Senior Advisors

Aki Prihti

aki_prihtiAki is entrepreneur and life science venture capitalist. He is one of the founding partners of Inveni Capital Limited, venture capital company focused on investing in early stage life science companies, and CEO of drug development company Aplagon Limited. Aki has been involved in founding and building numerous companies. He advises Vana Capital & Ventures and its portfolio companies especially in corporate finance, in M&A, in business models and in venture capital fund related issues.

Aki has over 15 years of experience in venture capital. He has developed special passion for early stage life science area investing over the past 10 years. Aki has been active board member and gained strong experience in active board work in many different companies for the past 20 years. He has also previously worked in investment banking at Salomon Brothers in London.

Aki has M.Sc. (Finance and Accounting) degree from Helsinki School of Economics. He received McKinsey Award at graduation. Aki hobbies are tennis, squash, HC HIFK ice hockey team and taking his child to sports practices.

Timo Ketonen

timo-ketonen-2Timo is an entrepreneur, independent advisor, investor and board professional. He invests in startups and growth companies and helps them to become great companies. Timo is a Partner at Vana Capital & Ventures. He is responsible and looks after the target companies board work, strategy process, business models, best customer experience and Go2Market strategies.

Timo has been a board professional, start-up investor and top management director for over 25 years. He has invested in a good number of Finnish start-ups. His focus is on green tech, ecological products and services, and sustainable and responsible business. The key to success in growth companies is according to Timo core team building, business idea development to great products and services, finding the right business model, customer experience and Go2Market strategy. He is board member in a number of companies and foundations e.g. TS Group, Scandinavian Outdoor, Veritas Pension Fund, Åbo Akademi University Foundation and some start-ups.

Timo has graduated with M.Sc. in Economics and Business Administration from the business school at Åbo Akademi University. Timo is passionate about cooking, growing fresh herbs, sailing, boating, outdoor life and photography. He is also interested in culture, languages, travelling to exotic nature sites and big cities around the world.

Timo Kruskopf

timo_kruskopfTimo is marketing and sales entrepreneur, strategist and board professional. He is co-founder and CEO in ID BBN marketing and sales strategy product company. Timo is also early investor and partner in Vana Capital & Ventures. He supports the efforts in the development and growth of all Vana Capital & Ventures companies. Timo is focused in the marketing and sales operations.

Timo has been an entrepreneur for over 30 years. His specialty is strategic planning, customer experience strategies, service productization and general SME management. He has served and serves on the Board at BBN International Agency, Innomedica Ltd, Idea Invest Ltd and Grow Poland Ltd.

Timo’s hobby and passion is golf. He also enjoys reading history of science, industrial revolutionists and astronomy.

Tero Toponen

tero-toponen-2Tero is board and management professional, entrepreneur and start-up investor. He has invested in several start-ups and helped them to develop and grow over the years. Tero is a partner in Vana Capital & Ventures. He is responsible for managing the board and company, and support professional management of target companies.

Tero has been management executive, board professional, entrepreneur and start-up investor for over 30 years. His specialty is professional management, strategies, customer account management, sales management and development, human resource management and development. Tero is chairman and board member such as Suomen Henkilöstöpooli Ltd, Nordblast Ltd, Sosped Foundation and Sosped Center Ltd.

Tero has L.LM. degree from the University of Turku law school. His hobbies are Rotary activities, Turku archipelago summer place time, foreign travel and especially spending time in Southern France. In addition Finnish National Defence Course Foundation activity, running and cross-country skiing are also important hobbies.

Barbara Z. Vaataja

barbara_vaatajaBarbara is an education and start-up advisory entrepreneur, investor and former investment banker. She is the founder of Moomin International Kindergarten and the Scandinavian Center in Tokyo. She is an advisor to Gaijingo, a start-up based in Tokyo. Barbara is also an early investor and partner in Vana Capital & Ventures. She looks after and supports the efforts in the development and growth of all Vana Ventures portfolio companies. Based in Tokyo, she supports the companies’ global business operations in finance and in sales in Japan, in South East Asia, in Latin America and in the US.

Barbara has been involved in start-up, early growth and some M&A investments in Japan for the past 7 years. Previously she worked in investment banking in New York for over decade. She has over 15 years of experience in investment banking business, in finance, in sales and in global business.

Barbara has an MBA (Finance) from NYU Stern School of Business and a B.A. (Econ) degree from DePauw University. She is fluent in English, Spanish and French and has a good command of Japanese. Her interests include travel, long distance running, creative pursuits, promotion and enhancement of entrepreneurship, women professional career advancement and children’s early education.