The Capricorn team

Capricorn Venture Partners' team is built around its seasoned investment professionals. They jointly have well over 100 years of venture investment experience and each brings a wealth of technological, industrial and business expertise to the benefit of our investments. We differentiate ourselves  by our multidisciplinary approach, our deep understanding of technology and our hands-on business support to our entrepreneurs.

 

Dr Jos B. Peeters, Managing Partner

Has a PhD in Solid State Physics from the University of Leuven. He worked at Bell Telephone Manufacturing Cy, PA Technology and BeneVent Management, before starting Capricorn Venture Partners.

 

Yves Vaneerdewegh, Chief Investment Officer / Quoted Equity

Yves is a commercial engineer and a certified EFFAS financial analyst. He worked for Hamburg Mannheimer NV (Munich Re Group) as a financial analyst (1993-1997) and at Puilaetco as a portfolio manager (1997-2005). Yves joined Capricorn Venture Partners in 2005.

 

Dr Frank Bulens, Partner

Engineer in Chemistry/Biochemistry and PhD in Medical Sciences. Frank was active in R&D at Diadal (Nutricia), academic research at the Faculty of Medicine of KU Leuven, senior scientific advisor at IWT and executive investment manager at Gimv.

 

Tom Vanhoutte, Chief Financial Officer

Holds Master Degree Commercial Engineering at the Catholic University of Leuven (KUL), Belgium. Tom is a certified public accountant who worked as a senior manager in the New York Asset Management practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC for 10 years. Tom has 12 years of relevant experience as auditor of financial services organizations, with a particular focus on investment companies and related operating companies.

 

Sabine Vermassen, Legal Advisor - Compliance Officer

Holds a Master degree in Law (UGent) and a Master in Business Administration (Vlerick School). Sabine started her career in the M&A department of an international law firm and has been operating since 1991 as an independent legal advisor to different venture capital funds and their portfolio companies.

Babette Pettersen, Chief Business Development Officer

Has an MBA from INSEAD, France, and a BSc in Biology from Wellesley College, USA. Prior to joining Capricorn Venture Partners, Babette was Chief Commercial Officer at BioAmber Inc, a pioneer in Sustainable Chemicals, led New Business Development for Performance Materials at Royal DSM, before which she held Marketing & New Business development roles in different industry sectors for over twenty years at Dow Corning. Babette started her career in Healthcare, at Baxter International.

 

Claude J. Stoufs, Partner

Has an MS degree in Chemistry from the University of Brussels and is a graduate in BA and International Commerce from Cepac.
Prior to joining Capricorn Venture Partners he held management positions with Fabelta and Akzo, PA Technology, Occidental Chemical and FMC Corp.

 

Katrin Geyskens, Partner

Katrin is a commercial engineer from the KULeuven (Belgium) and has obtained an MBA degree from the Chicago Booth School of Business (USA). Katrin has banking experience from CERA Bank (currently KBC Bank, Belgium) and Merrill Lynch (London, UK). She also worked as a Management Consultant for A.T.Kearney throughout Europe and South-Africa and was involved with the start-up of a Benelux Venture Services firm. Katrin is responsible for investments in private ICT/ technology companies and venture funds.

 

Dr Ekaterina (Katya) Smirnyagina, Partner

PhD in Cellular & Molecular Biology (University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA), BS in Biochemistry (Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia). Katya completed her scientific training at the Stanford University School of Medicine, then worked in management consulting and biotech business development. In 2002-12 she was with Alta Partners, a healthcare focused venture capital fund in San Francisco, CA.

Paul Decraemer, Head Cleantech Investment Pratice 

Ir Paul Decraemer, Partner

Holds a Master of Bioscience Engineering (UGent), Master in Financial Management (Vlerick). Acquired cleantech investment experience as Managing Director at Sustainable Energy Ventures and as Senior Investment Manager of Flemish Environmental Holding Company (VMH).

Marc Lambrechts, Senior Investment Manager 

Dr ir Marc Lambrechts, Senior Investment Manager

Was a senior scientific advisor at IWT and section head with the R&D division of Terumo Europe prior to joining Capricorn Venture Partners. He has a PhD in Microelectronics from the University of Leuven, with a specialisation in biosensors.

 

Olaf Cörper, Senior Investment Manager Quoted Equity

Olaf holds a diploma in economics (TU Berlin). He is also a Certified EFFAS Financial Analyst (DVFA). Olaf started his professional career in early 2004 at DZ Bank AG in Frankfurt, where he gained experience in institutional equity business. He developed his banking expertise further, mainly involved in European, notably German small- and mid-cap equities, and then worked for Ökoworld Lux as a financial analyst. Olaf joined Capricorn in 2012.

 

Dr Ludwig Goris, Investment Manager

Obtained a Master in Chemistry (UGent) and a PhD in Physics (Hasselt University) focusing on organic solar cells research. After his post-doctoral scholarship at Stanford University Ludwig re-joined Hasselt University to develop new thin film diamond applications. In parallel, he was actively involved in technology transfer from lab to start-up company. Ludwig joined Capricorn in 2011.

 

Rob van der Meij, Investment Manager

Rob is a chemical engineer from Delft University in the Netherlands and has worked both in the corporate, strategy consulting and start-up world in chemicals, process and water technology. Rob has held business management positions with Akzo Nobel and Shell Chemicals, was a founder and CEO of KiOR in the US and worked as CEO for several other start-ups in chemicals and water technology. He is also an investor and has board roles in several start-ups. Rob has also done the New Board Programme from Neyenrode Business University, developing board members 'new style'. 

 

Marina Ruiter, Executive Secretary

Worked as Senior Secretary at PA Technology and BeneVent Management, prior to joining Capricorn Venture Partners.