The kriticalmass Team

The company was founded by an innovative
management team with just the right mixture of skills,
experience and entrepreneurial ingenuity.

Bartolomeo Guarienti - CEO & Founder

Having piqued his entrepreneurial interest early on at a personalisation startup, Barto honed his skills through venture capital in digital media and cleantech. Not satisfied with the current paths to entrepreneurship, the idea for kriticalmass came to him late one night. Pursuing his goal to set up a startup at the intersection of social media and social responsibility - his two big passions - a new take on crowdfunding was born. Barto now shares his drive to excel with the kriticalmass community, constantly reiterating his dictum "If you want to do well, you need to do good."

Barto enjoys complaining about food in London, often confuses himself with his own wild ideas and firmly believes that had he gone to university in the States, he would now be an MLS superstar.

Benni Lickfett - CMO

Benni's brand marketing experience has seen him consulting for Fortune 500 firms and co-founding startups – most notably Compricer, Sweden's largest financial services comparison service. His career has been driven by the desire to create strong brand narratives and communities and he is an avid believer in the positive impact of entrepreneurship on society. Right from the start kriticalmass was a perfect match for Benni, allowing him to use his experience to help build a strong community, create unique brand opportunities for our partners and power good in the process.

Benni is a great advocate of London pub culture, despite mourning the lack of ski-slope access and live Bundesliga broadcasts. He secretly wishes he was a character on Aaron Sorkin's West Wing, being better travelled than most diplomats, and is borderline obsessed with Asian food.

Bal Balaji - CTO

Putting the tech in architect, Bal started his career with the world-renowned Santiago Calatrava before discovering his true calling as a superstar CTO.

He founded or led and successfully exited SurfKitchen, DeviceDriven, flauntR and Fotodesk. With a business portfolio that ranges from cleantech to Serbian startups, Bal combines his experience with ingenuity and a keen eye for the technically beautiful.

Sir John Hegarty - Board Member & Advisor

Founder and creative heart of Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH), John Hegarty has been central to the global advertising scene over six decades but his message and passion has remained resolutely the same: when the world zigs, zag.

Starting in advertising in 1965, John worked at Benton and Bowles, London and the Cramer Saatchi consultancy (which became Saatchi & Saatchi) before co-founding TBWA London in 1973. In 1982 he left, with partners John Bartle and Nigel Bogle, to start Bartle Bogle Hegarty, which was soon to become one of the most talked about and awarded advertising agencies ever, remaining at the forefront of the industry for 31 years.

BBH has achieved success via creativity but also through integrity – from the day it opened for business, the agency has given 1% of its profits to charity, as well as participating in and supporting numerous scholarships, mentor programmes and advisory boards. It is John’s role in building this that led to the zenith of a lifetime of awards when, in 2007, he was honoured with a Knighthood by the Queen.

Alongside his day job of building one of the most respected advertising agencies on the planet, he has travelled the world as an ambassador for the industry championing the need for creativity. One of John's most quoted aphorisms is "Do interesting things, and interesting things happen to you". With this in mind, he joined the kriticalmass board, providing guidance and expertise in our company’s efforts to "power good".

Tom Teichman - Chairman

Tom is the Chairman of SPARK Venture Management and has a long track record in backing, chairing and developing some of the UK's most successful internet, technology, music, games and software businesses.

Initially investing in technology startups during his early career in investment banking, Tom has a long record of backing successful ventures as the first or very early investor. These include Argonaut Games (IPO - £100m), ARC (IPO - £400m), (IPO - £370m), System C Healthcare (IPO - £50m), World Telecom (IPO - £30m), (sold to Financial Times - £120m), and Touch Clarity (trade sale - £60m). Total value is over £1bn

Unusually, Tom combines being a practitioner in the capital markets and M&A environments with a real feel for entrepreneurial, rapid-growth companies with mould-breaking ideas, taking a true hands-on approach with the businesses in which he is involved.