From Global MedTech to a Lifelong Passion to Solve Plastic Pollution

By Simona Paganetto, Founder of I’m Plastic Free

How I’m Plastic Free was born

In 2013 Simona Paganetto left a promising career in the global MedTech industry to migrate to Australia and join her husband. She was living in the Whitsundays in Airlie Beach, Queensland, and volunteering for beach clean-ups for a local environmental organisation called Eco Barge Clean Seas in 2014 when she witnessed first-hand the huge amount of plastic in our oceans and its impact on marine life. Before that, she thought this problem was mainly confined to developing countries that didn’t have a solid waste management system, but after doing some research she quickly realised that it was a problem of the whole world at a time when there wasn’t much publicity in the mainstream media. So, she decided to do something about it… and a few years, a child, and a relocation later (the family moved from Queensland to the Northern Territory), she finally founded I’m Plastic Free in 2018.

It hasn’t all been “smooth sailing” … 

It hasn’t all been “smooth sailing” for Simona, however. Initially, she started her social enterprise by selling eco-friendly straws to the local hospitality operators but due to her regional location, she couldn’t compete with larger companies and warehouses around the country that delivered similar products to Darwin. So, she had the idea of developing a 3rd party vendor e-commerce marketplace connecting eco-conscious consumers to sustainable vendors, like a mini-Etsy or eBay for plastic-free & recycled products only. However, the timing wasn’t in her favour as she launched it in the middle of a global pandemic, plus there were challenges again around the logistics side of the start-up.

A story of resilience: re-launching as a “matchmaking” platform

Simona was nearly about to give up on her vision, when she met a web expert who advised her to pivot the site into an educational & information hub focused on solutions and linked to the affiliate marketing business model. So, I’m Plastic Free was re-born in 2022.

Today, I’m Plastic Free is a “matchmaking” digital platform for plastic waste reduction. It connects eco- and health-conscious consumers with plastic alternatives. In fact, it provides the easiest and fastest way to find such solutions.

Whether it’s bedding made of organic natural fibres, non-toxic cookware, refillable soap, or compostable underwear, the platform makes it easy to choose sustainable options:

  • Discover innovative ways to reduce plastic waste.
  • Find plastic-free alternatives made from regenerative materials.
  • Reduce micro-plastic exposure risks.
  • Stay informed about industry changes and developments.
  • Connect with eco-conscious brands making a difference.

Over 100 blog articles have been published on the platform, all research-based and linked to studies published in peer-reviewed journals, particularly articles related to microplastics and human health.

The platform reaches a global audience, currently serving 312,000 organic users and generating close to half a million organic page views annually, with rapid growth continuing.

So, what are “solutions to plastic pollution”?

Most people don’t know that there are common household consumer products like dishwashing powder or laundry tablets that only need warm water to be activated.

Or beauty products like face cleansers in powder form, which again, only need water to be activated.

Such products are solutions to plastic pollution for many reasons:

  1. They are low carbon, as they have very little weight which plays a role during transportation, as water makes up 90% of cleaning products, as an example.
  2. The products contain only natural clean ingredients, so they’re non-toxic.
  3. The packaging is plastic-free as such innovative products are packaged in certified home-compostable sachets. They are refills and you keep the “forever” container, with no waste.

These are only a few examples of innovative solutions to plastic waste, but many people don’t know that they exist. Some people spend hours googling for solutions… others don’t even know where to start….

“I’m Plastic Free” solves this problem by doing the research for them, testing many products for them, and ensuring only the solutions that meet the criteria are listed and promoted.

woman with sky scrappers

Thought Leadership in Digital Transformation

Founded by Sabine VanderLinden, Alchemy Crew is a platform that enables disruptive leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs to industralise, commercialise, and de-risk corporate venturing. With unrivalled experience in the insurance industry, the business aims to bridge the adoption gap between corporations and growth ventures using open innovation, design thinking techniques and digital ecosystems. Recognised in this year’s Most Influential CEO Awards, Sabine VanderLinden is a thought leader on a mission to revolutionise the industry through her work at Alchemy Crew Ventures.

Alchemy Crew acts as an architect, a translator and an educator to esteemed leaders and growth ventures, empowering them to unlock the full potential of open innovation and digital systems. The innovative business validates and de-risks corporate venturing activities and employs structured commercialisation frameworks to help corporations embrace state-of-the-art technologies from growth ventures. Alchemy Crew leverages its extensive global network of tech ventures, data, and AI experts to solve complex problems and turn emerging threats (cybersecurity, AI risks, environmental risks etc.) into opportunities for growth.

In the insurance and financial industries, new risks are appearing every day, resulting in significant damage to organisations. Alchemy Crew has developed Virtual Adoption Labs to provide vital expertise, assessing how these risks will affect clients’ operations and the future of their work. By implementing effective business models, Alchemy Crew can help clients to grow and scale their ventures to add measurable value to their business.

Sabine VanderLinden, CEO and Venture Partner, says, “We believe in the power of collaboration and building strong, mutually beneficial partnerships. We foster open communication, trust, and transparency in our interactions with corporate clients, startups, investors, and other stakeholders. We take full accountability for delivering on our commitments. Growth and impact are the direct results of our efforts, and we own the end-to-end process of achieving the desired outcomes for our clients and partners.”

Alchemy Crew emphasises responsible innovation and delivers solutions that address multiple current day challenges from cybersecurity and generative AI to climate change and environmental, societal, and public health risks. With its Sustainable Corporate Adoption Labs, the business helps organisations establish and foster an ecosystem-led transition to new digital operating setting or operating models that support emerging technologies. By combining the right data, AI algorithms, and APIs, companies can establish reliable digital operating environments that pave the way for sustainable long-term growth.

With over 25 years of insurance experience and gradually acquired skills in corporate innovation, venture capital, and academia, Sabine VanderLinden leverages her expertise to develop digitalisation-led growth strategies for the insurance industry. She helps seasoned players and emerging startups as well as more established players navigate digital transformation and detect new opportunities. In 2014/2015, VanderLinden was one of the few first to identify InsurTech as a growth market after discovering how financial technology innovation could shape the future of FinTech. In her multifaceted role, VanderLinden evaluates, sources, and eases engagement with promising growth ventures on a global scale. She has accelerated over 150+ ventures and facilitated numerous pilot projects between startups and financial institutions.

After completing her MBA, Sabine VanderLinden joined IBM UK in 2000, where she focused on identifying and recommending technology to overcome large organisations’ efficiencies and value creation challenges. VanderLinden then became the CEO and Managing Director of Startupbootcamp InsurTech in Europe and in Hartford Connecticut, a leading accelerator passionate about insurance innovation. In this position, she worked with over 30 corporate insurers and accelerated over 100 startup ventures.

As a thought leader, ecosystem builder, and tech ambassador, she authored and co-edited ‘The INSURTECH Book’ where she shares knowledge and best practices on insurance technology alongside other well-known experts. Building on her impressive experience, VanderLinden became the CEO and Managing Partner of Alchemy Crew, where she continues to guide her team in building white label and bespoke Tech accelerators and scaleup programs while activating and amplifying each programme’s brand awareness.

