About EcoMachines Ventures

About EcoMachines Ventures

The world is changing fast, creating new challenges and new opportunities in the energy, infrastructure and industrial sectors. EcoMachines Ventures supports innovative solutions to these global problems by investing in promising technology companies and actively supporting their growth into world class high-growth enterprises. We are London-based with a pan-European focus in investments and a global reach in terms of investment and corporate networks.


Our strategy

We look for entrepreneurs and businesses who are building an exciting B2B hardware technology that has the potential to scale in large proven markets. We help the companies we invest in through equity investment, access to a network of industry experts, brokering corporate linkages and syndicating with other investors.


We only invest in market segments where we see the potential for rapid growth.  We are broadly focused on Energy, Transport, Circular Economy, Smart City and Industrial High-Tech sectors.  We believe in the power of hardware innovation - often in combination with software - to revolutionise these sectors, providing long-term solutions that offer real bottom-line benefits.  Within this we look for businesses committed to solving real problems, rather than those developing innovations for innovation's sake.


We believe our support is of the greatest value when it is tailored closely to the needs of your business. For that reason, we never offer money alone. Whether you are at seed stage or later level of investment, we are looking to support teams who will welcome our active collaboration, hands-on support and co-development of the business plan. If you have solved all the problems and all you need is finance, we are probably not the right partner for you.

Find out more about our style of investment and market focus on our blog and contact us if you would like to discuss opportunities to work together.


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Dr Ilian Iliev

Managing Director

Dr. Ilian Iliev founded EcoMachines Ventures in 2013. Prior to that he co-founded and was CEO of CambridgeIP Ltd (2006-2012), which he built into a leading technology strategy player in the innovation space (partial exit through sale of data & software business to multi-billion US investment fund). Strategy advisor to the Board of Allen & Overy, a top 10 global law firm with $1bln+ in revenues (2004-6). In the 1990s founded and led 100-person family business in Southern Africa in the medium and high voltage space (1997-2001). Projects included building a power plant, industrial facilities, real estate and others.

Current Board Directorships include: PointGrab (Machine Vision in building automation), Q-Bot (robotics in building industry), Power Drive Efficiency (power electronics in heavy industry), Autorose (connected cars)

Ilian holds a PhD from Cambridge University’s Judge Business School, focused on Venture Capital business models in emerging economies; MCom in Economics, and BA in Politics, Economics and International Relations from the University of Witwatersrand, where he was voted Best Political Science Student in South Africa in 1997.  He has published widely on issues in the energy and cleantech space, innovation finance and innovation policy. He is an Associate Fellow at Chatham House, focused on energy and resource efficiency.

Key publications include:

Venture Capital Organisations as Actors in Emerging Economy Systems of Innovation: Case Studies of South Africa and Hungary - Thesis Submitted to the Univerity of Cambridge for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (2014)

Who Owns Our Low Carbon Future? Intellectual property and energy technologies - Report co-authored with Chatham House (2009)

Barriers to Venture Capital Investment in Innovative SMEs in CEEs–Causes and Policy Implications - in Piech&Radosevic (eds) The Knowledge-Based Economy in Central and East European Countries , Palgrave MacMillan (2006)

FirstSolar : A Focus on the Technology Fundamentals - CambridgeIP Report (2011)

Desalination Technologies and the Use of Alternative Energies for Desalination – Report for International Renewables Energy Agency and World Intellectual Property Office (2012)

Membrane Filtration and UV Water Treatment: A report on selected water treatment technologies and their application in desalination systems - Report for World Intellectual Property Office (2012)

Desalination: new frontier for renewable energy? – Article for Renewable Energy Focus (2012)

Challenges and opportunities in the licensing of renewable technologies - Journal of Commercial Biotechnology (2009)

Role of Intellectual Property Rights in Technology Transfer - Report for UNFCCC (2008)

Intellectual Property: Crosslicensing, Patent Pools and Cooperative Standards as a Channel for Climate Change Technology Cooperation - Report for Climate Strategies (2008)

Dr Oleg Evdokimenko


Dr. Oleg Evdokimenko is a well-recognised industrialist and angel investor. He is the Chairman of NanoTech Industrial Solutions and a member of the Board for a number of companies including Kosaya Gora Iron Works (KMZ), Accept RK (a financial company), and Ingvar (an insurance company). As an investor and business angel, Oleg is developing a number of projects in the field of innovative technologies, including some jointly with Skolkovo Innovation Centre.

