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Meet the team

We are a closely-knit team based in Amsterdam and Hamburg with a passion for solving the global climate crisis

Managing Partner

Anton Arts

Anton Arts is a Managing Partner at SET Ventures since 2018. Anton is familiar with all aspects of venture capital, with a track record that includes 20+ investments and exit transactions valued at over €1B. Previously, he was an independent advisor providing strategic advisory and corporate finance services to deeptech companies. Until 2010, Anton was a Partner at US firm New Venture Partners where he teamed up with the R&D organisations of major European technology companies to incubate and invest in spin-out transactions. Prior to that, Anton was a Partner at Gilde IT Fund, a pioneering venture capital fund based in the Netherlands that he joined in 1997. He started his career at Uniface, a successful Dutch software company acquired by Compuware in 1994. Anton holds a degree in Business Administration from Nyenrode University. He serves as a board member at Easelink, Green Eagle Solutions, ESFORIN, instagrid, Evinox and previously at GreenFlux (acquired).


Ellen Smeele

Ellen is an Associate and involved in evaluating investment opportunities, due diligience, sector research and portfolio support and ensuring that our ESG practices remain best-in-class.

Working at Green Giraffe before, she has experience with solar PV, off-shore wind and mini-grid transactions across Europe and Africa. She also worked at multiple software, fintech and agriculture start-ups across the globe in finance, strategy and operations roles. Being Dutch but having lived in Oman, Hong Kong, Rwanda and the UK she experienced great joy meeting people from various cultural and professional backgrounds. She puts her enthusiam for connecting with people and promoting diversity into practice as ambassador for Climate Mosaic, a pan-european network with climate investors and founders.

Ellen has an MSc in Political Economy from the London School of Economics and an MSc in Sustainable Business from the Rotterdam School of Management.

Head of Marketing

Hayden Young

Hayden Young is the Head of Marketing at SET Ventures, responsible for building on SET’s established reputation by helping it reach new audiences. After working in industries like Aviation, Music and Electric Vehicles he has returned to Venture Capital, due to the belief that the climate crisis can only be solved through new innovative companies. At global VC firm Antler, he coached startups in marketing strategy, product messaging and branding. Hayden continues to grow his place in the Dutch tech ecosystem by operating as a continued advisor at Antler and a recurring mentor for Startupbootcamp. Hayden holds a Bachelor’s degree in 3D Design & Animation from Leeds Beckett University.

Investment Analyst

Jonathan Lersch

Jonathan has joined SET Ventures as an Investment Analyst working from our office in Hamburg, Germany, where he focuses on our deal flow and investments in the DACH region.

He gained experience in the startup ecosystem from his time at early-stage VC firms Cavalry Ventures and Vorwerk Ventures, as well as working at several B2B SaaS startups.

Additionally, Jonathan has contributed to innovative energy solutions through his roles as a research assistant at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology and as a fellow at the Future Energy Lab of the German Energy Agency (Dena).

He holds a MSc in Finance & Information Management from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and a BSc in Business Administration from the University of Mannheim. In his spare time, Jonathan enjoys sports and cooking, and he has a passion for photography and art as ways to relax and unwind.


Julia Padberg

Julia is a Partner at SET Ventures. Her mission is to reduce the climate impact of the energy sector through digital innovation, together with industry-leading entrepreneurs. She is deeply experienced in finance, energy, and cleantech. Since 2016, Julia has been instrumental in strengthening SET’s European network and visibility, as well as spearheading new investments.

Previously, Julia was active in corporate finance and investment advisory in cleantech and energy, amongst others at merchant bank Kempen & Co. She advised on M&A transactions, IPOs, investments, and fundraising processes at European energy companies. She was also involved in establishing new energy projects, business cases, structured financing, and advising on growth strategies. Julia holds a Master’s degree in Environmental & Resource Economics from University College London. She is a board member and trusted advisor at Flexidao, Trunkrs and Sensorfact, and formerly at Depsys (acquired). She was also a board observer at Energyworx, GreenCom Networks (acquired) and Greenflux (acquired).

Chief Financial Officer

Leonie Mekel

Leonie Mekel is CFO at SET Ventures. She has 10 years of experience in the financial sector combined with a strong operational background. Leonie is responsible for all financial and operational processes at SET and is involved in fundraising and deal negotiations. Part of her responsibilities is making sure SET complies with all relevant regulatory, tax, and legal obligations and reporting requirements. She is dedicated to contributing to SET’s ambition to create a sustainable and carbon-free energy system. Previously, Leonie worked at PwC as a tax advisor, with a specialisation in financial markets. Leonie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Dutch Law and a Master’s degree in Dutch Tax Law from Leiden University.

Digital Office Manager

Linda van Veen

Linda is the Digital Office Manager at SET Ventures. Since 2020, she runs the daily operations at the SET office, responsible for administrative matters and office management. She enjoys variety in her work and dealing with ad-hoc matters, as a real multi-tasker. At SET she makes a positive contribution by making all operational processes run smoothly and by creating a clear structure with a positive mindset. Previously she worked in different project management roles for governmental and non-profit organisations. Linda holds a Master’s degree in International Business.