Sabine VanderLinden says, “At Alchemy Crew, we foster a culture of transparency, ownership, accountability, collaboration, and inclusivity. We believe that diverse teams perform better when collaborating together, and we are committed to making Alchemy Crew an equitable and inclusive place to work. I play an active role in maintaining this culture by leading by example and ensuring that our values are reflected in all aspects of our work.  By maintaining an enjoyable and driven working environment while supporting our staff’s wellbeing, we position ourselves to deliver exceptional results for our clients and drive positive change in our industry.”

Since the pandemic, digitalisation has rapidly evolved in all business ecosystems including the insurance industry. As an Insurance and Technology Leader, Sabine VanderLinden quickly identified the need for a venture commercialisation lab to support insurers with their digital challenges. Alchemy Crew utilises new technologies, such as cloud, IoT, AI, and Generative AI, to provide clients with significant opportunities to monitor and price risks more efficiently. Leveraging her many years of expertise, VanderLinden creates digital environments that facilitate collaboration and partnership agreements between insurers and startups, advancing the adoption of innovative solutions.

The acceleration of digitalisation has opened the door to risks as more people transition to remote working and AI becomes more widely used. Alchemy Crew works with insurers to help them develop solutions to address new and changing emerging risks, turning threats into opportunities. The business is committed to helping established players and emerging tech businesses navigate the challenges of the digital age, form mutually beneficial partnerships, and implement best practices into their operations.

Additionally, Sabine VanderLinden is passionate about nurturing new female talent and the next generation of diverse InsurTech leaders. She says, “Through initiatives like the Startupbootcamp InsurTech accelerator, I have had the privilege of supporting and accelerating the growth of over 100 startup ventures, 20% of these were female founded startups. I continue on that path. We have scouted over 55,000 over the past years and accelerated another 50 growth ventures over the past four years.  And seeing these founders succeed and drive innovation in the industry has been immensely rewarding.”

Looking to the future, Alchemy Crew has plans to enhance its acceleration as a service model to help existing players build more effective startups and scaleup adoption programs. Each program is tailored to suit the local market, the partners involved with the programme, and the companies’ stage of maturity. Alchemy Crew also intends to move much of its assets online. The advancement of edtech enables the business to share expertise acquired through 25 years in the industry and 10 years developing corporate-startup growth programs.

Moving forward, Sabine VanderLinden will continue to focus on facilitating communication through digital ecosystems and helping clients overcome their digital transformation challenges leveraging corporate venturing techniques. Alchemy Crew currently works with businesses across Asia, Europe, and the USA but has plans to expand its footprint to new markets and drive innovation on a global scale. As a thought leader, VanderLinden understands the importance of remaining at the forefront of emerging technologies and will invest further in areas like AI, Big Data, IoT, Cloud, and Quantum to explore how these technologies can create value for insurers.

Furthermore, VanderLinden will continue to build on Alchemy Crew’s success by supporting new partners that reach out from institutional venture funds and corporate venture funds focused on specific themes or geographies. Within any ecosystem-led environment, these funds are vital to support the most promising startups with innovation in essential areas such as climate risk, cyber insurance, and health tech. “All those are critical to make it more affordable to address the current protection gap.”

As the business continues to grow, Sabine VanderLinden is dedicated to inspiring the next generation of diverse leaders in Alchemy Crew and the wider Insurance Technology sector. She is passionate about being a voice for the industry, acting as a tech ambassador for BigTech, medium tech and small tech to facilitate collaboration between large incumbent corporations and growth ventures. Spearheaded by VanderLinden, Alchemy Crew strives to raise awareness and educate clients on how best to use emerging technologies to add value to their businesses. For her transformation-driven thought leadership, we have bestowed on Sabine VanderLinden this year’s award for Most Influential CEO – Central London (Insurance Corporate Ventures). We cannot wait to see what the future holds for VanderLinden and Alchemy Crew on its mission to inspire technological innovation in the insurance industry.

For business enquiries, contact Sabine VanderLinden from Alchemy Crew on their website –

Work is in the City of London near Lloyds on London which is where insurers are located.

Sabine VanderLinden
group of people smiling with paintball equipment

Content Marketing CEO of the Year 2024 (Portugal): Sander Delabie

Clovio’s first and most impactful marketing channel,, builds a foundation of trust between brands and consumers. With a strong focus on software and online services, Best Reviews publishes high-quality, thoroughly researched review content that cuts through the noise and provides honest thoughts.

Clovio is the digital media company housing, whose experts publish extensive written and video reviews of products and services. From medical alert systems to small business marketing software and VPN services, Best Reviews tests all its reviewed products rigorously, translating the team’s first-hand experiences to thorough, informed, and trustworthy content.

Founder Sander Delabie has been active in digital marketing since 2011 and boasts an impressive resume, having worked for international brands such as Samsonite and Neuhaus Chocolates. He launched as the flagship part of Clovio in 2012. Clovio has since taken on full-time employees and expanded to include its own content creation studio. Under Sander’s leadership, has become a fast staple of the review content space. He keenly fosters a positive relationship with users, readily accepting feedback and review suggestions, and he hopes for even more in the years to come.

While makes marketing efforts of its own, a favourable review is itself an opportunity for a brand or product to connect with audiences. The company takes its role seriously in maintaining the positive online presence of exceptional brands, products, and services. In confusing or oversaturated markets, Best Reviews guides discerning customers to make worthwhile purchases which suit their needs.

Best Reviews understands that a well-reviewed brand will outperform others, attracting greater traffic, sales, and customer loyalty. The company prides itself in playing a part to inform the relationship between consumers and brands, always doing so with integrity and the utmost due diligence.

With quality in mind, the company carefully selects which products and services to review. Either a company will contact the team to request a review, or the team will make a request to companies it takes a particular interest in. attracts tremendous interest by maintaining an honest reputation, earning the respect of companies and users alike.

Once selected, the team at Best Reviews applies its “learning by doing” philosophy to test products, playing with functions, and exploring every nook of a product, website, or app, even testing factors beyond its basic usage like the company’s customer support availability and helpfulness. is all about figuring out a product’s ins-and-outs to offer truly holistic opinions.

As a tech-oriented company, Best Reviews is set to embrace emerging technologies in its future. While the company is proud to publish entirely manmade content, it will continue to leverage AI tools to enhance its workflow and intends to publish reviews for a broader suite of AI programmes. At present, Best Reviews is covering AI-based products such as photo editors, video editing tools, marketing software, and more.

“Best Reviews wants to be a knowledgeable authority that guides users towards the best AI solutions for their personal or business lives.”

As well as adapting to new technological landscapes, looks forward to expansion and reviewing new product markets, and it intends to grow its already vast reach by translating its content into other languages. Users can expect a much sleeker user experience and an ever-broader range of review content going forward.

As Clovia takes Best Reviews into the future, it hopes to form an even stronger relationships with both readers and companies. As a remote-first business with a dedicated staff base, its team stands as a shining example of how written and video review content is done, and even how to have fun in the process! The team is excited to be a part of Best Reviews and excelling it in years to come.

For business enquiries, contact Sander Delabie from Clovio on their website –

Sander Delabie

Common Pitfalls in Contract Negotiations and How Lawyers Can Help Small Businesses Avoid Them

Effective communication is key to business success, making it one of the most essential skills leaders and professionals must continuously hone. For instance, a previous post highlights how communication methods can play a vital role in company culture, from improving task delegation and work productivity to fostering deeper and more meaningful relationships with employees.