Oleg graduated from National University of Science and Technology MISIS and has DPhil in Physics from Moscow State University, for which he researched Solid-State Physics. He has been a research associate at Academy of Sciences since 1984. During his work for Academy of Sciences, Oleg has published dozens of articles in leading Russian and international journals in the field of solid and amorphous materials and ultrafine. Oleg also graduated from Moscow State Law Academy.

Chris Niehaus

Venture Partner

Chris has over 20 years experience in the banking sector, with a particular focus on Industrials. He was most recently at Jefferies based in London as Head of Diversified Industrials. Prior to Jefferies Chris spent over 12 years with UBS where he was most recently Head of EMEA Industrials. Key corporate relationships include ABB, Philips, GKN, Rolls Royce, Sappi, Anglo American, Melrose, Oerlikon, Hitachi, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Chris was also previously COO for European Investment Banking based in London, with responsibility for the day to day running of the European business. The role included strategy and responsibility for the loan book. Chris was a member of the UBS EMEA Executive Committee. Other roles at UBS included Head of Investment Banking South Africa based in Johannesburg. CEO of the Investment Bank MENA, based in Dubai, with responsibility for the full investment bank incl M&A, Equities, Fixed Income. Chris built this business from scratch as prior to that UBS had a very limited investment banking presence in the Middle East. 

Prior to UBS Chris had been Head of South Africa for ING Barings and HSBC based in Johannesburg.

Chris is qualified as an attorney in South Africa and a solicitor in England & Wales. He studied a BCom (Economics) LLB at the University of Natal in South Africa. He completed military service in South Africa where he held the rank of Lieutenant in the South African Infantry.


Igor Turevsky

Venture Partner

Igor is a business leader of 20 years' experience, with a background in engineering. He is a founder of New Eco Technologies, a diversified research, engineering and services company that invests in early-stage enterprises in the clean-tech, intelligent transportation and regenerative medicine domains. During his career, he worked as the Vice President Sales & Marketing for Alstom’s Power Generation and Power Transmission divisions. Alstom is a world leader in transport infrastructure, power generation and electrical grid, with a presence in around 100 countries and annual sales of €20.3 billion. Close to 25% of the world’s power production capacity depends on Alstom Power technology and services.

Before Alstom, he worked at General Electric as the Global Sales Director of the company’s Plant Automation division. Structured as a stand-alone start-up business unit, it achieved breakthrough orders in markets across the world under his leadership, more than doubling its orders over a period of 3 years. Before taking his position as Global Sales Director, Igor spent 10 years working in different Sales, Sourcing and Project Management roles across GE. He previously worked as a Lead Project Manager at Mitsubishi.

Igor’s professional interests include risk management and decision science, continuous improvement techniques, such as lean six sigma, and virtual team management.

Igor has an MBA from the London Business School, a Masters in Economics from Moscow Management Academy and an MSc in Electrical Engineering and Automation from the Power Engineering Technical University in Moscow.

Ian Cooke

Venture Partner

Ian is former Director at the Carbon Trust, where he was responsible for managing the investment portfolio and leading the commercial development of the Carbon Trust innovation activities. He qualified as an Engineer in South Africa and was awarded a Master of Business Administration from Cranfield School of Management, UK.  Earlier in his career he worked in venture capital, corporate venture and international business development in the engineering and environmental sectors. He has founded and invested in a number of successful new ventures in the engineering and technology fields.

Oksana Hilinskaya

Investment Manager

Oksana has worked in the finance and banking industry since 1995, and in Asset Management since 2005. From 2005 to 2008 she was a Project Manager in Alfa Bank (the biggest private Russian Bank) in which role she was involved in commercial and industrial Real Estate projects, TV serials production and distribution.

In 2008 Oksana worked for Troika Dialog Asset Management in Real Estate Funds Department and was responsible for development of a new close-ended fund. Since 2010, she has worked as Vice President, Head of Investment Projects at Financial Company Accept RK. She is involved in management of venture projects in innovative technologies and projects in Real Estate. Oksana speaks Russian, English and Italian.

Oksana has an MBA from California State University, and graduated from Moscow State Law Academy and Russian Humanitarian University.

Alexey Krenke

Board Member, Legal and Tax Expert

Alexey has many years of experience in finance and investment structuring. He worked as CFO and Business Development Director at MCD group and RD Group, two major real estate development companies in Moscow, between 1995 and 2006. From 2006 to 2012, he worked for a group of private investors, and was responsible for establishing and operating the group’s private equity investment portfolio in Germany and the Czech Republic. Alexey has conducted a number of large investment transactions with private and institutional investors and major international banks.

