London Career Month 2015

Entrepreneurship Panel Discussion

Online registration is now closed. Walk-in registration will be available at the event.        

Refine your next move by tapping into the UChicago alumni network. Join fellow alumni, parents, and friends for a panel discussion on entrepreneurship in Europe and how European financial regulations affect start-ups, followed by a networking reception. 

Getting ahead takes talent. It takes knowledge. It takes skills, practice, and connections. We all have our own mix of each. Polish and perfect your unique mix with UChicago's network of resources this Career Month . UChicago alumni experts can help you focus on professional growth, expand your network, and gain new job-hunting and job-landing skills.  

Confirmed Panelists:

Anna Bondarenko, AB'07,
Founder & CEO, Asteria Cleaners, an on-demand delivered dry cleaning concierge for Londoners. Asteria just released a mobile app where clients can order collection/deliveries 7 days a week from early morning to late in the evening. At Asteria, Anna is in charge of general management, operations and marketing. Prior to founding Asteria, Anna worked in investment banking in New York and never had time to get to the dry cleaners. She holds a Bachelor's in Economics from the University of Chicago and a Master's in International Economic Policy from Sciences Po Paris.

Chris Darnell, AB'92, Founder & CEO, Africa International Capital. Mr. Darnell is a global executive with significant board of directors experience across four continents – North America, South America, Europe and Africa. For over twenty years, he has developed, executed and led entrepreneurial initiatives for start-ups and high growth businesses, from within large corporations to newly founded companies. Industries include energy, media and entertainment, real estate and technology.  Mr. Darnell has overseen the investment of more than US$ 1.5 billion in emerging markets, start-up and high growth businesses. He has delivered several 'world firsts' in the global capital markets as well as launched software and consumer products that have obtained global reach and strong brand recognition. He is recognized by his peers for thought leadership in strategy and has a highly successful track record delivering strategic direction, revenue growth, financings, and business development. Recently, he founded and is CEO of Africa International Capital, which is publicly listed on the Bermuda Stock Exchange.  With a primary focus on real estate, the company acquires, develops and operates businesses that it believes will benefit from sustained growth and economic development in the Sub Saharan Africa region.

Alexandra Depledge, AM'05,
CEO & Founder,, (Moderator), Alex Depledge launched in 2013 and is a passionate believer in the power of the sharing economy to improve people’s lives - enabling individuals to take control of their working life and become micro entrepreneurs. In 2014 TechCity Insider named Alex ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’, following on the heels of her appearance on the ‘Silicon Valley Comes to the UK Scale-up Top 100’ - a list highlighting British entrepreneurs expected to lead their firms to £100m in revenue in three to five years. Alex worked with the UK Department of Trade and Investment as part of the Afterburner scheme, helping to identify the next 25 startups ready for growth investment. Most recently she contributed to the UK government’s independently commissioned review into the sharing economy. Alex launched her career in the US after completing her masters degree at the University of Chicago; working on the campaign team of a major US politician. In 2006 Alex returned to the UK to become a consultant for Accenture, advising FTSE 100 clients on their customer and channel execution before leaving in 2012 to enter the world of entrepreneurship.

Jason Keiles, MBA'96, Chief Operating Officer, busuu. Jason Keiles has over fifteen years of global experience in the media and ecommerce industries.  He is currently Chief Operating Officer of Busuu, the world’s largest language learning community, with over 50 million registered users around the world. In August 2003, he founded JL Global Enterprises LLC (JL Global), an advisory firm for US, European and Asian-based companies interested in exploring new growth opportunities for their existing media, entertainment and other businesses around the world.   His clients included Virgin Radio, ITV Plc, Fox Television Studios, Getty Images and Vistage International, among others. In February 2008, Mr. Keiles was invited to serve as Chief Representative for Virgin Radio International in North and South America, having been previously responsible for the launch and development of Virgin Radio in Asia. Mr. Keiles has also served in other senior international business development roles for Vistage International, Fox Television Studios, Massive Media Group, Universal Television Group, the television arm of Universal Studios, and Twentieth Century Fox.   In 1993, he was Staff Assistant to Secretary of State Warren Christopher. He has a bachelor's degree in Economics and Political Science from UC Irvine, and an MBA from The University of Chicago.

Hanna McCloskey, Founder & CEO, Fearless Futures. Hanna is the Founder & CEO of Fearless Futures - a movement of fearless young women's leadership. Fearless Futures is a social enterprise that works with girls and women in schools, universities and their early careers running innovative leadership development programmes, enabling participants to understand and challenge deeply rooted societal sexism, grow their courage and actualise their leadership through peer power. Daughter to an Algerian mother and a British father, Hanna grew up in Wembley in North West London. Over the last nine years, Hanna has worked for the United Nations, NGOs and the Royal Bank of Scotland, across communications, research and finance roles; and has lived, studied and worked in Israel-Palestine, Italy, USA, Sudan, Syria and the UK. She has a BA in English from the University of Cambridge and an MA in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, with a specialism in Conflict Management. Most recently, Hanna worked in investment banking and her time at RBS saw her focus, outside of infrastructure financing advisory, on bringing about diversity in the workplace. This culminated in her being shortlisted for the Women in the City Future Leader Award and receiving the Deloitte Chartered Banker’s Young Banker of the Year Award for her innovation with respect to this goal. Hanna is an expert in gender and leadership, having dedicated the last six years to researching, living and exploring the literature and practice of creating socially just, empowered and inclusive communities and workplaces. Her belief in the transformative power of education has seen her become Vice-Chair of Governors at the inspiring Viking Primary School. She is also on the Board of Trustees of The Artemis Network and is a Fellow of the RSA.

Staff Liaison
Alexandria Schultz, AM'13