Impact Investment Opportunities in Central & Eastern Europe

On June 22nd and 23rd, the CEE Impact Day conference will bring together Impact Investment players to inspire, connect and enrich the impact ecosystem within Central & Eastern Europe.

In this year’s extended format, up to 200 investors, selected social enterprises, and global stakeholders in the impact investment field will gather in Vienna for the 6th annual CEE Impact Day to explore the growing investment and collaboration opportunities in the region.

By joining the conference you will:

  • Empower yourself to collaborate and thrive as an investor, entrepreneur, expert or partner.
  • Gain global expertise and perspectives through in-depth workshops, panel discussions, keynote addresses, and more.
  • Celebrate and discover the flourishing CEE Impact community through enterprise and investor showcases.
  • Connect with peers in targeted networking sessions with key stakeholders and fresh actors in the region and around the world.

CEE Impact Day Updates

What’s new in 2017?

Extended 1.5 day format

Including a half-day of targeted workshops in addition to the conference day to deepen your impact investment know-how.

New conference location

The conference will take place at the newly-built Erste Campus and the OekB headquarters in central Vienna.

Venture and investor showcases

Social entrepreneurs and investors alike will take the stage to present their activities, solutions and insights.

Who is it for?


Impact investors of all walks of life, with an interest in the CEE region, are invited to join the conference. Participants range from angel investors, fund managers and diversified financial institutions to family offices, corporate partners, private foundations, NGOs and business incubators.

Social Ventures

Graduates of the Investment Ready Program, as well as other pre-selected social enterprises throughout the region, will share the spotlight at this year's conference.

To join the event, impact entrepreneurs go through a selection process after a public call for applications. Top applicants are awarded 5 free tickets and 5 discounted tickets.


Thursday, June 22 // Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG (OeKB)

A half-day of investor-only workshops delivered by international experts and practitioners

* Participants can pre-register for any two sessions


Welcome & registration


Getting into impact investing

Impact investing deep-dives

Managing complexity


Why bother with impact investing?

Rodney Schwartz (CEO and Founder of ClearlySo)

This session will introduce you to the opportunities offered by impact investing with the help of practitioner and impact investor Rodney Schwartz. He will share his insights and stories based on real life cases of successful impact investing. In a fun and engaging way, he will illustrate why we should care about impact investing and which trends we need to keep track of. More...

How to start an impact investing fund

Cyril Gouiffes (Investment Manager, European Investment Fund)

Johannes Weber (Founder, Ananda Ventures)

In this panel we will explore how to start an impact investing fund and what it takes to get institutional investors on-board. Cyril Gouiffes from EIF will share his experience from the Social Impact Accelerator, a recently implemented impact funds-of-funds. He will present new products by EIF to support the growth of the European impact investment scene. Johannes Weber from Ananda Ventures will share his experience in starting one of the first impact funds in Germany. More...

Impact management - overview and workshop for practitioners

Charly and Lisa Kleissner (Founders, Toniic, 100% Impact and KL Felicitas Foundation)

From intention to due diligence to term sheet to investment and exit, impact investors are now realizing that careful management from start to finish can improve both financial and impact outcomes. Join investors Lisa and Charly Kleissner as they guide you through a hands-on workshop to help you manage and grow your impact practice. More...


Instruments for a new world: hybrid finance

Markus Freiburg (Founder and Managing Director, FASE)

Adrian Fuchs (Transaction Manager, FASE)

FASE (the Financing Agency for Social Entrepreneurship) will delve into how and why hybrid finance models respond to the needs of social enterprises and can help them scale their impact. Building on several real-life transactions conducted by FASE (e.g. Discovering Hands), you are invited to engage in a conversation about best practices and lessons learned. More...

Exit strategies for impact investors

Wolfgang Spiess-Knafl (Managing Director Next Generation Impact)

Rodney Schwartz (CEO and Founder, ClearlySo)

What comes next? In this session we dive into the question of exit strategies. Wolfgang Spiess-Knafl will present two proprietary datasets: one that includes 342 social investments and one that covers 19 intersectoral acquisitions. Rodney Schwartz, who has had a hand in several successful impact investments (e.g. The Body Shop), will also add his thoughts on adequate exit strategies. More...

