Pioneer of legal advice for private equity and venture capital (VC) funds financing entrepreneurial ventures in South Eastern Europe, Irina founded and managed the first law firm specialized in advising funds and entrepreneurs in Romania. After more than a decade dedicated to private equity & VC transactions from a legal perspective, Irina took advantage of the year she spent as a Mason Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School and focused from an academic perspective on VC’s role in stimulating entrepreneurship and innovation around the world. She took a closer look at designing policy measures aimed at kick starting capital investments in countries which lag behind in this field.
Back to Europe, Irina continued her activity as Managing Director of the South Eastern European Private Equity and VC Association, became a member of the Representative Committee of the European VC Association (renamed InvestEurope), became a member of the National Council of Development and Innovation was appointed as President of the Romanian Innovation Ecosystem Commission. She also created an NGO, Triple Helix, which develops and implements projects related to catalyzing a shift towards a more entrepreneurial mentality in the former communist countries from Eastern Europe.
Irina was invited to be a panelist or moderator on topics related to Venture Capital and entrepreneurship at conferences organized by top schools (including London Business School, Stanford University, Harvard Business School), and she is part of working groups dedicated to stimulating innovation at national level in various countries and also at the level of the European Union.
Irina is often invited to be member of the jury for various international competitions, such as EU Women Innovators (where she was chairing the jury last year) or Global Teacher Prize where she serves as a member of the Academy.
She was selected in 2012 among the top 100 women in tech in Europe by Girls in Tech London, Forbes Magazine recognized her twice as one of the most influential 50 women in Romania and she was included in several editions of top 100 Foreign Policy Romania.
Considering the leadership role she played in various projects, as well as her strong background in all of the three main spheres of activity (business, public sector and not for profit) Irina was recognized as an Eisenhower Fellow in 2008, became a Mason Fellow at Harvard in 2009 and was honored as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2014.