Andrea Carafa is an entrepreneur, educator, and investor committed to addressing global issues through innovation. Currently, he is a Blackstone Launchpad & Techstars Entrepreneur in Residence (Director) and a Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Design Thinking at the University of California, Santa Cruz and for the National Science Foundation's Innovation Corps. He serves as a member of the UC Office of the President’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative. His current focus is on AI, science, and digital startups tackling grand challenges and creating a new kind of ventures embodying the values of diversity, inclusion and shared prosperity from day one.
Andrea was named a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, an MIT Technology Review Innovators Under 35 Ambassador and Judge, a member of the Partnership on AI to Benefit People and Society, and a delegate to the United Nations Science, Technology & Innovation Forum.
Andrea founded ArtsUp, and was a Resident Entrepreneur and Fellow at Stanford, where he chaired the Impact Entrepreneurship Initiative at President Obama's Global Entrepreneurship Summit. He researched, prototyped, and lectured about design thinking and entrepreneurship at Stanford and the University of Milan Bicocca, and co-created an EU Knowledge Alliance and a master's program aimed at spurring venture creation in European universities.
Prior to that, Andrea was an EU Marie Curie Fellow in emerging technology addressing health and sustainability problems at the European Commission's Joint Research Centre and at Grenoble School of Management. He was also a European Science Foundation Visiting Fellow at Bocconi University, and a HEPTech Visiting Researcher at GSI and CERN. He inspired and helped CERN to launch CollSpotting, a data analytics platform for scientific labs and companies to establish new R&D collaborations increasing their technology transfer to society.
Andrea was a Civil Society Representative at the United Nations on behalf of AEGEE. He created a multi-stakeholder initiative within the UN Rio+20 process and, together with other members of the Major Groups, advocated the establishment of the Sustainable Development Goals. He was also the Founder and Executive Director of GYE and contributed to shape Future Earth, a global research and innovation initiative announced at Rio+20, the largest summit in UN history.
Born and raised in Southern Italy, Andrea earned a Bachelor's Degree in Economics & Business Administration from LUISS University in Rome, a Master's Degree in EU Business & Law from Aarhus University in Denmark, and a Master's Degree in Management from ESADE Business School in Barcelona, obtaining a number of scholarships funded by the EU, ESADE, Apulia, and the Italian Ministry of Labour.
During his free time, Andrea is a guitarist and singer-songwriter who loves learning languages, going on road trips and hikes with his family and friends, as well as bringing people together through food and art in all forms.