When the worst case scenario happens: how to deal with a business hitting rock bottom

Moriz Piffl (Co-founder Gebrüder Stitch & Vollpension)

Nick Pöschl (Impact Business Angel)

What to do when a social business steers into trouble? In this session, we will conduct a conversation about the not-so-talked-about subject of dealing with adversity. Together with Moriz Piffl, founder of Gebrüder Stitch and “former” social entrepreneur-star in Austria and Nick Pöschl, one of his impact investors, we will discuss human risk factors, diverging investor and shareholder personalities and governance structures. More...


Investor-only dinner

hosted by OeKB



by Impact Hub Vienna and OeKB


Paul Chatterton (Founder and Lead, Landscape Finance Lab, WWF)

Matteo Landi (Industrial development and youth employment expert, UNIDO)

Thursday, June 22 // Impact Hub Vienna

* Participants can pre-register to any session except for „Perfect your 3-minute pitch“ (reserved for ventures who pitch at the CEE Impact Day)


Coffee & welcome


Conference day logistics check-up


Making a clear ask in 30 seconds

Shawn Ardaiz (Innovation Executive and Entrepreneur)

Many teams have a scripted pitch and often end up delivering something they think somebody else wants to hear. This rarely has the desired impact and doesn’t get the results you’ve imagined. This session will focus on aligning your energy and intentions behind asking for what it is you want and delivering it with confidence and impact. During this workshop we’ll practice both deep listening skills and the communicating from a place of alignment and clarity. We’ll practice multiple rounds of 30 sec pitches in order to deliver a powerful ask to your audience and have the intended impact you want. More...

Perfecting your 3-minute pitch

Toni Chung (Innovation Facilitator and expert in Design Thinking, Open Innovation & Process Design)

5 ventures will present in the spotlight of CEE Impact Day's main stage. This session is only for the selected teams to give their presentation the final touch.


Success in Negotiations - If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail

Sonja Rauschütz (Founder & Managing Partner, Vienna School of Negotiation)

Negotiation is not only a talent but a skill that must be trained and its tools sharpened. As startups, investors and alliance partners negotiate constantly. Professional negotiators strike a balance between the need to prepare with clarity around an optimum outcome and the often little time at hand. Sonja Rauschütz will build this session on the 7 Elements, a technique of Harvard’s principled negotiation toolkit. Join us for a Vienna School Best Practice exchange concerning classical deal making. More...

The ABC of Impact Investment

Werner Krendl (CFO, Impact Hub Vienna)

What's behind the terms Impact Investment, Impact Measurement or investor consortium? Is there a difference to „traditional“ investment cases? Equip yourself with know-how about the most relevant concepts around Impact Investment before you meet the crowd of investors of all asset classes on Friday. With more than 15 years of experience in finance and investment Werner will run you through the ABC of Impact Investment and answer your questions connected to that. This session is for all ventures that haven't had a lot of exposure to the scene and want to get themselves on speed. More...


Wine Down

at Hermann Strandbar

Friday, June 23 // Erste Bank Campus

The conference day is dedicated to showcasing and catalyzing social impact in Central and Eastern Europe: up to 200 stakeholders will connect, debate and get inspired through thought-provoking panels, investor and venture pitches, a social enterprise fair and plenty of networking opportunities.


Registration & Coffee


Welcome by Impact Hub Vienna and Erste Bank



Gayle Peterson (Director Oxford Impact Investing and Social Finance Programmes and Senior Managing Director, pfc social impact advisors)


Espresso Talks


Panel: Social impact investing in the CEE Region: myth, magic, or reality?

  • Roxana Damaschin-Tecu (Global Portfolio Director, NESsT)
  • Ewa Konczal (CEE Manager, EVPA)
  • Franz Karl Prüller (Senior adviser of the board of Erste Foundation)
  • Rodney Schwartz (CEO and Founder, ClearlySo)
  • Tadej Slapnik (Secretary of State, Republic of Slovenia)
  • Peter Vandor (Senior Researcher, Vienna University of Economics and Business; Founder, Social Impact Award)

Moderated by Bistra Kumbaroska (Regional Program Manager, Impact Hub Vienna)

Introduction by Peter Vandor (Senior Researcher, Vienna University of Economics and Business; Founder, Social Impact Award)


