About Us - MAZE - Decoding Impact

We are a group of millennials focused on finding purpose in our lives. We find inspiration in hard-working entrepreneurs that aim for ambitious outcomes. Inside the MAZE, we keep our feet firmly on the ground, decode better solutions for society’s most pressing problems and make social change happen.

All our profits are reinvested in activities that contribute to our vision of proving that impact is the greatest economic opportunity of our time.

Our shareholders are the team members and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, who is our guiding light. We were born in 2013 from the thought leadership of the Foundation who asked us a question that has shaped our work ever since:

How can we improve the lives of people and the planet?

The first years of our joint work were focused on experimentation and discovery, trying to find an answer to that question.

We learned that impact bonds are powerful instruments to drive better outcomes in social services across areas like education, employment, children services and social care.

We were inspired by leaders from the public, private and social sector who developed a national strategy for impact investment and led Portugal to join the Global Impact Investment Steering Group.

We worked with the Portuguese Government to create Portugal Inovação Social, a €150m impact catalyst institution.

We pioneered data transparency with the launch of ONE VALUE that contains c. 80 indicators with the public investment on social issues.

We understood that corporates are gateways for impact ventures to test and scale their solutions and we have built Maze X around this thesis.

We found that venture capital is a suitable product to support impact ventures who are scaling their solutions across Europe and we launched the MSM fund.

We were certified as a B Corp meeting the highest social and environmental standards.

The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation is the common denominator in these initiatives and helped us mobilise an outstanding group of likeminded partners committed to the same vision.

As we head into the future, we are capitalising on our early experimentations and doubling down on what we learned from working with governments, ventures, investors, and corporates. Our ambition is to become a European reference in improving the lives of people and the planet.

We will not stop until we have a good answer to Gulbenkian’s question.

We are a group of millennials focused on finding purpose in our lives. We find inspiration in hard-working entrepreneurs that aim for ambitious outcomes. Inside the MAZE, we keep our feet firmly on the ground, decode better solutions for society’s most pressing problems and make social change happen.

Our team

António Miguel

MANAGING PARTNER

António founded MAZE and is responsible for the Government Performance work and the MSM impact fund as a Managing Partner. He has worked in impact investment for +10 years in the UK, Canada and Europe. Antonio teaches Impact Investment at NOVA SBE and previously was an Analyst at Social Finance UK. He holds a MSc in Business Administration from Católica Business School and is a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum. His motto is that 99 is not 100.

Rita Casimiro

Partner

Rita leads Maze X, our pan-european impact startup accelerator, where she works side-by-side with our startups to help them live to their highest potential and impact. Previously was a finance analyst at CrossRail in the UK and was also a consultant in Aga Khan Foundation. BSc in Management from Bath University and MSc in Management from NOVA SBE. Master in Finance candidate at Católica Business School. She is a cat-lover, an Excel-wizard and a master connector.

Margarida Anselmo

Head of Government Performance

Margarida is leading the public sector advisory work where she has been successfully managing several social impact bonds. Previously seconded at MaRS Centre for Impact Investing in Toronto. BSc and MSc in Economics from NOVA SBE. CEMS Master in International Management. Undefeated when it comes to pop culture references and dreaming of a second career as a filmmaker.

Afonso Fontoura

Government Performance Associate

Afonso is working with the public sector team managing the performance of the Social Impact Bonds. Previously worked in IES – Social Business School and B Lab Portugal. Afonso was also a Project Manager at WACT in São Tomé e Príncipe. M.Sc. Sustainable Development from HEC Paris with Double Degree at FGV SP. Still dreams of becoming the Portuguese Jamie Oliver.

Constança Nunes

Government Performance Analyst

Constança joined the team after working  in intellectual property and culture protection. Driven by the dream of devoting her life to contributing to long-lasting social change, Constança is determined to find her spark, and we are lucky she chose to travel that path with us. LLM in Intellectual Property at the Queen Mary University of London and Law Graduate at the University of Lisbon. Can be found quietly Marie Kondoing something around the house, kitesurfing or travelling somewhere different than everything she knows.

Marta Costa

Acceleration Programme Manager

Marta is our organisation geek. Her role is both to be the gatekeeper of our impact accelerator internal processes and to ensure all startups that make it to each cohort of Maze X have the best experience possible. Previously she was Project Manager at Born Ethical and had several international volunteer experiences. BSc in International Relations and Political Science at Nova University and MSc in Management at Lund University. When not organising get-togethers, Marta can be found reading a historical fiction book.

Tomás Vila Luz

Acceleration Analyst

Tomás is our in house mindful-strategist. His role is to find and work alongside the most promising impact startups that make it to Maze X. There are many things you would not guess about Tomás. We will leave you with one: he spent 2 months working in Muhanga (Rwanda) to build a language school from scratch. MSc in Management with Major in Strategy and Consulting while teaching Mathematics at Católica Lisbon University. Found his natural habitat meditating in Gulbenkian gardens.

Rodrigo Pais de Ramos

Acceleration Analyst

Rodrigo is working for the Blue Bio Value Accelerator, helping social entrepreneurs expanding their blue bio start-ups. With a BSc. in Political Sciences and International Relations from NOVA FCSH and a MSc. in Management from NOVA SBE, Rodrigo is a self-confessed jack of all trades and a performative arts devotee, with a platonic love for writing. Regularly surfing, you can reach out to him about anything from soccer, Yann Tiersen and Kaufman, to Murakami and Tchekov.