In addition to being crucial to one-on-one conversations and team meetings, communication is also fundamental to contract negotiation. For small businesses, contracts matter in safeguarding interests while mitigating potential liabilities when entering business partnerships. However, the contract negotiation process is often riddled with challenges, which may otherwise compromise resources and hinder the success of legal agreements. Below, we look at common pitfalls during contract negotiations and how lawyers can help their small business clients better navigate them.

Failure to listen and collaborate

While negotiation involves effectively communicating and harmonising each party’s interests, many small businesses fail to listen to and collaborate with their clients and partners. The absence of active listening and collaboration can thus lead to misinterpreting messages, misunderstanding objectives, and ultimately losing rapport. Fortunately, lawyers can serve the role of mediator and help small business owners better convey their intentions and expectations with clarity and proper legalese.

This process can start with personally meeting the clients to review the contract together, prioritising key business areas like payment terms, termination conditions, and liability concerns. It also helps to choose a communication platform through which business owners can connect and coordinate with their clients over contracts. A notable example is the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) provider RingCentral, designed to help businesses of any size improve their video conferencing and meetings through artificial intelligence-backed transcription and deep sentiment analysis of conversations. This way, small businesses can stay engaged during conversations and even navigate the emotional aspects of the negotiation phase with the help of AI.

Lack of clear documentation

Another common stumbling block when negotiating contracts is the lack of clear documentation. While business-to-business contracts can be finalised verbally or via email or letter exchange, it’s best to bind the agreement properly through a written contract. Doing so can make both parties, especially small businesses with limited resources, less vulnerable to signing onto terms they have not adequately reviewed and understood.

Drawing up a business agreement can be time-consuming, whether the negotiation concerns renewing a commercial lease or maintaining a relationship with a supplier. However, lawyers can use Definely’s contract drafting software to spend less time accessing and editing legal documents and thus focus on the more complex parts of negotiations. The software also deploys AI for the active drafting stage of the contract lifecycle. It can even be incorporated into existing MS Word workflows for easier cross-referencing and the tracking of changes.

Little to no negotiation strategy

Contract negotiations can also fail when small businesses enter a deal with little to no strategy. Yet again, lawyers can help them plan a negotiation strategy that strategically considers resource allocation, timeframes and deadlines for contract terms, and the best negotiation style with a fallback position.

An article on illustrates the importance of goal-setting in contract negotiations, as it helps businesses avoid settling for less commercially favourable terms. Depending on the type of business and contract being pursued, this step usually involves determining price and payment terms, delivery and production times, quality standards, and service levels. Such factors can also be ranked in order of importance to identify potential areas of compromise.

In summary, lawyers can help small businesses mitigate legal risks during contract negotiations by overseeing communication methods, proper documentation, and overall negotiation strategy. Like any legal business relationship, contract negotiations must also be adaptive and flexible to changing market conditions, thus entailing active collaboration between the parties throughout the contract period.

Developing programmer Development Website design and coding technologies working in software company office

Software Development COO of the Year 2024 (Europe): Bejan Choschau

For Bejan Choschnau, teamwork makes the dream work. Believing in the importance of collaboration and sharing ideas in order to create a better user experience for clients, Bejan is proud of what he and his team have accomplished with Infona AG. It is a team that comes together on the mission to streamline clients’ business processes through the development of advanced CRM/ERP solutions – and they come with an AI twist. Recognised within our C-Suite Awards 2024 for his remarkable contributions to Infona AG and the world of AI software development, we speak to Bejan himself to gain further insight.

“Our AI-powered CRM system is more than just a tool – it is a pioneer of innovation and efficiency in every industry. With over 140 tailored apps, we empower companies not only to save costs but also to redefine the horizons of what is possible. Imagine a system that not only responds to your current needs but also anticipates future challenges and provides solutions before you even recognise them. This isn’t just a vision for the future; this is the power of artificial intelligence in action.”

AI is a concept that has been around formally since the 1950s, defined as a machine’s ability to simulate human intelligence and problem-solving capabilities, particularly computer systems. It was in 1958 that H.A. Simon and Allen Newell predicted that “within 10 years, a digital computer will be the world’s chess champion” and “within 10 years, a digital computer will discover and prove an important new mathematical theorem”. By 1965, H.A. Simon was forecasting that “machines will be capable, within 20 years, of doing any work a man can do”. Then, in 1970, Marvin Minsky theorised in Life magazine that “in from three to eight years, we will have a machine with the general intelligence of an average human being”.

Fast forward to 2024 and artificial intelligence is very much a thing that has found its way into almost every aspect of our lives, from chatbots to resolve customer queries, to ChatGPT to create written content and itineraries, to asking Alexa to provide an update on the weather, and even to self-driving cars. Each of these utilises machine learning algorithms in order to generate a human-like, or intelligent, response.

Now, AI isn’t only playing a big part in our daily lives, but organisations around the globe are implementing it, too, in order to streamline their business operations. One such example is the all-in-one CRM/ERP solution, InfonaApp, created by the masterminds at Infona AG, which utilises AI to automate and manage work processes. With the comprehensive InfonaApp, users have access to a variety of revolutionary AI-powered features, including an internal app store which allows the downloading of more than 140 apps that communicate seamlessly with each other and support daily work; tailored industry-specific website homepage creation; automated accounting; and an integrated chat portal for video calling, messaging, and file sharing.

Powered by the intelligent AI technology named “EllaAi”, this comprehensive CRM/ERP platform caters for every industry and fulfils those tedious, time-consuming tasks so that team members can focus their time on more productive work. Observing and learning from users’ ways of working, EllaAi’s purpose is to enhance efficiency, working independently over a long period of time to get to know the business and its operations. By making work easier behind the scenes, this leads to a much-improved experience for the customer.

Bejan Choschnau has been in his role of COO at Infona AG for two years, and having successfully implemented AI within the CRM/ERP platform, he feels this to be his greatest achievement to date. Bejan states, “My efforts have directly contributed to a notable improvement in customer satisfaction. By offering an intuitive, efficient, and powerful tool, we’ve helped businesses streamline their operations, leading to increased productivity and success, which in turn, fosters long-term loyalty and satisfaction among our clients.”

In this, Bejan had a number of things he wanted to achieve with EllaAi and InfonaApp. First, he felt it important to enable the automation of those critical yet time-consuming tasks such as accounting and website creation. Thanks to EllaAi, this work can now be completed in a fraction of the time, with minimal human intervention needed, and it also reduces the potential for human error.

Then comes the focus on customisation and scalability. By harnessing AI, Bejan has been able to facilitate the customisation of the platform to meet the unique needs of various industries, ensuring that the solution is not just effective, but also versatile and scalable. This adaptability has allowed Infona AG to support businesses of all sizes by adapting to them and enhancing their growth and efficacy.

Alongside this, the integration of EllaAi into InfonaApp has significantly improved its data analysis capabilities, providing businesses with deep insights into their operations, customer behaviours, and market trends. As a result, clients are feeling empowered to make more informed decisions, with this optimising their strategies for better outcomes.