Networking Lunch


Investor Pitches

  • Ananda Social Venture Fund
  • Bon Venture
  • NESsT
  • CEE Fund Support Initiative
  • Yunus Social Business Balkans

Social entrepreneur pitches

Powered by Vienna Business Agency

  • (Montenegro / Austria)
  • Bike Citizens (Austria)
  • ConsultaClick (Romania)
  • Goood (Germany v/ Austria)
  • Orgalife (Macedonia)
  • SugarLab (Hungary)

Introduction by Gerhard Hirczi (CEO Vienna Business Agency)


Social enterprise fair

Powered by ERSTE Gründungszentrum


Panel: The Future of Capital

  • Uli Grabenwarter (Deputy Director, Equity Investments, EIF)
  • Lisa Kleissner (Co-founder, Toniic, 100% Network, KL Felicitas)
  • Andreas Treichl (CEO, ERSTE Group)
  • Alex Zhigarev (COO, CBOE Vest Technologies)

Moderated by Marcello Palazzi (Global Ambassador, B Lab; Chairman Social Innovation eXchange (SIX))


Closing remarks and cocktail

Charly Kleissner (Co-founder, Toniic, 100% Network, KL Felicitas)


Paul Chatterton

Founder and Lead, Landscape Finance Lab, WWF

Paul is the founder and lead of WWF's Landscape Finance Lab, which aims to harness the power of public and private financial instruments (blended finance) to initiate solutions at scale for sustainable landscapes and deforestation-free trade chains. During an extensive career with WWF, Paul has catalyzed results including the first jurisdictional scale forest and climate (REDD+) programs on two continents, Europe's longest river protected area and the largest rainforest reserve in the Pacific.

Roxana Damaschin-Tecu

Global Portfolio Director, NESsT

Roxana leads the NESsT portfolio of social enterprises worldwide and oversees the portfolio’s benchmarking impact. She is responsible for managing the development of NESsT’s methodology, as well as its validation and build to scale and performance measurement tools. Prior to joining NESsT, Roxana worked at Pentru Voi Foundation, a civil society organization, where she implemented social enterprises, including a bakery employing individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Markus Freiburg

Founder and Managing Director, FASE

Markus is recognized as a thought leader for social finance in Germany and beyond. Markus has an active presence in public discourses (e.g. member of Expert Group on Social Entrepreneurship (GECES) of EU Commission) and wrote a wealth of articles, reports and case studies on best practices in social finance. Prior to this, Markus worked for more than 7 years as top-management consultant for McKinsey & Company in Düsseldorf.

Adrian Fuchs

Transaction Manager, FASE

Adrian studied business economics in Maastricht (BSc.) and London (MA) before receiving his PhD from the University of Hamburg on the subject of impact investing for German charitable foundations. He gained relevant project management experience at Bonventure – where he assisted the establishment of the first German social venture capital fund for foundations (MRI pilot fund) – and at the Bertelsmann Foundation. He is driven by the goal to professionalise the impact driven sector.

Cyril Gouiffes

Investment Manager, European Investment Fund

Cyril Gouiffes is a Social Impact Investment Manager at the European Investment Fund (EIF). He has specialized in impact related activities, specifically in the area of social entrepreneurship and microfinance. Prior to joining the EIF, Cyril gained unique field experience working with microfinance institutions in the Middle East.

Uli Grabenwarter

Deputy Director - Equity Investments, European Investment Fund

Uli Grabenwarter is Deputy Director - Equity Investments at the European Investment Fund (EIF) as well as a visiting Professor for Private Equity and Venture Capital at IESE Business School. He has researched and published multiple articles on impact investing and, most notably, launched the EIF's Social Impact Accelerator, the first pan-European impact fund-of-funds. Uli envisions a world where social impact is seen as an opportunity rather than a constraint to business development.

Charly Kleissner

Impact Investor and Co-founder, Toniic, 100% IMPACT, KL Felicitas Foundation

Dr. Kleissner co-founded KL Felicitas Foundation (, and Social-Impact International (, which help social entrepreneurs worldwide to accelerate and increase their impact. KL Felicitas Foundation recently demonstrated, that impact investors can construct a 100% Impact Portfolio and achieve competitive financial returns. Dr. Kleissner co-founded Toniic (, and the ‘100% Impact Network’, global networks for impact investors.

