September 7, 2021

Unknown Group Strengthens Public Domain Team with Appointments of Dr. Hein Roelfsema and Alessio Caracci

As a Venture Engine, Unknown creates networks of industry leaders alongside a pool of validated solutions and founders. A crucial third element to the Venture Engine is a strong belief in public-private partnership.


Public procurement and participation in knowledge infrastructure creation can provide opportunities for ventures and industry leaders to strategically scale their solutions and increase their impact. Also, new ventures can benefit from policies at the national, European, and global level that aim to support ecosystem development.   


With over a decade of experience venturing in the ecosystems of 110+ countries with Get in the Ring, we leverage our expertise with startups and founders to unlock innovation ecosystems globally – from Singapore to Kosovo, Groningen to Mozambique and Rotterdam to Oman.  To further strengthen our attention towards the Public Domain, we are delighted to announce two senior-level appointments: Dr. Hein Roelfsema and Alessio Caracci.


As our new Director for Public Domain, Dr. Hein Roelfsema brings to the table 30 years of experience in entrepreneurship. He is the Chairman of the Board of the Dutch Centers for Entrepreneurship as well as the Managing Director for The Netherlands at the Global Entrepreneurship Network. For the last three decades, he has been an Associate Professor for International Entrepreneurship at Utrecht University. Elaborating on his vision for Unknown’s initiatives in the public domain, Dr. Roelfsema said: “At Unknown Group, our Venture Engine should contribute to solving global challenges. To be effective in doing so, we need to connect to local and national ecosystems as well as the policy initiatives that shape them”. 


Alessio Caracci joins Unknown Group as Manager of Public Domain. He brings with him seven years of experience in innovation funding strategies, especially at EU level. Alessio has supported multiple innovative startups across a variety of industries, securing and managing grants from the European Commission. He has previously been the Innovation Quality Manager and COO of Alien Technology Transfer, one of the leading public funding advisory firms in Europe. When asked about what value his appointment will bring to startups, Caracci said: “Our goal is to provide founders with new tools to fuel their growth by playing in the public funding domain the same role we successfully play for so many leading corporations”.


Unknown Group CEO, Hendrik Halbe said ”The global challenges we want to solve at Unknown requires public-private collaboration. Scale-ups in our Venture Engine need to collaborate with the public domain also, to access networks and funding opportunities. The appointments of Hein – with his three-decades of expertise in academic entrepreneurship – and Alessio – who is uniquely positioned to give us an edge with European Commission subsidies – is a statement to our ambitions in the public domain”.


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Rayhaan Imam