Laura joined infoDev’s Access to Finance team in February 2013. She is currently researching ways to cultivate angel investor networks with the aim of unlocking financing opportunities for innovative entrepreneurs. Laura has also supported infoDev’s training program on entrepreneurial ecosystem development which engages a cross section of stakeholders--including policy makers, academics, incubator managers and entrepreneurs-- for the development of practical local, regional and national policies that stimulate innovation.
In previous consulting work, she applied her knowledge of entrepreneurial ecosystems to assess support networks for start-ups in Medellin, Colombia, and to identify opportunities for bolstering the success rates of young companies. Prior to joining infoDev, she led the implementation of democracy and good governance programs across Africa and Latin America at a non-profit organization, the International Republican Institute. Laura holds an MBA from Georgetown University and a BA in Spanish and Latin American studies from the University of Virginia.
Research Analyst - A2F
Sam Raymond is a Consultant with infoDev’s Access to Finance Program. His work with the World Bank Group centers on the development of projects that address the challenges faced by entrepreneurs in acquiring financing to scale businesses and create jobs. These projects include market-access programs, angel investor promotion initiatives, online technology portals to promote diaspora investment, investment models for business accelerators, and, most recently, analytical work on crowdfunding. Prior to joining the World Bank Group, Sam worked as Research and Staff Assistant to Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi. Sam is an avid cyclist, percussionist and tennis player.
Oltac leads infoDev's global Access to Markets and Finance programs that bridge the gap between technology entrepreneurs and funding sources, customers and partners globally by developing innovative financing facilities (eg. angel co-investment facility) and also strengthening the entrepreneurial ecosystem (eg. creative technical assistance to infoDev incubator and accelerators). Oltac has been angel investor in the US and globally, a semiconductor and software entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, and was the founding advisor to the first intellectual property commercialization incubator/fund in Turkey. He also held a variety of management positions with Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse before joining the World Bank. Oltac holds an MBA from Stanford University, BA in Economics, Politics and Philosophy from Whitman College, and pursued Intellectual Property LLM at UW Law School.