Andrea Carafa is an academic, entrepreneur, startup builder, and angel investor based in Silicon Valley and interested in climate tech, biotech, and AI for sustainability and societal health. He currently serves as Director of the Blackstone Launchpad powered by Techstars as well as QB3 Entrepreneur in Residence and Rachel Carson Lecturer at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he teaches Hacking for Oceans. He has been named a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and member of the Fast Company Impact Council. He has also been named MIT Technology Review Innovators Under 35 Ambassador and Judge, member of the Review Committee for the National Science Foundation "America's Seed Fund", member of the Partnership on AI, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, and Delegate to the UN Science, Technology & Innovation Forum for the Sustainable Development Goals.
Previously, Andrea served as Founding Emergence Fellow, Resident Entrepreneur and Design Thinking Fellow at Stanford, and founded the sustainable food biotech startup Vita and the consumer tech startup ArtsUp. He also conducted research and lectured about entrepreneurship, human-centered design, and technology innovation at Stanford and the University of Milan Bicocca. As a Fellow and Resident Entrepreneur at Stanford, he created and chaired the Impact Entrepreneurship Initiative at President Obama's Global Entrepreneurship Summit. He helped launch Emergence, a new Stanford initiative fostering entrepreneurship for planet and societal health. While at Stanford, he also co-developed an EU Knowledge Alliance aimed at spurring more innovation and venture creation in European universities.
Prior to that, Andrea was an EU Marie Curie Fellow in emerging technology addressing sustainability and health 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 as well as helped CERN to launch Collaboration Spotting, a data analytics platform that facilitates the technology transfer from science labs and companies to society, which CERN features among its success stories.
Previously, Andrea served as the AEGEE Representative of European students at the United Nations, where he created a multi-stakeholder initiative within the UN Rio+20 process and advocated for the creation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Secretary-General's first ever Envoy on Youth role. He was also the Founder and Executive Director of the sustainability design venture Green Young Economy and helped shape Future Earth, a global sustainability research and innovation initiative announced at the UN Rio+20 Summit, and currently funded by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, NASA, NSF, the European Space Agency, and universities, academies, foundations, and governments around the world.
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, thanks to a number of scholarships funded by the EU, ESADE, Apulia, and the Italian Ministry of Labor. He also received certificates and executive education from the University of Oxford (Climate Emergency Program), Stanford (Silicon Valley Innovation & Entrepreneurship), and the Kauffman Fellows & Techstars (Venture Deals), among others, as a lifelong learner.
In his free time, Andrea loves going on road trips and hikes with family and friends, playing volley, writing songs and jamming with other musicians, as well as bringing people together through food, music, and art.