Investor, Startup Coach, and Entrepreneur in Reykjavík, Iceland
Bala Kamallakharan is the Founder of Startup Iceland, a grassroots initiative to build sustainable startup ecosystems in Iceland. Bala serves as Executive Board Member in Guide to Iceland and TravelShift. Bala invested, mentored and was the Chairman of the Board at CLARA (Resonata), the Icelandic Community Analytics company which was acquired by Jive Software in 2013. CLARA was the first Icelandic company to be acquired into Silicon Valley. Bala has done various early stage investments like Buuteeq (acquired by Priceline.com NASDAQ:PCLN), Mattermark, Genome Compiler (acquired by Twist Biosciences).
Before venturing into being an Investor and Entrepreneur, Bala was with Glitnir Bank’s executive team. He was part of the Strategic Growth team focusing on strategic priorities of the bank, which included mergers & acquisitions, business development and strategy formulation. This team was responsible for developing the international strategy of the bank. Bala played many leadership roles within the bank; he was the integration manager between Glitnir and FIM. Bala led the project to investigate and develop the Indian market for the bank and in continuation of that role he was appointed the Head of India for the bank.
Prior to joining Glitnir, Bala was with Cap Gemini in the US, formerly Ernst & Young Management Consulting. He worked on strategy development and deployment of projects for Fortune 500 companies. Bala has a management degree from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani. He also holds a Masters degree in Economics and a second Masters degree in Information Systems & Decision Science from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, USA. Bala passed the PhD qualifying examination in Economics; Bala is a member of the Reykjavik International Rotary Club.