Two of Sky’s most senior leaders make up our investment committee. We value the input of our expert advisory board. Our dedicated core fund team work to identify and support our innovators, every day.
Group Chief Executive, Sky
"We think it’s time businesses stop dumping harmful plastic in to the sea and instead start pumping more money into innovation. Sky Ocean Ventures is a bold new creation that will support breakthrough thinking and invest in promising new ideas that will help turn off the plastics tap. We look forward to working with other like-minded organisations who can help us find and support innovators who are developing products, materials and business models that will create meaningful change"
Group Chief Marketing, Corporate Affairs and People Officer, Sky
Debbie Klein joined Sky in 2018. She has responsibility for overall brand and marketing development, as well as leading corporate affairs, internal communications and Sky’s Bigger Picture programme. Prior to Sky, Debbie was Chief Executive Europe and Asia Pacific at The Engine Group, an integrated marketing services business where she worked closely with Sky for 12 years. She held various leadership roles in her 20 years at the firm, including Head of Strategy. Earlier in her career she worked in Strategy and Insight at Saatchi & Saatchi and Nielsen.
Chief Scientist, National Geographic Society
Jonathan Baillie is Chief Scientist and Executive Vice President of Science and Exploration at the National Geographic Society. He oversees Grants, Operating Programmes, National Geographic Labs, Explorer Programs and the International team. Baillie joined the Society in 2016 after 20 years at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), where he served in various capacities, most recently as Conservation Programmes Director. As director, Baillie oversaw conservation projects focusing on threatened species and their habitats in more than 50 countries. Early in his career, Baillie was responsible for the first International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of threatened species to define the status of the world’s mammals.
Ocean Activist and Sailor
Ocean advocate and Skipper Emily Penn has seen first-hand how much plastic ends up in our oceans. She organised the largest community-led waste clean-up from a tiny Tongan island, trawled for microplastics on a voyage through the Arctic Northwest Passage, rounded the planet on the record-breaking biofuelled boat, Earthrace, and worked on a sailing cargo ship, trading western supplies for coconuts. Emily splits her time between running eXXpedition; a series of all female voyages whose mission is to collect data and expose the ‘invisible’ microplastic and toxic pollution in our seas; and working on the business and educational side with Parley for the Oceans and other corporate clients.
Imperial College, Grantham Institute and Climate Kick Lab
Andrew has over 30 years’ experience working as an employee, entrepreneur, senior executive and advisor in high-growth technology and cleantech businesses in the UK and California. He has been involved in three successful stock market listings in the tech sector and also has learnings from being involved with a number of start-ups that did not succeed. Andrew is the Accelerator Lead at the Grantham Institute – Climate Change and the Environment and in 2012, Andrew founded the Accelerator activities at Imperial College London’s Centre of Cleantech Innovation. The centre has produced a portfolio of over 40 graduated climate positive teams who, between them, have raised over $140 million in early stage funding.
Director, Sustainable Ocean Initiative
Kristian Teleki is the Director of the Sustainable Ocean Initiative for the World Resources Institute and the Head of the Friends of Ocean Action for the World Economic Forum. Most recently Kristian was the senior marine adviser to the Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit and the director of engagement for Ocean Unite. Prior to this he held the post of the director of global engagement for the Global Ocean Commission, and the vice-president of SeaWeb, where he was responsible for its sustainable-markets, science and Asia-Pacific programmes. He has also been the director of the International Coral Reef Action Network and led the marine programme at the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
Head of Marine and Freshwater Conservation, Zoological Society of London
Heather has worked for the Zoological Society of London since 1995. She is an Associate Honorary Professor at the University of Exeter, Cornwall campus. Heather develops solutions through interdisciplinary research and conservation action. Examples include Project Seahorse in 1996, recognised as the world’s leading authority on seahorses; and Net-Works, an award-winning project developing a community-based supply chain for discarded fishing nets that are recycled into carpet tiles. Heather coordinates the Bertarelli Programme of Marine Science, a research and conservation programme for large marine reserves, and the Our Sea Our Life project in northern Mozambique to improve the resilience of coastal ecosystems and community well-being.
Founder and Managing Partner, Ambienta
Nino is the Founder and Managing Partner of Ambienta. Ambienta is a leading European private equity firm, fully focused on industrial growth investments driven by the sustainability trends of resource efficiency and pollution control. Founded in 2007, Ambienta has raised more than €1 billion to date across three funds, representing the largest pool of capital for this strategy. Earlier in his career, Nino was a consultant at McKinsey & Co, where he established the environmental practice. In 1997, Nino founded Cam Tecnologie to develop clean technologies and products. From 2002 to 2007, Nino worked within the Telecom Italia group, first as CEO of Finsiel, and subsequently as General Manager of Olivetti. Nino is a Board Member of AIFI and part of the Mid-Market Council within the EVCA. Nino holds a degree (cum laude) in Business Administration from Luiss University, Rome, and an MBA from INSEAD.
Core fund team
Director Partnerships & Corporate Engagement, Sky Ocean Ventures
Vanessa works with our innovation partners around the globe to foster our early stage innovation ecosystem and share our impact stories. Vanessa has been with Sky for over 20 years and previously held director positions within Sky Media Europe in client engagement and built Sky’s earliest corporate communications, events and investor relations teams as the group expanded. Vanessa was also director of the design leadership team for Sky’s sustainable, multi-award-winning Sky Campus in Osterley, London.
Head of Investments, Sky Ocean Ventures
Jamie joined the Sky Ocean Ventures team to lead the fund’s investment processes and portfolio management. He has experience across the early stage investment lifecycle at four different venture capital funds in the UK and US and has helped to build strategies around two new fund launches. Jamie has also been part of the founding teams of, and continues to advise, two early stage technology businesses here in the UK. Jamie is a graduate from the MBA program at UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management in Los Angeles, California (Price Award for Entrepreneurial Studies). Prior to his MBA, Jamie was a private equity lawyer for six years in the UK and the Middle East.
Investment Program Manager, Sky Ocean Ventures
Alex joined the fund team at the start of 2019 to manage the Innovate UK partnership and support the investment process. Before joining the team, Alex had vast consulting experience with Sky, working on a variety of different transformation programmes across the business. Alex is a graduate of the University of Exeter Business School.