“As the voice behind Infona AG, I’ve had the unique opportunity to bridge the gap between our innovative technology and the people it serves. By providing clear, friendly, and helpful communication, I believe I’ve made a positive impact.”

While Infona AG’s clients are reaping all the benefits of EllaAi and InfonaApp, so too is the company who created this technology. Bejan’s role involves the strategic deployment of AI to enhance Infona AG’s own efficiency and competitiveness. By utilising its own tech within its business operations, it has been able to develop over 140 apps with targeted solutions across a wide range of industries, expanding its reach massively. Bejan comments, “This achievement has not only expanded our market presence but also reinforced our commitment to providing comprehensive, industry-specific solutions.”

This has proven to be an integral element in optimising Infona AG’s operations and growth, not only driving its business strategy forward and improving its bottom line, but also allowing it to invest more in R&D and customer-focused initiatives. By understanding and anticipating client needs, EllaAi allows Infona AG to deliver tailored solutions and support so it can enhance customer loyalty and their trust in the company.

Bejan believes that it is his leveraging of AI’s unique capabilities in Infona AG’s technology that truly distinguishes his role and contributions, and which makes him stand out from other c-suite individuals within the industry. By integrating EllaAi into Infona AG’s core operations, he has demonstrated a commitment to cutting-edge technology and innovative leadership. With access to AI-driven insights and automation capabilities, the company can make informed decisions, streamline its own processes, and offer unparalleled service quality.

As such, this technology is enhancing his own team’s sense of empowerment in their daily work, too, saying, “Unlike traditional executives who may focus on direct management, my approach has been to empower my team by deploying EllaAi to handle routine and complex tasks. This allows our human talent to focus on innovation and strategic initiatives, thereby enhancing job satisfaction and productivity.” Bejan also emphasises his belief in teamwork and the importance of everybody having the opportunity to contribute their ideas. He expresses his pride in their dedication and passion, with them working relentlessly hard, and even volunteering to stay late in order to get things done. In this, he tells us how he feels assured that he is a good leader and that he is doing everything correctly.

“In essence, my use of EllaAi as a cornerstone of our operational and strategic initiatives embodies a modern approach to leadership. It reflects a forward-thinking mindset that embraces technology not just as a tool but as a partner in driving business success and innovation.”

But where did it all begin? Bejan’s expertise and experience is vast, and he started out in his career by spending five years as a Computer Scientist at FLÜCK IT, before joining an insurance company as CIO for almost three years. He tells us how, when working at the insurance company, he found there was a lot of paperwork and therefore a lot of steps for the customer to complete – and that’s how Infona AG came about. He recognised the need for change within the industry, with this leading to the development of the all-in-one solution we know today as InfonaApp.

During our conversation, Bejan goes on to acknowledge the question that he has noticed coming up a lot with regard to AI and the job market: “Will AI steal your job?” Bejan sees the positives here, pointing out that although one job might become obsolete due to technology, that’s not to say that this doesn’t open up a spectrum of new opportunities. For example, IT is one of the biggest industries in the world and with the ever-changing nature of technology, there are always new and exciting roles coming into existence.

In line with this, Bejan knows how crucial it is to remain up to date in terms of skills and knowledge in the evolving world of tech, whether completing courses or mentorship programmes with AI-focused companies. He adds, “Theory is crucial, but nothing beats hands-on experience. Work on projects that allow you to apply AI in real-world settings, whether through internships, personal projects, or as part of your job. This will deepen your understanding and enhance your problem-solving skills.

“[And] while technical skills are fundamental in tech and AI, soft skills like leadership, communication, and strategic thinking are equally important. A successful leader in this field must be able to bridge the gap between complex technical concepts and business applications.”

Meanwhile, Bejan and the team at Infona AG have once again achieved something innovative: the launch of the “Infona Academy”. With this new initiative, the company aims to foster young talents and acquaint a broad audience – from novices to experienced computer scientists – with the world of artificial intelligence. “Our goal is to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application,” explains Bejan. “The Infona Academy is not just a place of learning, but an innovation hub that prepares participants directly for the challenges of the real world.”

The Academy offers a series of courses that cover both practical and theoretical aspects of AI. At the end of each course, there is an exam, and successful completion is rewarded with a certificate. “We want to ensure that our graduates leave not only with knowledge but also with proof of their skills for the working world. It is especially important to us that these educational opportunities are completely free of charge, to include everyone,” Bejan adds.

The idea for the Infona Academy arose when the Infona AG team was increasingly approached about the prominent “Artificial Intelligence for Business” inscriptions on their vehicles. These encounters led to many interesting perspectives and sometimes fears about artificial intelligence. “It was a real ‘aha!’ moment when we realised how great the hunger for high-quality education in this rapidly growing area was,” recalls Bejan.

In addition to training young talents, Bejan sees the Academy as an opportunity to further strengthen Infona AG’s position as a leading innovator in the technology industry. “By fostering knowledge and innovation, we not only strengthen our own position but also elevate the entire industry to a higher level,” emphasises Bejan. With such ambitious plans, it’s clear that Infona AG and the Infona Academy have a lot ahead of them.

Ultimately, it is easy to see how Bejan Choschnau has come to be named our Software Development COO of the Year 2024 (Europe), being the strong leader and extraordinary visionary he is. As our conversation with him comes to a close, he is keen to share some advice for those who might be looking to follow a similar career path to himself. He tells us that one should: embrace continuous learning, gain hands-on experience, develop technical and soft skills, cultivate a problem-solving mindset, build a strong network, be adaptable and resilient, understand ethical implications, focus on user-centric design, champion innovation, and last but certainly not least, prepare for leadership.

He states, “If your aim is to reach a c-suite position, prepare by understanding the business aspects of technology. Learn about finance, marketing, HR, and operations, as leading a tech company requires a well-rounded understanding of all these areas.

“By maintaining a passion for technology and its potential to transform businesses, you’ll be well on your way to forging a successful career path similar to mine in the tech and AI industry.”

For business enquiries, contact Bejan Choschnau from Infona AG via email – [email protected] or on their website –

Financial Advisor Explaining Tax Systems A financial advisor explaining complex tax systems to clients

Artur Bounegra: An Influential Leader in Wealth Management

Based in London, Artvera Private Wealth Management (APWM) is an independent wealth management boutique, providing alternative investment management, comprehensive wealth planning solutions, and corporate advisory services to high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) and private businesses. Artur Bounegra, Founding Partner and CEO, leverages his extensive financial experience to lead the company and for his efforts, he has been honoured as this year’s Most Influential CEO 2024 – UK (Investment Management).

Established in 2012, Artvera Private Wealth Management is fully focused on managing clients’ wealth, providing them with a full spectrum of investment opportunities. Its wide range of wealth management services strive to go beyond managing clients’ assets and encompass all financial aspects of clients’ life.

APWM offers clients various alternative investment strategies in four major alternative asset classes: private equity, credit, real assets, and hedge funds. The company’s investment philosophy focuses on helping clients achieve their long-term investment goals while assuming the least amount of risks across alternative asset classes.

The experienced team takes the time to understand clients’ risk profile and returns’ expectations in order to offer them the most suitable investment strategy for sustainable long-term returns. APWM invests across the world and diversifies its investments across alternative asset classes to maximise returns while minimising risks.

