Above – one of our first teambuilding activities, Francesco took us sailing!
As a new early-stage startup, we know how important it is to have a good team. While you can read a short introduction over on our About Us page, here we’ll head to the deep end to share with you who’s-who!
Waina is Belgian from Peruvian descent. He speaks French, English, Spanish and Dutch (or wished he would).
Waina has always been passionate about technology. When he was little he programmed E-proms (erasable programmable read-only memory) for his dad’s business.
Since then he’s been involved in multiple tech startups taking him from the bushes of East-Africa to the factory cities in Guangzhou to the scrap yards of Thailand. Always creating new tools and adding value to his clients businesses.
He has an MBA from IESE business school (2020) and did his MBA internship at Google in Paris.
Now with Mockmate, he is tech lead, manager of the team, and spearheading our search for funding.
Who is your hero?
I recently read “Masters of Doom”, a book about the story of id software, the guys that created the video game “Doom”. John Romero, was really an inspiration to me. Creative genius, product-driven and above all rockstar-like. He wasn’t the best at coding, but he sure could inspire the best coders with his ideas and charisma. He also was an open-source advocate, giving the first levels of the game for free and even allowing gamers to “mod” their very own game. He always wanted the best experience for the players and stayed true to his principles.
Megan is American from Philadelphia and speaks terrible French and some Spanish.
She has 13+ years of experience, from law (maritime) to policy analysis and think tanks. She’s worked in a variety of places (United Nations, American Embassy, European Policy Centre, International Crisis Group) utilizing critical thinking and communication skills, publishing policy papers and speaking on panels about EU foreign policy, or giving training on how to use social media.
Since 2014 she’s worked as an independent consultant in business development and marketing, raising more than $80M for startups mostly in grant (non-equity) funding. For a full list of her work history, see her LinkedIn here.
She loves to travel and has lived in 6 countries, visited 63 countries, and filled 2 passports. She’s interested in design, modern art, and particularly installation art, and loves to talk about politics of all kinds.
She is passionate about diversity & inclusion. Starting with an undergraduate thesis on gender mainstreaming at the EU, and membership in several Lean In circles, she went on to become Secretary General of the Professional Women’s Network from 2018-2020, an organization that seeks to advance gender balance and diversity. She now advises the board.
Now with Mockmate, she works on marketing & business development.
Mike is American, originally from New York State and brings a unique background to the team.
He’s a former professional dancer with 11 years of professional performance experience. While performing with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, one of the world’s most prolific contemporary dance companies, he appeared in front of 100,000 people around the globe every year. During his time dancing he could also be found in various print (Versace) and television (Hot Date) appearances. For a full list of his work history, see his LinkedIn here.
Mike’s unique professional experiences have shaped the way he approaches business. The discipline and team-building skills gained from being a part of a world class team have made him extremely comfortable under pressure. Now, combining this with a top tier MBA education from IESE Business School, he has a uniquely well-rounded skill set.
He continues to be passionate about creative innovation and bettering lives through technology, and is anxious to have a larger impact on the world at large.
Also, if you ever want to have a discussion about art, music, or challenging the status quo, he is your guy.
Now at Mockmate, Mike works on business development.
Francesco Pelazza, Finance
Francesco is Italian, and fluent in English and Spanish (but he can understand French and Catalan too).
Professionally, he is constantly driven by curiosity and challenges, he is always in search of something unusual and peculiar to learn.
Francesco is passionate about technology, and has worked in China, the US, London and Barcelona. Francesco has worked in Mechanical Engineering for Panini (in China, Ohio, and Italy) and Greenfilter and Miroglio. For a full list of his work history, see his LinkedIn here.
Personally, he loves street art. He has been keen on it since he was 20 and he saw for the first time some paintings of Keith Haring, a Graffiti-Art precursor, at an exhibition in Monte Carlo. Now he proudly owns a road sign decorated and entitled “Original Sin”.
He has a technical background with a Bachelor of Science from Politecnico di Torino, and was in the top 5% of his Master of Science class in the same subject.
Now with Mockmate, Francesco works on finance.