. He previously served as general manager and head of Therapeutics for Prometheus Laboratories.

CEO for Antion Biosciences
Antion Biosciences is a spin-off from the University of Geneva. With the technology co-developed with the University of Pretoria and the University of Zurich, the startup develops engineered allogeneic cell therapies utilising a Smart Data approach for patients with under-served and intractable diseases. For its planned growth course and fundraising, the company has welcomed Sven Kili as CEO, following his engagement with the company as a strategic consultant. He brings extensive, relevant clinical and industry experience that will be relevant in executing his role.