Through its wealth planning solutions, APWM helps clients to protect their wealth and preserve it for future generations. APWM’s comprehensive wealth management solutions include financial planning, wealth structuring, tax planning and legal issues, estate planning and business succession planning, fiduciary and trust services.

Financial planning is an important part of wealth management and APWM is dedicated to working with clients to analyse their current financial situation and help them identify unnecessary spending. With its in-depth understanding of investments, the company is uniquely positioned to help individuals plan their budget and locate possible savings to achieve their financial goals.

The independent company complements its alternative investment management and wealth planning solutions with corporate advisory services for clients with privately held and family companies. Its professional team work as trusted advisors for businesses, providing them with hands-on guidance as they navigate strategic decisions and important transactions.

To fully meet the needs of its clients and their families, APWM also provides lifestyle advisory services on a wide variety of family issues such as international relocation, tax residency and citizenship advisory, education and healthcare advisory, and concierge services worldwide.

With over 29 years of experience across banking, investment management, and financial consultancy, Artur Bounegra has held top managerial positions in several renowned banks including banks belonging to large international banking groups such as Raiffeisen Bank and Nordea Bank. He has also had experience working in different boutique hedge funds and investment advisory firms in the USA.

As CEO of Artvera Private Wealth Management, Artur is responsible for the company’s strategic management but devotes much of his time to providing clients with boutique wealth management services. Artur has extensive knowledge of macro and microeconomics, financial management, accounting, reporting, and auditing which allows him to navigate challenges in the financial landscape. Artur skilfully leverages his experience in managing investments in emerging markets to advice his clients on a wide range of financial endeavours.

In his role, Artur understands the importance of continuous learning and has deepened his knowledge to expand his professional development. In addition to his MBA degree from Duke University, Fuqua School of Business, USA, and his PhD degree in Economics from State University of Management, Russia, Artur has also received numerous professional certifications and qualifications. Among them is a qualification certificate in Brokerage and Dealer Activity from the Federal Financial Markets Service, Russia, and a number of professional certificates from the UK including several from the Senior Managers Certification Regime (SMCR).

With his solid working experience and commitment to ongoing education, Artur Bounegra is uniquely positioned to provide his clients with valuable wealth management services to help them secure their financial futures. With a focus on serving clients from emerging markets, APWM provides clients with a wealth of investment opportunities worldwide. Through its wealth planning services, Artur and his experienced team help clients to structure and protect their wealth and to pass it down for future generations.

Recognised in this year’s Most Influential CEO Awards, Artur Bounegra uses his expertise to guide clients through financial decisions and help them improve their finances. Under his strategic leadership, APWM has established itself as a trusted leader in wealth management and Artur will continue to help clients navigate the evolving financial landscape. For his inspiring leadership, we have bestowed on Artur Bounegra this year’s award for Most Influential CEO – UK (Investment Management).

For business enquiries, contact Artur Bounegra – Founding Partner and CEO from Artvera Private Wealth Management on their website –

Artur Bounegra
A diverse group of business professionals engaged in a meeting, discussing and collaborating around a conference table

Workplace Solutions Made Simple!

Empowered by its determination to work with organisations that want to get the very best out of their people and with senior managers who want to improve their effectiveness, Boyer Management Group is a standout entity in its field. Now serving as a global clientele from its offices in the Greater Philadelphia area of Pennsylvania, USA, Boyer Management Group has delivered a 25-year track record of developing talent as led by CEO and Founder Hank Boyer. Recipient of CEO Monthly’s Most Influential CEO 2024 – Executive Coaching (Pennsylvania) title, Hanks stands as an example of excellence within the field of executive coaching. Below, we explore how.

Throughout its 25-year history, Boyer Management Group has been praised by its diverse and global clientele for just how consistently its associates meet and exceed client expectations when delivering sound guidance and advice. Because each person and client organisation is unique, Boyer Management uses a tailored approach to help each develop to full potential, whilst seamlessly incorporating current and emerging best practices to strengthen what is working well. CEO and Founder Hank Boyer has built a culture around the values of respect, continuous improvement, integrity, innovation, and delivering value. Just as iron sharpens iron, each client engagement serves to help future clients excel more.

Believing each person and organisation to be an ongoing work in progress, Boyer Management Group’s guiding principles include:

  1. Meet each client where they are and help them get to where they want to be.
  2. Always deliver more than you committed to.
  3. Be a fiduciary.
  4. Leave everything and everyone better than when you started.
  5. Learn from everyone.
  6. Pay it forward.
  7. You are only as good as your last success, and you must earn clients’ business every day.

Following a successful 24-year corporate career serving in a variety of leadership roles in technology, communications, and marketing, Hank recognised that the market was ripe for a new entity that could help organisations develop talent in a best-practices environment, and so he forged Boyer Management Group to fill this ever-present need.

Since commencing operation, Boyer Management Group has demonstrated an unmistakable knack for living up to its founding expectations. However, to truly understand how Hank developed into the leader he is today, we must focus back on his growing up years. At just six years old, and having grown up on a farm, Hank and his brother combined their respective talents to begin selling handmade plastic wrapped metal clothing hangers door-to-door. Though it may seem a humble endeavour, this venture was just one of many that would influence Hank’s approach later in life – one that, combined with the hard work and persistence to figure things out growing up on a farm, taught him that putting oneself out there was the first step to becoming the best version of yourself.

Hank held a variety of part-time jobs during his schooling and into university, which included selling electronics for Tandy Corporation/Radio Shack during his junior and senior years. Upon graduation, he was invited to join Tandy’s management training programme and within four months found himself running a business unit on a P&L. It was this taste of management that kickstarted his pursuit of learning and refining current and emerging best practices in the ways organisations work best, something that carried on through several decades of management and leadership roles.

Over the years, he was exposed to innovative methods and ways of leading others that would shape his approach to the CEO role later in life. His biggest learning was the importance of selecting the right people and simultaneously learning from them, which made it possible to grow a profitable enterprise. Education was the key and Hank’s vision was the lock. Combined, these two presented Hank with an opportunity create the Boyer Management Group in 1998.   

Now, through its impeccably designed leadership curriculum and coaching, Boyer Management Group has both directly and indirectly trained and coached more than 30,000 current and aspiring leaders, in addition to the tutelage of over 10,000 sales and sales management professionals. As such, the practice is widely recognised as a trusted partner in delivering best-in-class assessments that utilise behavioural science to measure someone’s behavioural and motivational makeup, emotional intelligence, and business acumen. Applying the belief leadership starts with selecting the right people for the right roles; Boyer Management Group has produced programmes that help its clients to recruit, develop, and unlock each person’s potential.

Though Boyer Management Group has a vast array of exceptional achievements under its belt, Hank singled out two of the organisation’s flagship programmes. Leading Through People™ boasts one of the most extensive modular leadership programmes on the market aimed at all levels of leadership, from aspiring leaders to the c-suite, and B2B Sales Essentials™, an award-winning modular sales and sales management development programme acclaimed for its transformational results. Both are taught and licensed to clients and are internationally recognised for their efficacy. Both are emblematic of the best-practices talent development approaches found in Boyer Management Group’s coaching and training initiatives.

