Meet The Team

Kai Thornagel

Kai is Director Essity Ventures at the leading global hygiene and health company Essity - home to many global brands in sectors such as feminine care, consumer tissue, and medical solutions.


In his +15-year career, Kai has assumed senior management positions at major CPG companies like Essity, Mondelez, Kraft Foods, and Reckitt Benckiser, working in diverse areas such as Corporate Venturing, Consumer Marketing, Brand Management, Innovation, Digital Marketing & Media, eCRM, eCommerce (DtC, Pure Play, Bricks & Clicks), Key Account Sales, Field Sales, Employer Branding and Brand Monetization.


Kai has built and developed corporate venturing and business model innovation units for companies, and has led consulting projects around business model innovation and business unit design/creation.

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Maria Alvarez de Sotomayor Vergara

With a combination of Engineering and Management, Maria brings a strong background in cognitive applications, analytics and artificial intelligence. She has a corporate background and a passion for entrepreneurship which enables her to connect both worlds. Maria’s previous work experience at Accenture, Telefónica and Siemens comes together naturally with her enthusiasm about improving today's solutions with cutting-edge technologies.

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Alfonso is passionate about entrepreneurship and is always looking for the next disruptive innovation. His strong technical background in Mechanical Engineering, combined with his Management studies and hands-on experience in the startup-up world, enables his effective analytical skills and ability to think outside the box.

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