Lisa Kleissner

Impact Investor and Co-founder, Toniic, 100% IMPACT, KL Felicitas Foundation

Lisa Kleissner is co-founder and President of the KL Felicitas Foundation, a family foundation. She is a frequent speaker, advocate and author on topics related to leveraged and holistic approaches to philanthropy and impact investing. She is co-founder and Board Chair of Toniic, a global impact investing platform; founding board member of The Philanthropy Workshop, an international trans-formative donor education program; co-founder and board member of Social-Impact International, an incubator of capacity building programs for social enterprise; and co-founder of Hawaii Investment Ready, a capacity building program for indigenous and island social enterprise.

Ewa Konczal

Manager for Central and Eastern Europe, European Venture Philanthropy Association; Executive Director, Valores

Ewa Konczal is the European Venture Philanthropy Association's (EVPA) Manager for Central and Eastern Europe as well as the Executive Director of Valores, the first Polish venture philanthropy fund. She also founded and now runs the Magic Mountain Foundation, an organization that uses mountain sports as a tool for change for youths and adults with intellectual disabilities.

Bistra Kumbaroska

Regional Program Manager, Impact Hub Vienna

Co-founder of Mladiinfo International and Macedonia's first impact accelerator Social Impact Lab, Bistra is best described as a community innovator, entrepreneur and a poet. She spends her time inspiring, witnessing and supporting courageous steps made by humans, combining innovative tools for growth and social innovation. In 2008, she became one of the core drivers of a movement that resulted with today's most popular youth web portal in CEE Region: Mladi Info (, enabling hundreds of young people to get access to free education, mobility and grants in a fully transparent way. Her passion for entrepreneurship took her on a journey through Europe, Sub-Sahara Africa, and South-East Asia, supporting young people to create meaningful jobs for themselves. At the moment she lives in Austria, where she is regional program manager for Social Impact Award and Investment Ready Program, enabling social entrepreneurs in CEE region to build or scale their social start-ups. She has organized, facilitated and shared her experience at more than 95 international conferences and events so far.

Matteo Landi

Industrial Development and Youth Employment Expert, UNIDO

Matteo Landi borns in Rome from Italian-Belgian parents, but lives in several EU countries till he moves to Ethiopia, where he starts working for the UN. It is there that Matteo finds his vocation in the field of youth and women empowerment and engagement; he runs successfully campaigns and national project to promote youth and women entrepreneurship and access to finance.
In 2008 he joins the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) where he develops and implements projects for youth and women employment through entrepreneurship, including social entrepreneurship. He represents UNIDO in global initiatives and currently leads the team on Social entrepreneurship and youth employment in the Agri-Business Department in UNIDO.

Marcello Palazzi

Global Ambassador, B Lab; Chairman Social Innovation eXchange (SIX)

Marcello is a serial entrepreneur for human progress. Following 11 years as co-head of his international family business in environmental technologies, he founded Progressio Foundation, which has completed 300 projects in 30 countries, in pursuit of the ‘civic economy’, ‘civic enterprise’ and ‘civic innovation'. From 2014 to April 2017, Marcello has been leading the B Corp movement in continental Europe and since 2016, he is Chair of SIX, the worldwide social innovation exchange. In 2017, he joined DanoneWave’s Advisory Committee in the USA.

Gayle Peterson

Director, Oxford Impact Investing and Social Finance Programmes; Senior Managing Director, pfc social impact advisors

Gayle holds an MA in Social Policy from the University of Chicago and an MSc from HEC-Paris School of Management and Oxford University. Gayle is an Associate Fellow at Saïd Business School, Oxford University, where she is a founder of the Women Transforming Leadership Program and director of the Oxford Impact Investing and Oxford Social Finance programs. Gayle has more than 25 years of experience as strategist, philanthropist, and trusted advisor to social investors worldwide.

Moriz Piffl

Co-founder Gebrüder Stitch & Vollpension

Moriz has a marketing, CD and brand building background. Co-founded Gebrüder stitch in 2010, crashed it in 2016. Co-founded Vollpension in 2012 and recently restarted Gebrüder Stitch together with Nick.