Initially created to elevate those it served, the practice has since evolved to capably carry out this mission, while also honing its own talents in the process. Though it may be an incredibly dynamic framework, it’s one that has had proven positive effects on any client that turns to it for guidance. Boyer Management Group flourishes when lending its expertise to those who may have otherwise believed they weren’t cut out for the level of evolution necessary within their industries, and, under Hank’s watch, has succeeded in empowering these very individuals.

CEO Monthly sheds light on the leaders that are redefining the meaning of the role, and Hank Boyer is no exception. Leveraging the experience he possesses dating all the way back to his childhood, Hank has created an entity upon whichany client can rely – one that has never faltered in bettering those around it. Boyer Management Group’s success stands as a testament to Hank’s commitment to helping individuals and organisations develop their potential. We’re certain that it will continue to thrive following the recognition of its standout CEO.  For the second year in a row we are pleased to present Hank Boyer with the title of Most Influential CEO 2024 – Executive Coaching (Pennsylvania).

For business enquiries, contact Hank Boyer from Boyer Management Group on their website – or via LinkedIn –

Hank Boyer
Soda - automotive industry

SODA.Auto: Driving the Future of the Automotive Industry

Headquartered in London, SODA.Auto is transforming the automotive industry by developing a revolutionary range of automotive tools, powered by AI and digital twin technology. The incredible mind behind this budding enterprise is CEO Sergey Malygin, who has recently been named Most Influential CEO 2024 – UK (AI Engineering Tools Development) in the Most Influential CEO Awards 2024. Here, we dive deeper into SODA’s fascinating work and Sergey’s excellent leadership of the company.

Following an impressive career in the automotive and telecommunications industries, Sergey Malygin was inspired to establish SODA in 2023, envisioning a world in which brand-new vehicle models can be brought to life with just a few clicks. During its first year of operation, the company has achieved remarkable success, launching a multitude of products to the market. This includes SODA.Validate, SODA.Sim, SODA AI Hub, SODA.Library, and SODA SDV Kit.

SODA products address a range of challenges currently faced by the automotive industry. For example, with budgets per vehicle rapidly decreasing, the traditional method of delegating tasks to a large number of suppliers and spending millions on each of them is not sustainable. Recently, Chinese companies have developed the ability to deliver a competitive product in a short period of time. In order to compete with this, automakers must speed up vehicle creation and reduce development costs.

This is where SODA SDV Kit comes in. The product is the world’s first ready-to-use kit for making a Software Defined Vehicle (SDV), consisting of AI-powered engineering tools, flexible E/E architecture, and a software library with over 200 features, software, and tests. The kit makes vehicle software engineering twice as fast whilst reducing its cost by three quarters, all without compromising on quality, safety, and security.

Since early on in his career, Sergey has taken on a variety of leadership positions, including Product Manager, Director of Programme Management, and Chief Technology Officer. In this, he has headed up teams consisting of up to 750 employees. As a result, when he branched out on his own to establish SODA, he was well-equipped with the leadership experience needed to drive his new team to success.

At SODA, when Sergey and his team prepared to launch Validate Studio, an automated testing tool for automotive software, Sergey noticed a crucial component was missing: AI. With the launch imminent and little time for restructuring, Sergey tasked SODA’s Chief Architect to find ways to integrate AI. In a very short time they developed and seamlessly integrated AI co-pilot, which assists engineers in writing tests and radically reduces the human time. This significant adjustment was a shock for the team, yet the integration was seamlessly executed. Sergey’s strategic insight into technology trends and his effective resource management allowed the team to enhance the product without delaying the launch, achieving outstanding results.

Sergey enjoys setting up goals that challenge his employees to go beyond their perceived limits. Often, people may doubt their abilities, but once they embrace Sergey’s guidance and take on tasks they thought were beyond their reach, remarkable transformations occur. They achieve great successes and gain a newfound pride in their capabilities, realising they can accomplish far more than they imagined. Although this operating mode is demanding, Sergey has successfully built a team that thrives on overcoming challenges and strives daily to become better versions of themselves.

Sergey has always had a keen sense for technology trends, accurately foreseeing the rise of SDV, AI, and Digital Twin technologies in the automotive industry. This foresight allowed him to incorporate these technologies into the foundation of all SODA products. Understanding the challenges of penetrating the market dominated by big OEMs with substantial legacies, Sergey strategically targeted automotive startups, which were more receptive to implementing innovative solutions. This approach paid off, with companies like Charge Cars and Helixx becoming first SODA customers.

Sergey also anticipated a shift towards new business models in the automotive sector, where companies would adopt integrated technologies, simplifying supplier management and cutting costs and production times. This vision has materialised, attracting future clients among automotive startups who now integrate SODA technologies into their business models, enhancing their appeal to investors.

As a result, it is no surprise that Sergey has been named Most Influential CEO 2024 – UK (AI Engineering Tools Development) in the Most Influential CEO Awards 2024.

Looking towards the future, Sergey’s upcoming plans are centred around the release of a new product, SODA.Create, putting the last brick into SODA Tools Suite called SODA V. This comprehensive solution enables seamless engineering experience for requirements management, architecture, software design, and system and vehicle validation in a single user-friendly tool, enabling clients to avoid the hassle of integrating several separate automotive tools. Furthermore, SODA is actively onboarding new customers, and some exciting partnership announcements are on the horizon.

For further information, please contact Sergey Malygin or visit

Decreasing CO2 emissions target symbol on green view background

Cath Thrupp: A Sustainability Thought Leader

In the current climate, the challenge of sustainability is one that is affecting all industries and with a lack of transparency between investment and outcome, scalable outcomes are not always achieved. Carbon Planet is on a mission to build a more sustainable world by originating, advising, and developing impact projects at scale. Spearheaded by CEO Cath Thrupp, Carbon Planet is passionate about providing bespoke solutions to scale landscape restoration and support local communities. Recognised in this year’s Most Influential CEO Awards, Cath Thrupp is the visionary behind Carbon Planet’s objective to reimagine capitalism and create a more equitable world.

Since its inception, Carbon Planet has become a leading global provider of advisory services in the natural capital, carbon, and environmental markets. By leveraging carbon, eco-markets, and advanced technology, the company provides innovative environment and land restoration solutions and advisory for large scale global impact projects. Carbon Planet is passionate about helping local communities create new jobs and regenerative industries. Working in collaboration with Global Impact Funds, Carbon Planet designs tailor-made solutions to help countries and companies meet their Net Zero and ESG impact goals. The business strives to deliver measurable value by focusing on how cutting-edge technologies can be used to support global transition.

With over 25 years of industry experience, Cath Thrupp is an environmental leader who has advised, designed, and led large water and natural resource projects in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Through her role, Cath realised the need for solutions that address the key issues preventing sustainability. With Carbon Planet, Cath envisioned a way for farmers, traditional owners, and local communities to benefit from the success of global impact projects and natural capital. Each bespoke solution is designed to increase community ownership of projects, provide unique learning opportunities, and produce greater benefits for local communities.

Cath Thrupp says, “My focus as CEO is to set the long-term vision of the company, build the culture, work with like-minded leaders around the world, and design an agile, innovative organisation for the future. Everything I have learnt, from water management to real estate investment, through to online marketing, future of work, and personal mindset, has shaped my thinking and the company’s development.