Investment Analyst

Moritz Müller

Moritz is joining us as an Investment Analyst at SET Ventures. Before joining SET, Moritz gained experience as a VC at Berlin-based impact fund AENU, where he worked on energy-related investment opportunities such as battery analytics, grid optimization as well as renewable energy & EV financing. Moritz brings operational experience, directly leading a venture as a co-founder of the climate-tech start-up Kly as well as academic experience through his time as a research assistant at HSG conducting deep dives on sustainability-related issues. In addition, Moritz has a BSc in Business Administration from the University of Zurich and a MSc in Business Innovation from the University of St. Gallen (HSG).

Next to his professional endeavours Moritz has been an active member of Switzerland’s music scene as a label owner and DJ playing locally as well as abroad for over a decade.


René Savelsberg

René Savelsberg is a Partner and co-founded SET Ventures in 2007. He has 25+ years of experience in technology investing in both deeptech and in energy transition with a background in corporate venturing and venture capital. He is an open and honest leader within the SET Ventures team and on portfolio company boards focusing on strategic issues and leveraging a deep expert network. He represents the venture capital sector in the board of the Nederlandse Vereniging van Participatiemaatschappijen (NVP).

René started his career in sales and marketing in multiple smaller and larger companies. After moving to California in 1990 he got immersed in the start-up and venture capital community as head of Philip Electronics’ external innovation activities in Silicon Valley and beyond. He holds an MSc degree in Industrial Engineering & Management from the Technical University Eindhoven. René has successfully led exits of multiple companies and served on the board of sonnen (acquired), General Fusion, Epyon (acquired), Etpa and several other portfolio companies.

Head of Insights

Simone de Bruin

Simone is Head of Insights at SET Ventures, responsible for developing and delivering industry-leading research and market intelligence on trends that impact and affect the energy transition market.

Prior to joining SET Ventures, Simone was a member of IDC’s Global Thought Leadership Team and responsible for IDC’s Worldwide Digital Native Business research. In this capacity, she was a leading voice on the digital-native business market and advised major tech suppliers on market sizing and segmentation, market trends & developments, and go-to-market approaches needed to effectively reach and engage digital-native organizations.

By joining SET Ventures Simone is returning to her roots, as she initially started her career at Gilde Investments. She also co-founded a research boutique where she focused on partner ecosystems and spent time as director of market intelligence at a Dutch fintech association. Simone holds a master’s degree in Communication Science from the University of Amsterdam.


Dr. Till Stenzel

Till joined SET Ventures as a Venture Partner in 2021 and was promoted to full Partner in 2023. Focusing especially on the German-language (DACH) region, Till leverages almost 20 years of experience as an investor, entrepreneur, consultant, and executive and has developed a deep understanding of the levers for change in the energy sector. Till sits as a board member for SET portfolio company, Frequenz Prior to SET Ventures, Till was a Managing Director at DTCP focusing on investments in the digital economy. Other previous engagements include corporate strategy work at E.ON, cleantech investments with Hazel Capital (now Gresham House New Energy), co-founding the first large-scale solar projects developer in Tunisia, and policy advisory work for the UK Government and Parliament, as well as with the International Energy Agency (IEA). Till holds an MSc and PhD from Imperial College, London, as well as a BSc from the London School of Economics. Till is a CFA Charterholder.

Managing Partner

Wouter Jonk

Wouter Jonk is a Managing Partner and co-founded SET Ventures in 2007. He has 25 years of experience in energy and cleantech venture capital combined with experience in business creation, innovation, and M&A. He is convinced that investing for environmental impact and financial return is a perfect combination. Previously, Wouter spent 10 years at Philips, at the M&A group, as CFO of an incubator, but predominantly at the corporate venturing team in Silicon Valley and Europe. Before that, he worked at PwC Corporate Finance and at two technology venture capital firms. Besides his investment responsibilities, he oversees the financial and legal affairs of SET Ventures. Wouter holds an MSc Degree in Industrial Engineering & Management from the Technical University Twente. He serves as a board member at EnOcean and Hydrogrid and formerly on the board of GreenCom Networks (acquired) and Luxexcel (acquired).

Advisory Board

Our advisory board is made up of world class experts with unprecedented knowledge in their fields. At SET Ventures, we leverage that knowledge to provide an external review of our assessments and to help guide every investment decision we make.

Arnold Stokking

Seasoned energy entrepreneur. Founder of BioBased Circular and managing director of Brightsite

Bahar den Doelder

ESG & impact expert, Owner of 3P Sustainability Consulting

Hans Mart Groen

Serial energy entrepreneur & board member. Deep expertise in renewable energy.

Hans Streng

Serial climate entrepreneur. Former CEO at SET portfolio companies Epyon (acquired by ABB) and Luxexcel (acquired by Meta)

Hayat Chedid

Leadership management expert, Co-founder, Upshot Impact

Ricarda Peters

Regulatory and energy generation expert, Director, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners

Stefan Grützmacher

DSO & energy retailer expert, 25+ year career of executive management at DSOs and energy retailers

Tim Meyer

Renewable energy expert, 25 year career in technology and management within the renewable energy sector.