Nick Pöschl

Impact Business Angel

Nick Pöschl is an angel impact investor. He has invested in numerous deals, among which Ants in your Pants, Saint Charles Organics and MyClubs. He currently serves as Managing Director for Rasenreich GmbH and is a start-up business coach.

Tadej Slapnik

Secretary of State, Republic of Slovenia

For years he has been instrumental in starting and launching several social enterprises, worker cooperatives and several other initiatives of social entrepreneurships in Slovenia. He collaborated in the preparation of the national Strategy for the Development of Social Entrepreneurship 2013-16 and the plan for its execution. He is the founder and secretary general of the internationally operating Slovenian Forum of Social Entrepreneurship. He also follows the development of various initiatives in the field of youth entrepreneurship and other vulnerable social groups.
Before assuming the post of state secretary he was employed by the European Parliament as assistant to Ivo Vajgl, Member of the European Parliament.

Wolfgang Spiess-Knafl

Managing Director, Next Generation Impact

With a background in industrial engineering, Wolfgang started his career working in M&A for Morgan Stanley. The next seven years were focused on researching social finance at TU München and Zeppelin University. Vienna-based Next Generation Impact is the idea to transfer academic concepts into realities.

Rodney Schwartz

CEO and Founder, ClearlySo

Rodney Schwartz is CEO and Founder of ClearlySo. He leads the strategy and growth of the company. Joining Wall Street in 1980, he rose to become the number one ranked financial services analyst at PaineWebber and then held senior management posts at Lehman Brothers and Paribas, before leaving the sector in 1997 to found the venture capital firm Catalyst. A pioneer in the impact investment marketplace, he transformed Catalyst into a social business consultancy and in 2008 he launched ClearlySo. Rodney also teaches social finance at the Said Business School (Oxford), is Former Chair of Shelter and JustGiving, and serves on the board of The Green Thing and Spacehive. He holds an MBA and BA from the University of Rochester.

Andreas Treichl


Andreas Treichl is the Chairman of the Management Board of Erste Group Bank AG, one of the largest financial services providers in Central and Eastern Europe. He has been a regular attendee of the CEE Impact Day since its start in 2012.

Peter Vandor

Senior Researcher, Vienna University of Economics and Business; Founder, Social Impact Award

Peter Vandor is senior researcher and manager of the NPO & SE Competence Center at WU, the Vienna University of Economics and Business. His research focuses on social entrepreneurship, migrant entrepreneurship and innovation and has been published in the Journal of Business Venturing and Harvard Business Review.
Peter is founder and academic director of the Social Impact Award, a capacity building program for young social entrepreneurs in 15+ countries . He was nominated as Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum in 2012 and as SCANCOR Visiting Scholar to Stanford University in 2017.

Johannes Weber

Founder, Ananda Ventures

Johannes is managing partner at Ananda Ventures. He founded the Ananda - Social Venture Fund and built it up along with Florian Erber. Johannes is a very passionate entrepreneur. In addition to founding several start-ups, he possesses a strong desire to put business at the service of society. Johannes was recognized as a ‘Young Global Leader’ at the World Economic Forum in 2014. He is a graduate of the European Business School in Oestrich-Winkel, and studied Entrepreneurship and Finance at the HEC in Lausanne and the International Business School in Budapest. In 1999, Johannes was part of the NATO Kosovo Forces (KFOR) in Pristina, Kosovo.

Alex Zhigarev

COO, CBOE Vest Technologies

Alex Zigharev is a serial entrepreneur, currently COO and co-founder of CBOE VesT Technologies (spinoff of Y-Combinator company, acquired by CBOE, Inc in 2016). Heis also a member of the Board at (leading Russian online travel business) and has held leadership roles in Emerson, Dell Inc, Ericsson and Bain&Co. He holds an MBA from INSEAD, and a Mag. in Computer Science from Moscow Engineering Physics Institute.

Social Enterprise Coaches

Shawn Ardaiz

Innovation Executive and Entrepreneur

Shawn works with leaders to help them create cultures of creativity and innovation. He spent the past year as an interim Chief Innovation Officer for a startup in San Francisco (SF) building a business that measures innovation at the intersection of culture and strategy. Prior to that he spent three years as a Sr. Strategist and Partner for an innovation strategy firm in SF, CA applying design thinking to tackle complex systems challenges ranging from M&A to executive level supply chain strategy. He is also the co-founder of a startup that measures the emotional intelligence of teams.