He has a degree in mathematical modelling from Moscow State University, a degree in accounting, audit and controlling from Plekhanov Russian Economics Academy and is currently completing a degree in law at Charles University in Prague.

Vyara Stoycheva

Financial Controller

Vyara is a Fellow of Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. Vyara started her professional career with one of UK’s largest single-office accountancy practices. Once qualified she went on to specialise in setting up and managing the outsourced finance functions for a number of clients, many of whom were VC-backed. Her portfolio of clients covered a wide range of businesses from start-ups to subsidiaries of multinational corporations in industries from financial services to technology, retail and charities. Vyara holds an MA in Political Economy from University College London, and is currently pursuing an Executive MBA degree at London Business School.

Oliver Saban

Head of Investor Relations

Oliver looks after Investor Relations and Business Development for EcoMachines Ventures.  Prior to joining EcoMachines Ventures he was responsible for the Institutional desk at UBP with UK and Irish coverage.  Oliver has spent the previous 12 years in Business Development roles significantly at Pioneer Investments with focus on alternatives and hedge funds.
Oliver graduated from the University of Northampton with a BA (Hons) in Economics and Law and has his Investment Management Certificate.
Harry Miller

Investment Analyst

Harry evaluates investment opportunities, carries out due diligence analysis, and develops internal processes for fund operation. Prior to EcoMachines Ventures, Harry worked as an Associate within an IP consultancy firm, analysing patent data and advising on patent strategy. Harry holds a BA and MSci in Natural Sciences from The University of Cambridge.


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Vishnu Amble

Vishnu has over 14 years’ experience in Growth Private Equity, Infrastructure and VC. He most recently served as an investment and venturing executive for one of the world's largest utilities. Previously he worked in Private Equity and Global Buyouts at the Carlyle Group and prior to that Vishnu worked in M&A and Energy, Power, and Infrastructure at Lehman Brothers.

Nelson Philips

Professor Nelson Phillips is the chair in Strategy and Organisational Behaviour at the Imperial College Business School in London. Prior to joining Imperial, Professor Phillips was the Beckwith Professor of Management Studies at Cambridge University’s Judge Business School from 2002 to 2005 and was an Associate Professor in the Strategy and Organisation Area at McGill University in Montreal, Canada from 1993 to 2002.Professor Phillips teaches courses in strategy, organisation behaviour, innovation, and leadership at the undergraduate and graduate level. In addition, he is active in executive education, having worked on program design and delivery for a wide range of clients including: the Royal Society, Telefonica, BT, Atkins, Shell and Laing O’Rourke.

Professor Phillips has published more than 75 academic articles and book chapters including articles in the Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, and Sloan Management Review. He has also co-authored four books: “Discourse Analysis” (2002); “Power in Organisations” (2006); “Technology and Organization” (2010); and “The Oxford Handbook of Innovation Management” (2013). He is currently working on a book on the use of linguistic methods in management research and a book examining the role of religion in organizations.

His research interests lie in four main areas. Firstly, his work in new institutional theory connects conventional approaches to understanding institutional process with new theoretical perspectives such as discourse analysis or with new empirical areas of study such as social entrepreneurship.

Secondly, he is interested in applying social theory to developing deeper understandings of family businesses, technology entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship.

Thirdly, Professor Phillips has a strong interest in technology strategy and innovation, and has been working for several years on various aspects of the social dynamics of technology adoption and the ramifications of these dynamics for technology strategy and innovation.

Finally, he has a strong interest in qualitative research methods, and in particular, in the application of discourse analysis, narrative analysis and other related methods of investigation to the study of organizations.

Andrea Pisoni

Andrea has more than 15 years’ experience in developing new products and technologies in the Aerospace Sector, having worked both in Europe and USA for some leading multinational companies. He has been AgustaWestland focal point at Bell Helicopters for Aerodynamics, Noise and Anti-Icing systems for the BA609 Civil Tiltrotor, a Program Manager for the USA Presidential Helicopter, head of Future Programmes Engineering for Rolls-Royce Controls Supply Chain Unit, Rolls-Royce Civil Large Engines Demand Planning Executive and Service Business Executive with planning responsibilities for the end-to-end planning cycle. He has an MBA from London Business School, is a Fellow and Chartered Engineer of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, Fellow and Registered Project Professional of the Association for Project Management, Fellow and Chartered Manager of the Chartered Management Institute, Black Belt accredited at Rolls-Royce and Chartered Quality Professional of the Chartered Quality Institute.