Skip to main content


Congress photo

Sam Laakkonen

Sam Laakkonen

Senior Director, Sustainable Innovation and Entrepreneurship, University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)
Sam started his career as a management consultant in the City of London. He was then headhunted to his first startup, FirstMark Communications Europe, which raised one of the largest Series A rounds in European history, over $1 billion. He has since been an early employee at Spotify, privately invested in 25+ startups, had 3 further exits from his own companies, helped 250+ startups accelerate growth, and works as an expert for the European Commission to distribute EIC equity and grant funding. Sam has been active in the Techstars ecosystem for a number of years, having been an Entrepreneur-In-Residence for Techstars Amsterdam, and a Lead Mentor on a number of programmes including Techstars Lisbon, Techstars Korea, Techstars Boulder and Techstars Energy in Oslo.