Chief Digital Officer, L'Oreal
There's a growing desire among investors not only to make a profit but to have a positive effect on society. Ingrid Teigland Akay is demonstrating that it's possible to achieve both goals.
Teigland Akay is the founder and managing partner of Hadean Ventures, a fund based in Oslo and Sweden that invests in life sciences in the Nordic region. She leverages her background as a medical doctor to spot and fund startups that are developing medical treatments in areas such as diagnostics, digital health, and specialty pharmaceuticals.
Her previous investments include specialists in radio pharmaceuticals (Oncoinvent), mitochondrial medicine (Abliva), and ultrasound technology that can measure intracranial pressure (Nisonic). She also backed Themis, a vaccine developer that pharma giant Merck agreed to acquire in May.
“Our portfolio companies have the potential to make life better for a large number of patients,” she says. “Combining this impact with strong returns for our investors is really what makes me passionate about my job.”
Teigland Akay is also seeking to narrow the funding gap between men and women in venture capital. She proactively hires and promotes women, and seeks out female founders and encourages them to ask for adequate financing for their huge ambitions.
Funding the critical work of startups in historically underinvested countries and sectors, lifting up women, and running a successful firm make Teigland Akay a game changer. She's proved investors can do good and do well.