ITU Telecom World SME Awards 2019 Jury

Many thanks to our jury of experts for their invaluable support and participation in selecting the best innovative ICT solutions at ITU Telecom World 2019.

David A. Ofori

Head of Operations

Accra Digital Centre

I hold a first degree in Mathematics and Statistics from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and a number of professional qualifications from the UK in investments and mortgages. With over ten years working experience in banking and finance from Banco Santander in the UK, I'm also a founding member of Good Fellows Foundation, a Ghanaian based charity organisation that supports people with disability but have managed to push themselves into a gainful activities. My passion to see Tech and Digital start-ups grow and break new frontiers inspired me to quit my corporate job in banking in the UK to begin the setting up (from the scratch) of what has now become the model Science and Technology Park in West Africa – The Accra Digital Centre. I am currently the Head of Operations at Accra Digital Centre and also in charge of its global partnerships and engagements with institutions such as the ITU, Oracle Corporation, Smart Africa and Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) just to mention a few.

Enrique Alvarado Hablutzel

Fund Manager

Bamboo Capital Partners

An early enthusiast of Blockchain technologies and Crypto asset management, Enrique Alvarado Hablutzel is a fund manager at Bamboo Capital Partners. Passionate about impact entrepreneurship and innovation, Enrique worked as Strategy and Business Development manager at Impact hub Geneva and Lausanne. His main focus was the financial development of the Accelerate2030 – a multi-stakeholder program co-initiated by Impact Hub Geneva and UNDP in 2016 which aims at identifying ventures with tested and scale-ready solutions in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Today, Accelerate2030 is implemented in 19 developing and emerging economies, including Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. It involves over 1 million people and more than 500 entrepreneurs worldwide. His strong interest in entrepreneurship also led him to work at SeedStars – a Swiss-based group with the mission to impact people’s lives in emerging markets through technology and entrepreneurship. In his role of regional manager for Latin America, he initiated the “Seedstars Connect program”, a soft landing program for entrepreneurs of Latin America, supported by the INADEM and Startup Mexico. Prior to that, he was part of Virgin Group’s strategic management and corporate development team, working on the business analysis, M&A and financial modeling in different industries across the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Enrique holds a Master Degree in Management and Corporate strategy (HEC Lausanne, University of Lausanne) with a specialization in Innovation and Technology (EPFL, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne). He also holds a Bachelor degree in International Business, Trade, and Commerce (Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico). He is fluent in English, Spanish and French.

Hiroshi Tominaga

General Manager

Japan Battery Regeneration, Inc.

  • 1973/March: Graduated from Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan
Major: Economics
  • 1973 ~ 2007: RadioShack Corp. (USA)
Specialist & DMM (Divisional Merchandising Manager), Global Sourcing General Manager, Business Dept. 1, Global Sourcing
  • 2007 – 2011 Consultant for Anam Electronics, Korea
  • 2010 – 2012 BLH Ecology Concepts, LLC (USA) Managing Director
  • 2012 – 2013 and 2017 – 2019 Advisor at International Div. of Kanagawa
Industrial Promotion Center, Yokohama, Japan Since 2013 till now:  Japan Battery Regeneration, Inc.

Stephen Ibaraki


REDDS Venture Investment Partners

With more than 100 top executive roles, global lifetime achievement and innovation awards and recognitions, a few of executive chairman and serial entrepreneur Stephen Ibaraki's positions include: co-chair Practitioner Board Association for Computing Machinery; founding chair Global Industry Council and vice-chair board IP3 International Federation for Information Processing; top 5 blogger IDG-IT World (Canada); founding managing partner REDDS Venture Investment Partners; founder technology advisory board, Yintech Investment Holdings Ltd.; founding member Beyond Initiative (Audi AI Think Tank), founding chairman outreach UN ITU "ICT Discovery" Journal; founding chair-moderator/keynote/organizer UN ITU AI events, ITU UN Briefing New York; founder, founding chairman outreach, founding member steering committee seminal UN ITU AI for Good Global Summit with XPRIZE Foundation, 20 UN Agency partners, 47 media; keynote at the International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE Austin, USA); founding chairman Technology Advisory Council Financial Services Roundtable FinTech Ideas Festival (FSR: 92.7 trillion managed assets, 1.2 trillion annual revenue); invited advisor to board within IEEE; 14 Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Global Awards, and 3 global gold awards and 3 founding Fellow awards.

Kristóf Bárdos

Co-founder, International Business Developer

GreenFox Academy

At Green Fox Academy we teach future-proof skills for the tech-driven labor market. This is a university-size education center currently with two campuses in Prague and Budapest and growing. We mainly train career changers wanting to become junior developers, moreover, after completing the course, we also help our successful graduates find employment in the IT industry. By June 2019 more than 750 students had been admitted. Earlier, I've spent over a decade in the tech startup scene, while I was founding andclosing startups, working for SMEs and corporations through my product development agency in 3 continents. I also co-founded an accelerator house to bring CEE startups to global markets. Furthermore, I’m a co-founder of SocialFokus Foundation, which has conducted a comprehensive research on changes in the job market and the future of work. In recent years, I've turned my attention towards mentorship and project-based education and the social impact of the ventures.

Marta Arsovska Tomovska

Director for PAR/Advisor for IT and Entrepreneurship

Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia

Marta Arsovska Tomovska is an international expert for digital innovation and а Former Minister for ICT and public administration in the Macedonian Government (2011 – 2017). She currently serves as an Advisor the Serbian Prime Minister for PAR and digitalization. Arsovska Tomovska is a member of the Management Board and the Grand Jury of the World Summit Awards, member of the Steering Committee of the Emerging Europe’s Alliance for Business Services, Innovation and Technology, member of Hera’s Advisory Board, advisor to the Macedonian Economic Chamber and a representative of Match-Maker Ventures. Certified to build national digital innovation ecosystems, in the past few years she worked with ITU’s Innovation Team on preparation of several Digital Innovation Profiles. During her 15-years career in the private sector, she leaded several prominent ICT companies, including the first Macedonian InternetService Provider.