Toni Chung

Innovation Facilitator and Design Thinking expert

Toni Chung is an Innovation Facilitator and expert in Design Thinking, Open Innovation & Process Design with over 10 years of Facilitation experience. He supports clients from different fields (public, NGOs, academia, startups, SME, etc.) in developing new ideas, products/services, strategies and organizational structures. Toni is especially passionate about creative ideation processes and empowering others by teaching effective methods of facilitation.
He has previously held leading roles at winnovation consulting, supporting international clients from various sectors in boosting innovation capabilities through Open Innovation.

Werner Krendl

CFO, Impact Hub Vienna

Entrepreneur and Investment Expert with 15+ year experience, focused on impact since 2010. Venture Capital and Structured Finance experience (Green Bonds, CDOs) Investment & Portfolio Management experience as Managing Partner. Studied Economics in Vienna and Brighton, UK.

Sonja Rauschütz

Founder and Managing Partner, Vienna School of Negotiation

Negotiation advisor and facilitator, working with business and public sector clients in Western, Central and Eastern Europe, the USA and the Middle East. Sonja integrates her Central European upbringing with her international education blending the best methodologies available for negotiation. Experienced management trainer and Executive Coach, certified PCM© (Process Communication Model) and LOD™ (Leading out of Drama®) provider; 1999 – 2002 Faculty at Harvard at Law School’s Program on Negotiation; in 2000 initiation of the Israeli Palestinian Negotiating Partners (IPNP) program, later the Balkan Negotiation Partners and Young Negotiator Initiative; research focus on Negotiator Agility in challenging negotiations and long-lasting conflicts.

Organizers and Partners

Hosted by

Hosting partners

Event Partners

Content Partners

Implementation Partners

Where does it take place?

Event Locations

OeKB - Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG
Strauchgasse 3
1010 Vienna

Erste Campus
Am Belvedere 1
1010 Vienna

Impact Hub Vienna
Lindengasse 56
1070 Vienna

Phone: +43 (0) 1 522 71 43

Previous Conferences

A new paradigm for capitalism is emerging. Impact Investors are redefining value creation by utilizing capital in ways that maximize environmental, social, and financial benefit. The idea of impact investing is increasingly appealing for both social ventures and investors in Central and Eastern Europe.

Over the past 6 years, the Impact Hub Vienna, together with its partners in the region, has contributed to strengthening the CEE impact ecosystem through capacity building initiatives such as the Investment Ready Program, Social Impact Award and other tailor-made incubation activities.

Born out of the need to connect impact-driven entrepreneurs to sources of capital and to raise awareness among investors, the CEE Impact Day grew to be the largest gathering of global organizations, individual and institutional investors, and impact makers in Central and Eastern Europe.

A unique conference to delve deeper into the potential of Impact Investment in this region, the CEE Impact Day aims to strengthen collaboration among key players and to inspire best practices and innovations.

“To see so much extraordinary energy and creativity is very powerful. I am very pleased to see how much investment there is in the field of impact and I am grateful to be part of an event that captures the potential and greatness of this sector.”

Paul Chatterton, deputy leader for forest and climate at WWF, Panelist at the CEE Impact Day 2014

“You, me and everybody can invest in impact investing. Moving forward, everybody will have to invest in impact if you want to generate even financial returns alone.”

Uli Grabenwarter, Deputy Director - Equity Investments at the European Investment Fund at CEE Impact Day 2016

“The meaning of wealth is to make a positive contribution to humanity and the planet.”

Charly Kleissner, Toniic, KL Felicitas Foundation, Keynote Speaker at the CEE Impact Day 2012-2016

“Thank you for this event! I made really strong connections and gained valuable know-how about the impact investment scene. I got very inspired meeting so dedicated entrepreneurs and investors!”

From the CEE Impact Day 2015 Survey

Last years' CEE Impact Days

Get a taste of CEE Impact Day from last years' booklets, with speakers and agendas.

CEE Impact Day 2016 CEE Impact Day 2015 CEE Impact Day 2014 CEE Impact Day 2013 CEE Impact Day 2012