Henry Wigan

MSM Managing Partner

Henry co-founded Mustard Seed. He was formerly a Director and Portfolio Manager at BlackRock in London, having started his career at Goldman Sachs. Henry holds a First Class Honours degree from London School of Economics in Economics and Economic History. Henry serves on the boards of Winnow, Goodclub and Knok Healthcare.

Alex Pitt

MSM Partner

Alex co-founded Mustard Seed. Formerly Senior Vice President at Mubadala in Abu Dhabi, Project Leader with The Boston Consulting Group in New York, Chicago and Dubai, and Investment Banking Analyst with Goldman Sachs in London. London School of Economics BSc and Stanford MBA.

Ana Pinheiro

MSM Operations Manager

Previously Ana was a Project Management Officer at BNP Paribas where she mastered the delicate art of managing operations. Ana is also an alumnus from SheCodes and a post-grad in Applied Management at Nova SBE in Lisbon. Ana holds a MSc in Culture Studies, and BSc in Languages, Literature and Cultures from the University of Lisbon and Cambridge.

Sofia Queiroz

MSM Principal

Sofia brings analytical rigour to our investment decisions and diligently builds the impact case of the ventures we partner with. When not working, Sofia can be found surfing or horseback riding. Previously a Financial Services Consultant at Deloitte. MSc from ESCP Europe, BSc in Management from Catolica Lisbon School of Business.

Cristina Almeida

Head of Platform

Cristina is in charge of brand, communications and community management. She was an analyst at EY, seconded at Impact Investment Group in Australia and learned the ins and outs of start-ups at Mellow. BSc in Economics from NOVA SBE, BSc in Political Science from ISCSP. Her hobbies include studying Psychology and dancing like no one is watching.

Julian McNamara

Product Analyst

Julian is our platform analyst, responsible for building low code tools to manage the growth and network of our impact ventures community. Originally from South Africa, Julian graduated in Business Management from IIE Cape Town and later graduated with a MSc in Sustainable Business & Innovation from EADA Business School, in Barcelona. Experienced in capacity building and innovation, Julian flew back to Cape Town where she did a fellowship at Impact Amplifiers. Surf and yoga aficionada, you can find her dropping into your local skatepark bowl with her custom skateboard.

Ângela Silva

Head of Innovation

Ângela is responsible for our corporate engagement and she is our minimalist in residence. She is passionate about designing simple solutions for complex problems. She was a consultant at KPMG and a product manager at NOS. She thrives in the flourishing territory where technology, impact and empathy meet. BSc in Computer Science at Universidade Nova de Lisboa, post-grad in Business at Universidade Católica and Design Thinking at IADE.

Inês Rilhas

Operations Analyst

Inês is the glue that keeps it all together. Thanks to her work, the team has everything it needs to perform smoothly. From accounting, IT, managing suppliers, to event production. Inês is a jack of all trades. BSc in Communications and Media Studies at Nova University. When not taking care of the MAZE family, Inês can be found flowing on her skateboard from one ramp to another. Yup, she is that cool.

Gonçalo Salgado

Full-stack Creative

Gonçalo is our artist-in-residence. An autodidact and explorer at heart, Gonçalo joined MAZE to help us tell the stories of the people we back through an unexpected and authentic perspective. His prefered mediums are graphic design and video. Previously managed brand and design at Forall Phones. BSc in Marketing in ISCTE.

Amanda Feldman

Impact Advisor

Amanda is our impact advisor helping us navigate the most challenging conversations that keep impact at the core of everything we do. Amanda helped shape the Impact Management Project, the tool we use to manage the impact of the projects we back -- and brings experience through Bridges Fund Management, UNDP, Bethnal Green Ventures and Volans. She is a co-founder of the Predistribution Initiative, a BMW Foundation Responsible Leader and a member of Sandbox. While Amanda might be leading the way for a new century of impact, deep down she is the last raver on earth.

MAZE is honoured to benefit from the outstanding work of a group of trusted partners that enable us to deliver our mission: prove that impact investing is the greatest economic opportunity of our time.

A maze is a network of paths designed as a puzzle through which one has to find a way. There are many ways in and out of it. No way is better than the other as long as they deliver the desired outcome. That is how we see social and environmental challenges. There is nothing more fulfilling than to decode the maze with likeminded individuals one challenge at a time.

We are a pragmatic and hardworking group of millennials that thrive in finding the optimal ways to grow and invest in impact ventures. We are moved by a deep desire to pursue a life that is both meaningful and valuable regardless of our origins, nation, age, education, gender and other fabricated divisions that tend to keep us apart.

At MAZE, we know that the movement of social and environmental change cannot afford to exist away from mainstream capital. We don’t have all the answers, but we would rather be proven wrong than not trying. We embrace that uncertainty is a part of life and that no challenge is bigger than our collective ability to solve it.

So, how do we do it? We strengthen impact ventures to scale, reorient capital towards impactful outcomes and offer market intelligence to simplify the interactions between impact investors and entrepreneurs. This is impact investing, the new movement that is sweeping across the world today and that is transforming humanity as a whole.

The MAZE is meant for all of us.
We cannot stand outside looking in. See you inside!

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