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Dr Ilian Iliev

Dr Ilian Iliev

Managing Director

Dr. Ilian Iliev is Managing Director of EMV Capital where he also leads the investment advisory team. Ilian spun-out EMV Capital out of EcoMachines Ventures, which was founded in 2013. Prior to that he co-founded and was CEO of CambridgeIP Ltd (2006-2012), which he built into a leading market and technology business intelligence provider in the UK (partial exit through sale of data & software business to multi-billion US investment fund). In the late 1990s, he co-founded and led 100-person family business in Southern Africa in the electrical industry, with a focus on turnkey industrial installations. He is a Board member at a number of EMVC portfolio companies, including Pointgrab (Israel), Sofant Technologies (UK), Q-Bot (UK), Vortex Biosciences Inc (USA), Wanda Health Inc (USA)

Ilian holds a PhD from Cambridge University’s Judge Business School, focused on Venture Capital business models in emerging economies; MCom in Economics, and BA in Politics, Economics and International Relations from the University of Witwatersrand, where he was voted Best Political Science Student in South Africa in 1997. He has published widely on issues in the energy, healthcare, innovation finance and entrepreneurship. He is a former Associate Fellow at Chatham House, focused on energy and resource efficiency.

Key publications include:

Venture Capital Organisations as Actors in Emerging Economy Systems of Innovation: Case Studies of South Africa and Hungary – Thesis Submitted to the University of Cambridge for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (2014)

Who Owns Our Low Carbon Future? Intellectual property and energy technologies – Report co-authored with Chatham House (2009)

Barriers to Venture Capital Investment in Innovative SMEs in CEEs–Causes and Policy Implications – in Piech&Radosevic (eds) The Knowledge-Based Economy in Central and East European Countries, Palgrave MacMillan (2006)

FirstSolar : A Focus on the Technology Fundamentals – CambridgeIP Report (2011)

Desalination Technologies and the Use of Alternative Energies for Desalination – Report for International Renewables Energy Agency and World Intellectual Property Office (2012)

Membrane Filtration and UV Water Treatment: A report on selected water treatment technologies and their application in desalination systems – Report for World Intellectual Property Office (2012)

Desalination: new frontier for renewable energy? – Article for Renewable Energy Focus (2012)

Challenges and opportunities in the licensing of renewable technologies – Journal of Commercial Biotechnology (2009)

Role of Intellectual Property Rights in Technology Transfer – Report for UNFCCC (2008)

Intellectual Property: Crosslicensing, Patent Pools and Cooperative Standards as a Channel for Climate Change Technology Cooperation – Report for Climate Strategies (2008)


Investing in start-ups and early-stage businesses involves risks, including illiquidity, lack of dividends, loss of investment and dilution. It should be done only as part of a diversified portfolio. Any investments are targeted exclusively at investors who understand the risks of investing in early-stage businesses and can make their own investment decisions. Any pitches for investment are not offers to the public. Investments made in investee companies via funds managed by Sapphire Capital Partners LLP are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). For more details, please contact us or refer to their website: https://www.fscs.org.uk


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