“The last few years have been focused on thinking deeply about what our world needs to achieve Net Zero and the SDGs. We consider how business models will need to change to achieve our global targets and create a circular economy. It is also essential to understand both geopolitical situations and the needs of everyday people, and how converging technologies can be leveraged to support the global transition.”

Carbon Planet strives to create positive social and environmental impact by utilising technology to connect global investment to scalable impact projects. Its immersive projects include river restoration, coastal resilience, circular economy villages, supply chain decarbonisation, renewable energy/water, and many more. By implementing state-of-art technology, Carbon Planet can measure and validate outcomes, build sustainable supply chains, and provide education to landholders and investors. Every project has a digital twin to help the company predict outcomes, with investment via smart contracts and blockchain. Carbon Planet offers engaging education with 3D technology and uses IoT sensor networks to measure on-ground outcomes in real-time.

Working with a rapidly changing climate and its subsequent impact on local communities and the environment poses significant challenges. Like many other businesses, Carbon Planet is navigating the climate change challenges. To achieve this, the company has invested in futuristic mentors and established strategic partnerships with other progressive global leaders. Carbon Planet has also leveraged new technology to adopt a data-driven approach. An example of this is AI global climate models, which the organisation uses to understand geographical climate risk for its projects.

Cath Thrupp shares, “Since the Covid pandemic, one of the greatest opportunities has been to connect more with like-minded leaders around the world. There is much more collaboration and there are many more global learning opportunities. This has made my role much more about global citizenship and much less about the constraints of boundaries. I also see converging technologies as a major opportunity to scale impact towards Net Zero and the SDGs. As a company, we are actively bringing new technology stacks together to help solve environmental and social challenges at scale.”

Carbon Planet is focused on maximising agility to build long-term resilience. Its team is completely remote and works across many countries and cultures. The company is committed to sharing its profits and ensuring its employees have a healthy work-life balance. Cath’s role in fostering a collaborative culture encompasses everything from recruiting the right people to measuring the company’s social and environmental progress. By maintaining a clear long-term vision and company mission, Cath can ensure that every team member understands how their role contributes to the overarching goal.

Over the years, Cath’s leadership style has evolved  but has always focused on team empowerment and bringing together people, technology, and solutions in groundbreaking ways. Throughout her career, Cath has discovered that her ultimate strength lies in understanding complex problems and supporting every individual to grow as a leader themselves. Her visionary leadership style involves maintaining a clear vision, employing the right people, and supporting the team’s professional and personal development.

Moving forward, Carbon Planet will continue to focus on building new business models to scale impact and utilising its suite of technologies to increase transparency and accountability. Over the coming year, the company is excited to unveil more impactful and large-scale global projects.

On her own career, Cath says, “Success for me is measured by the scale of positive impact that our projects have on the world. In addition to standard metrics, I will be measuring my career and company success by real-world outcomes, such as how many people have been lifted out of poverty, how many more people can feed their families and have access to clean drinking water, what area of land has been restored and how much carbon has been sequestered.”

As a thought leader, Cath Thrupp is passionate about delivering systems solutions that recreate approaches for integrated landscape restoration, food production and energy supplies, to ensure long-term jobs, and the future resilience of towns and cities. Through the company’s collaborative partnerships and global market connections, Carbon Planet strives to create scalable solutions that benefit investors and communities alike. Steered by Cath’s ambitious direction, the company has adopted a sustainability first approach, leveraging advanced technologies to envisage a world where natural capital has value, investments are transparent, and communities can create regenerative industries. For her pioneering leadership, we have bestowed on Cath Thrupp this year’s award for Most Influential CEO – QLD (Environmental Services).

For business enquiries contact Cath Thrupp from CarbonPlanet on their website –

Cath Thrupp

Implementing A Successful Routine Maintenance Program: A Guide For Business Leaders 

As a business owner, you must understand the importance of keeping your company’s assets in good condition, which is always a good idea. This ensures business operations run smoothly, reduces downtime, and maximizes profitability.  

Think of your business as a well-oiled machine, where each component plays an essential role in keeping everything running. Your equipment, buildings, and infrastructure need ongoing care to perform their best. Neglecting routine maintenance tasks can result in expensive repairs, safety risks, and other problems that can cut into your profits.  

This guide aims to simplify the setup of a successful maintenance plan. Read on for practical strategies that’ll help you implement a successful routine maintenance program that fits your business goals! 

Assess Your Current Maintenance Needs 

Before diving into a routine maintenance program, take a step back and assess the existing setup. Create a comprehensive inventory of all existing equipment, systems, and facilities. Note their age, condition, and specific routine maintenance requirements outlined by the manufacturers.  

Remember to factor in the unique needs of your business environment. For instance, a manufacturing plant in a coastal area may require more regular maintenance because of the corrosive properties of saltwater. On the contrary, a retail store in an urban area may need responsive maintenance procedures due to high foot traffic and wear and tear.  

Having a clear picture of the exact nature of your maintenance needs will help you develop a tailored routine maintenance plan that caters to the explicit requirements of your assets. This will add to the length of the equipment’s life and decrease the chances of sudden breakdowns and expensive repairs, saving time and money in the long run.  

Set Clear Maintenance Objectives 

Once you have your maintenance checklist, the next step is to establish clear objectives for your routine maintenance plan. Align these objectives with your overall organizational goals to ensure that your efforts contribute to your company’s success.  

For example, if your primary business goal is to minimize equipment failure and optimize production, then your maintenance objectives should focus on ensuring that your machines are running smoothly. On the contrary, if the most crucial factor is cost-efficiency, then most of your routine maintenance objectives are going to revolve around reducing the repair cost and how your assets will stay longer in operation without breaking down. 

Clear and well-defined objectives provide direction for your routine maintenance activities and serve as a benchmark for measuring their effectiveness over time. As reliability in maintenance is a critical factor in achieving these objectives, it’s crucial to monitor and adjust your strategies depending on performance outcomes.  

Consider revisiting and refining these objectives as your business evolves to ensure they continuously align with your ever-changing needs and priorities. This helps maintain operational excellence and fosters a culture of continuous improvement in routine maintenance activities.  

Develop A Maintenance Schedule 

Maintenance planning and scheduling are essential to the success of your routine maintenance strategy. Your maintenance schedule should outline the necessary routine tasks, including routine inspections, cleaning, lubrication, repairs, and replacements for every asset you manage. To set the frequency of each routine task, refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines and industry best practices.  

Ensure you stick to these recommended maintenance intervals to prevent premature equipment failure, maintain safety equipment standards, and avoid costly downtimes. To streamline this process, consider using maintenance management software. These tools automate maintenance schedules, generate work orders and send reminders to ensure you don’t overlook any tasks.  

With well-structured maintenance schedules, you create a centralized platform that tracks all maintenance activities. It provides a complete overview of your assets’ health. This data-driven approach allows you to address potential issues before they escalate, minimizing disruptions and ensuring your equipment is in good operating condition.  

Implement An Effective Preventive Maintenance Strategy

Embracing preventive maintenance is also crucial for achieving operational excellence. This strategy involves taking deliberate steps to prevent equipment failure before it occurs. Regular inspections and servicing form the foundation of preventative maintenance, allowing your team to identify and rectify minor issues before they escalate.

