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Who we are

About EMpact

EMpact is a venture studio serving critical value chains in frontier markets by addressing chronic issues afflicting these markets and affecting our planet. EMpact drives change through the incubation of talent, then creating and incubating businesses that address the needs of key players in these value chains with focus on agriculture. The final step in this venture studio model is to extend pre-seed equity funding to the budding startups, handhold them through the initial phase of their growth journey, and then - over time - hand them over to later stage investors.

EMpact is a collaborative effort among Corporate, Funding, Capacity Building and Technology partners and is led by its Co-Founders Sami Lahoud and Prateek Shrivastava. Between the two of them, Sami and Prateek bring a wealth of corporate, philanthropic and entrepreneurship experience covering public private partnerships, development, impact investing, financial inclusion, digital transformation, technological innovation, corporate affairs and governance.

Our Leadership

Sami Lahoud

Co-founder & CEO

Prateek Shrivastava

Co-founder & COO

Our Advisory Board

Executive Director at Miller Center at Santa Clara University

Brigit brings 30 years of experience creating and delivering innovative solutions to social and environmental challenges in 45 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America, in both the private and public sectors. 

Miller Center is the premier university-based social enterprise accelerator dedicated to eliminating poverty for the next generation.

She was previously vice president for the global development company Development Alternatives, CEO of the Multilateral Investment Fund (IDB Lab), senior specialist at the IFC, senior expert at McKinsey & Company, as well as a founding member of  CGAP and sits on boards of AlphaMundi and BRAC USA.

Principal at Sahel Capital (Investment in African Food & Agriculture)

Nouss’ 15 year career reflects a deep commitment to finance and investment, with a special focus on emerging markets and sustainable development in Africa.

At Sahel Capital, Nouss is focused on impact investing in the African Food and Agriculture sector, building on her portfolio management experience at Investisseurs & Partenaires in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. She also lived in Chile and worked as an investment banker with Banco Santander and Societe Generale, after having started her career with Credit Agricole and EY in Paris.

She holds an MBA from Saïd Business School, University of Oxford and a Masters in Finance from ESCP Business School, Paris.

EVP, Purpose Driven Products and Marketing

Cris has over 25 years of leading teams focused on purpose-driven solutions increasing brand reputation, revenue, market share and scaling sustainable initiatives. 

At Mastercard, she oversaw the mission to bring one billion people into the digital economy by 2025 and drove environmentally sustainable solutions like the Carbon Calculator and Priceless Planet Coalition.

Cris  previously held leading consulting roles at IBM and PWC.

She holds an MBA in Marketing & Services from Sao Paulo University and executive education from the Yale School of Management. 

Co-Founder and Board member of Asili Agriculture

Eduardo has had a dynamic 35+ year entrepreneurial career reflecting results oriented leadership with creative independent thinking and strong people management skills.

He built best of breed software focused on real time visualization of data and video in Homeland security applications, and internet of things. Since 2013, he has focused on agriculture value chain efficency and impact investment.

Asili is an integrated platform for food security and agricultural transformation, and is a leading engine in climate smart agriculture, in East Africa.

Eduardo is an active participant, coach and volunteer in various charities in the US and Africa.

Special Adviser to CEO  and Head of Global Initiatives at Yara


Arne is an innovator and driver of new models for sustainable development and public private partnerships within the food and agriculture sector.

Formerly Executive Director for Grow Africa and Senior Director at the World Economic Forum, EVP and Chief Marketing and Communication Officer with Yara International. He has also held senior management positions with Telenor, Gazette, and Digital Equipment Corp and has served as the Chairman of the Board for the humanitarian organization CARE Norway, been on the board of CARE International and on the board of the Global Fairness Initiative, as well as the Chair of the Farm to Market Alliance (FtMA) and the Chair of Generation Africa which he co-designed.

CEO and General Manager of Fundacion Genesis Empresarial

With over 30 years of experience, Edgardo is a seasoned banker development professional and innovator.

He is member of The Social Performance Task Force (SPTF), President of the Board of Directors of the RED ACCION, Member of the Board of Directors of the Network of Microfinance Institutions of Guatemala –REDMIF- Guatemala Member of the Board of Directors of the Network of Microfinance Institutions of Guatemala –REDMIF- Guatemala.

He is the former Vice President of the Chamber of Microfinance and was General Manager of two Banking Institutions in Guatemala and three Financial Institutions specialized in Consumer Credit, Credit Cards.