Mary Alcantara

Head of Startups

MKB Fintechlab

Mary Alcantara has been a key player in the Hungarian startup ecosystem for the last 7 years. She is a founding partnerof tandemLEAP, a business management company with offices in Budapest and New York City. With a background in business development and management consulting, Mary helps launch and promote Hungarian startups and tech companies to international markets. She has consulted and mentored for many of Budapest's leading incubation and accelerator programs, including the Hungarian government's INPUT Program, and is a founding member of the Hungarian Business Angel Network. Mary currently serves as Deputy Managing Director at MKB Fintechlab, Hungary's first fintech investor and innovation lab. She is passionate about open innovation, building ecosystems, and helping corporates create superior experiences for their customers.

Melissa Sassi

Startup Program Manager & IBM Z Influencer


Melissa Sassi is a Startup Program Manager at IBM focused on empowering early-stage entrepreneurs through technology and business acceleration, IBM Cloud credits, comarketing, go-to-market strategy, and access to IBM’s partner ecosystem. Melissa is a division-level lead for Call for Code, an initiative aimed at preparing for and responding to disaster scenarios with technical innovation. Prior to joining IBM, Melissa spent several years in Microsoft's Airband Initiative where she was an impact investor focused on internet and energy access. Melissa is Chair of IEEE's Digital Skills Working Group and is on the Steering Committee of the Coalition for Digital Intelligence with the World Economic Forum, OECD, IEEE, and the DQ Institute. She is the Founder & CEO of MentorNations, a youth-led digital skills movement, aimed at inspiring the lives of the underserved via access, skills, and utilization of technology. Melissa holds two master's degrees in supply chain and finance and is working toward her PhD in international business. Her research focuses on the digital inclusion of unserved communities.

Neil Sahota

Business Development Leader, IBM Master Inventor

IBM Watson Group

Neil Sahota (萨冠军) is an IBM Master Inventor and World Wide Business Development Leader in the IBM Watson Group. With over 15+ years of experience in business, he works with Global Fortune 500 clients, government organizations, and high growth business partners to ideate next generation products/solutions powered by Watson. Parts of Neil’s responsibilities include identifying target markets, developing business cases, and creating the market launch strategy. Prior to this role, he was a Thought Leader Consultant and Practice Leader in IBM Global Business Services where he was responsible for the sales and delivery of complex consulting engagements spanning business strategy, new product development, revenue optimization, process improvement, and business and system integration. His work experience spans multiple industries including healthcare, life sciences, retail, travel and transportation, energy and utilities, automotive, telecommunications, media/communication, and government. Moreover, Neil is one of the few IBMers selected for IBM's Corporate Service Corps leadership program that pairs leaders with NGOs to perform community driven economic development projects. For his assignment, Neil lived and worked in Ningbo, China where he partnered with Chinese corporate CEOs to create a leadership development program.​

Saiful Ridwan

Chief Enterprise Solutions Officer

United Nations Environment Programme

Saiful Ridwan is the Chief Enterprise Solutions Officer at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) based in Nairobi, Kenya, where he is responsible for the identification, creation, development and delivery of business and emerging information technology solutions to support the goals and mandate of UNEP. Holding a first degree in Architectural Design from Indonesia, and a Master of Science degree in Information Technology from UK, Saiful has over 30 years of international experience in various fields of information technology within diverse sectors, including UN, private sector and academia. A national of Indonesia, he designed and produced the first ever current affairs webzine, Tempo Interaktif, in his country back in 1996, at a time when conventional media was tightly controlled by the local authorities, and web technology was in its infancy. An avid collector of photos of environmental / green bins, Saiful currently focuses on the implementation of machine learning technologies for environmental protection

Taryn Andersen

Investor Relations Director

Telegraph Hill Venture Capital

Taryn Andersen is the Investor Relations Director of Telegraph Hill Venture Capital. They are investing in cybersec, fintech, education tech, digital tech, proptech, transportation, and early stages. She is president and co-founder of Impulse4women, who are developing a matchmaking platform to connect international women entrepreneurs with different investors based on their economic needs. Since February 2019,  she has been part of the jury @EIC SME Innovation Funding Instrument at the European Commission. Previously, a professional background in private banking for 13 years. She mentored DataQuarks, big data startup and Galigú, a virtual reality startup through Startupbootcamp. Through Everis Foundation she mentored Girls in STEAM. She founded Pluribus United Foundations composed of 15 different private foundations. Taryn Andersen has a PLD graduation from IESE Business School.

Valentina Primo

Founder & CEO

Startups Without Borders

Valentina is an entrepreneur and a journalist with a Masters in peace studies, Human Rights, and EU policies. She is the founder of Startups Without Borders, a platform that supports and connects refugee and migrant entrepreneurs to resources, while providing investors with an entry point to under-the-radar startups with disruptive potential. Valentina has been involved in the Middle East’s entrepreneurial landscape since 2013, having launched Egypt’s largest platform on entrepreneurship, Startup Scene Middle East, in 2017. She has been actively involved in the Middle Eastern startup landscape, giving workshops and keynote speeches at conferences in Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Russia, Norway, France, and Italy, including Lean Startup Nights Cairo, Egypt’s RiseUp Summit, and Techfugees.