However, preventive maintenance goes beyond regular check-ups. You’ll also need advanced techniques, such as:

  • Vibration analysis to detect imbalances in rotating machinery
  • Thermal imaging to identify potential hotspots or electrical faults
  • Oil analysis to reveal signs of wear or contamination in lubricated systems

Embracing these predictive maintenance methods enables you to anticipate potential equipment failures and schedule maintenance. It enhances operational efficiency, demonstrates commitment to quality, and fosters trust with customers and stakeholders.

Train Your Maintenance Team  

While a comprehensive maintenance schedule and robust tracking system are critical components of effective routine maintenance tasks, the secret to success lies in your team’s knowledge and expertise. Regular personnel training and educational opportunities are investments in the longevity and efficiency of your business operations. 

For instance, your machine operators may overlook subtle warning signs or fail to follow specific safety procedures during routine machine servicing if they don’t have proper training. However, by providing thorough training on preventative maintenance guidelines and safety protocols, you empower your machine operators to approach each task with confidence and precision. 

Also, ensure there’s open and candid communication and feedback from your team members. They may have priceless insights into the performance of your maintenance program as they work with the equipment daily. Their feedback will help you to maximize your maintenance program. 


Implementing a successful routine maintenance program is crucial for the long-term health and longevity of your business assets. The strategies discussed above will help you establish a proactive approach to facility maintenance, minimizing the risk of costly breakdowns, maximizing operational efficiency, and cultivating a culture of preventive care within your organization. 

Remember, a well-executed maintenance program is an ongoing journey of continuous improvement. Assess and refine your processes on a regular basis and encourage an open-sharing culture to ensure your program remains aligned with your evolving business needs. 

CFO Chief Financial Officer written on a wooden cube in front of a laptop

MinIO Hires Mark Khavkin As Its Chief Financial Officer

Khavkin brings 15+ years of experience in the SaaS industry to lead company’s financial strategy as object storage becomes the dominant storage in the world of AI 

MinIO, the leader in high-performance object storage for AI, announced the hiring of Mark Khavkin as its Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Khavkin brings more than 15 years of experience, most recently serving as the CFO of Pantheon Systems, where he helped lead the company through transformative growth. In his role as CFO at MinIO, Khavkin will be focused on creating the operational and financial foundation for MinIO’s growth and innovation goals.

“Object storage is foundational for AI infrastructure in the public and private clouds and MinIO is widely considered the standard on-prem or in the colocation for these workloads,” said Mark Khavkin, CFO, MinIO. “With product market fit firmly established, it is about scaling the company financially and operationally to meet the requirements of our enterprise customer base. I look forward to leading the company’s financial strategy as we grow and take advantage of the market opportunities presented by the revolution in large scale AI data infrastructure.”

During his time with Pantheon Systems, Khavkin helped lead the company’s growth from $10M to more than $100M in ARR, with an associated increase in valuation to over $1B. His work on corporate strategy included identifying target market segments and associated Go-To-Market investment allocation as well as overhauling the platform’s pricing and packaging to introduce differentiated monetization levers. Additionally, Khavkin led two rounds of fundraising and spearheaded key acquisitions, such as that of StagingPilot, which became a key pillar in Pantheon’s roadmap for category creation.

“Mark brings deep financial and operational understanding as well as a proven track record of  helping lead companies through transformative growth periods,” said Garima Kapoor, Co-founder & CO-CEO, MinIO. “His breadth of knowledge and experience developing and implementing growth strategies for technology companies will be critical as MinIO enters its next phase of growth. Mark’s track record of building strategic relationships, with both customers, partners and investors will ensure MinIO capitalizes on our leadership position.”

Founded in 2014, MinIO revolutionized the storage industry in 2016 by creating the first multi-cloud object store. MinIO’s S3 API-compatible software runs everywhere, from the public cloud (AWS, GCP, Azure, IBM), private cloud (VMWare, SUSE Rancher, OpenShift, Ezmeral), bare metal and the edge. Truly software-defined and cloud-native MinIO can run on any hardware and alongside any other cloud-native application. With the industry leading performance and proven exascale, MinIO is in use by many of the leading AI solutions from vector databases to products such as Kubeflow.

To learn more about MinIO’s work in the AI space, visit

Professional women only, portrait and diversity in office teamwork

Forbes Women Are Closing The Gap: More Forbes Women Are Reaching Directorship Level Than Forbes Men

  • 36% more Forbes women have reached directorship level than their male counterparts, and 6% more are founders and CEOs of their own companies.
  • Twice as many Forbes women are board members as Forbes men.
  • Forbes women are making a greater contribution to the UK’s employment pool – 31% of Forbes women employ between 10 to 50 people, compared to just 18% of Forbes men.

Joining the ranks of Forbes’ acclaimed 30 Under 30 list is no mean feat. In fact, the media group receives over 20,000 nominations for the award every year. Now new research by comparison website University Compare has revealed some of the biggest career and educational trends of UK winners.

Researchers used data extraction techniques to scrape the LinkedIn profiles of almost 500 UK winners, before anonymising and analysing the data to identify key insights for aspiring young professionals.

The research has found that British women are closing the gap on their male counterparts, moving the needle on important professional and academic trends, including the number of Forbes women in leadership roles.

More women in the UK’s Forbes 30 Under 30 are directors than men

University Compare’s research shows that more female winners of the Forbes 30 under 30 are reaching directorship level than their male counterparts. Today, 36% more Forbes women are directors and 6% more are founders and CEOs.

The research also found that Forbes women are twice as likely to be board members than Forbes men. Forbes women often employ larger workforces, too, with 31% of Forbes women employing between 10 to 50 people in comparison to just 18% of Forbes men.

Most of the UK’s Forbes 30 Under 30 studied business at university

Forbes men and women studied the same top five degrees at university. The most common were business (13.9%), engineering (13.7%) and computer science (13.4%), followed by finance (11.9%) and management (9.3%). Among the least common degrees were dance, equine studies and aviation.

The research also found that while similar proportions of Forbes men and women complete a Master’s degree, Forbes women spend longer in further education, with 23% more completing a doctorate.

The top 10 universities attended by the UK’s Forbes 30 Under 30 are:

Most of the UK’s Forbes 30 Under 30 work in computer software

The most popular industry for Forbes winners (both male and female) is computer software (12.2%). For men, the next most common industry is financial services (7.2%), and for women it’s marketing and advertising (7.5%). The least common industries are venture capital (0.8%), health and fitness (0.8%) and education (0.6%). Interestingly, only 59% of those on the Forbes UK list studied a subject at university that directly informed their subsequent careers.

Forbes women have more LinkedIn followers on average

In terms of recognition from fellow working professionals, Forbes winners have roughly 5,600 LinkedIn connections on average, 10 times more than most users on the platform. Forbes women also build more connections with their peers, garnering over 1,600 more followers on average than Forbes men.

Owen O’Neill, founder of University Compare, said:

“With more women taking leadership roles within traditionally male-dominated spaces, we feel this is not only testement to the individuals’ hard work but also the increased accessibility within the workplace and further education for women.

At Uni Compare, we believe higher education offers aspiring young professionals a platform to grow in confidence and develop the tenacious spirit needed for a successful career.”