Selection Committee


Nishan Degnarain

Founder, Breakthrough Ocean Ventures

Nishan Degnarain is an economist and founder of Breakthrough Ocean Ventures, an advisory firm focused on ‘ocean moonshots’ that leverages new technologies and novel business models to transform the health of our ocean especially for coastal and island communities.  He was formerly elected Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council, that sets the oceans agenda each year for world leaders at Davos, and helped establish WEF’s new Special Initiative on the Ocean.

He was instrumental in brokering WEF’s Tuna Traceability Declaration at the UN Ocean Conference in 2017, the largest public-private commitment at the Conference, with 50 companies with over $150bn revenues committing to full traceability of tuna by 2020.

He has held a series of board and executive positions in the public and private sectors, including being appointed by the Cabinet of Mauritius to both Mauritius Central Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee as well as the National Ocean Council, and also appointed as an International Member of CCICED (‘The China Council’) that advises the Chinese Government on Ocean strategy.  He was formerly in the UK Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, and was also with McKinsey and Company.

Mareese Keane

Director, Thrive

Mareese Keane is the Director of THRIVE, an agtech innovation platform based in Silicon Valley that accelerates early stage agtech companies by connecting them with corporate partners, growers and investors. Mareese drives recruitment and selection of startups, directs the programs within THRIVE and manages corporate client relationships with a primary focus on facilitating connections and creating value for all parties in the platform. With a background in environmental management focused on waste, Mareese has worked in government, industry and consulting in Ireland, Canada and the US.

Gregory Miller

Attorney, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

After helping launch with Larry Brilliant in early 2006 as its Managing Director, Gregory rejoined the law practice, and today he is principally helping technology entrepreneurs positively impact the grand challenges of climate change and global public health. Gregory also works with frontier technologies in media and robotics, such as AR, VR, and IoT. Additionally, he founded and launched Spacebar, the first mobile app to allow live-streaming, to help support emerging musicians.

Tim Dick

Managing Director, Startup Capital Ventures

Tim is a Managing Director at Startup Capital Ventures. He serves, or has served as a Director of several of the firm’s investments including PlayFab, Adama Materials, Silvertail Systems (acquired by EMC), TagArray (acquired by MXIM) and TuneIn. He is also a limited partner in Advanced Technology Ventures.