Alexandre Terrien, General Partner
My career lies at the intersection of entrepreneurship, technology and progress. In many ways, Future Positive is the nexus of my slightly atypical journey.
After building a first company in college, I joined Harvard biomedical engineering professor and renowned inventor David Edwards at ArtScience Labs, an avant-garde interdisciplinary innovation lab that develops products at frontiers of science and design. I led the organization’s Paris-based “moonshot studio”, where we incubated dozens of futuristic technologies to find commercially-viable products. We built prototypes early, tested them in a “live” environment, and ran dozens of experiments to build a case for investment. We launched 3 companies while I was there, and went on to raise +$40m for those businesses. A crash course in building startups, at the intersection of biotech, food, manufacturing, supply chains and product launches.
While I lived in Paris, I had co-founded the Paris hub of Sandbox, the foremost community of under-30 entrepreneurs and innovators. After an incredible experience at ArtScience Labs, I moved to London to manage Sandbox globally. There, I built relationships with entrepreneurs around the world as we identified leaders in 40+ cities and brought them together to build relationships, share best practices, create partnerships, or share investors.
This is how I met Sofia, and our experience with Sandbox sowed the seeds for what is now the Future Positive Catalyst community.
Meeting so many entrepreneurs also made me increasingly conscious of the power of advanced technologies to solve our global needs. I flew to California to learn more about this at Singularity University – a Silicon Valley-based think tank that studies the application of technologies like AI, robotics and synthetic biology in areas like climate change, education and health. That is where I met Lucrezia Bisignani, a talented Italian entrepreneur. We partnered to create Kukua, a pan-African education media franchise that leverages the growth of smartphones in the global south to become “the Disney of learning”. The franchise revolves around Sema, an inspiring and resourceful African heroine with an extraordinary purpose, and is distributed through game-based apps and other media content. Lucrezia leads the business and the company is supported by venture firms like Echo VC, Firstminute, and Burda Media.
In 2015, while I had learned a lot about starting companies – launching products, building teams, raising capital – I sought to learn how to scale a sales organization, and joined the European enterprise team of venture-backed company General Assembly. I was quickly promoted to lead their French and Swiss enterprise business, which became the fastest territories for the company. General Assembly subsequently sold to Adecco for $412 million.
In January 2017, after years of speaking with Sofia about building a fund for the next generation of entrepreneurs and working closely with her on the plan, I made the jump and joined her full time to make it happen.