S1. E25. Eva-Maria Dimitriadis

Eva-Maria Dimitriadis is the CEO and Managing Partner at The Conduit Connect (also LinkedIn). As you will hear, she has a varied career, starting with Christies.

Launched in 2018, the Conduit Connect exists to scale innovative impact technologies and businesses that are solving some of the most challenging and critical issues of our time. it does this by connecting world class entrepreneurs and fund managers to values aligned impact investors and experts.

One theme of our conversation is how Impact Investing is now maturing so that those investments are both having an impact and making commercial returns. The aim: “the future is a world where you invest your pension, and you not only knew where that money is going, but you know that it’s going to a place where you’re securing your own future, but also that of your grandchildren by not destroying the planet at the same time.”

A second theme the role of long-term relationships and compelling stories in creating that change. To attract investors for the long haul, any for-impact enterprise needs a compelling narrative.

Also some fascinating advice to her younger self and advice in general:
1. Be patient.
2. Be curious.
3. Take opportunities.
4. Learn to negotiate, early on.
5. Cultivate relationships for the long-term.
6. Have a compelling narrative.

Some disclosures:

  1. No aspect of the interview or these show notes should be taken as investment advice. Any investments you make are done at your own risk. If you are interested in any financial products mentioned, then you should take your own independent financial advice about your situation in the round.
  2. Since the interview was recorded I have put approximately 5% of my liquid assets into the Conduit EIS Impact Fund. I did not receive any preferential access or treatment with respect to that investment because of this interview. I did take independent financial advice before deciding.



Family office – a privately held company that handles investment management and wealth management for a wealthy family.

More on the overall Conduit Connect approach here.

The Conduit is gathering changemakers to solve real-world problems. I interviewed co-foudner, Paul van Zyl, in S1 E20.

More on the Conduit EIS Impact Fund is here. It is managed by Ascension, one of the most active impact VCs in Europe, in collaboration with Conduit Connect.

Impact Management Project

Bridges Fund Management

Bridges Fund Management’s Spectrum of Capital

Blended Finance – OECD defines as “the strategic use of development finance for the mobilisation of additional finance towards sustainable development in developing countries.”

Tempered Radicals by Debra Meyerson talks about small wins as being part of creating radical change over time.

Mark Campanale of Carbon Tracker

As a big step towards inclusion, you can submit your pitch to Conduit Connect directly here. No need to be sponsored by an insider.

Ride Tandem

Conduit Connect’s latest impact report is here.

The Nutmeg’s Curse: Parables for a Planet in Crisis by Amitav Ghosh


0:50 – Q1 What are you doing now? And how did you get there?
13:43 – BONUS QUESTION: What did you learn from your time at Christies?
19:00 – BONUS QUESTION: Isn’t ESG a scam, where finance makes money out of greenwashing?
22:18 – BONUS QUESTION: This all very nice, but aren’t you sacrificing some returns in order to be having that impact?
24:03 – Q2. What is the future you are trying to create, and why?
28:06 – Q3. What are your priorities for the next few years, and why?
36:40 – Q4. If someone was inspired to follow those priorities, what should they do next?
39:11 – Q5. If your younger self was starting their career now, what advice would you give them?
40:48 – Q6. Who would you nominate to answer these questions, because you admire their approach?
42:47 – Q7. Is there anything else important you feel you have to say?


-Seneca said that luck is preparation plus opportunity.

Note: according to Wikiquote, it is disputed that Seneca said that directly. It may be a distortion of Seneca quoting his friend Demetrius the Cynic:

“The best wrestler,” he would say, “is not he who has learned thoroughly all the tricks and twists of the art, which are seldom met with in actual wrestling, but he who has well and carefully trained himself in one or two of them, and watches keenly for an opportunity of practising them.” — Seneca, On Benefits, vii. 1

-“There’s so much in the narrative arc, that I’ve been business and creating empathy and creating connection. And the same applies to selling a startup.” because a for-impact start-up needs to give investors reasons to invest even though there is inherent risk (as a new company, in a new sector, and with a mission beyond profit). Narrative can fill in some of the things which can’t be communicated through spreadsheets alone.”

-ESG “can become a box ticking exercise. I was recently speaking to a fund manager, I won’t name, nation, but they very proudly said to me, we’re having lunch. And we’re really excited. We’ve been we’ve launched three new funds and environmental fund research funding the governance fund, I said, I laughed in his face, I said, You’re completely missing the point to be seen together, what kind of environmental funds would not also be thinking about the social and governance aspects?”

-“If you’re finding the right kinds of opportunities, there is absolute potential for financial and impact return profit and purpose. It should not be a case of value values or, you know, money versus morals. I think there is absolutely a precedent now for for being able to combine both.”

-“We at Conduit Connect are trying to create a future where the only companies or companies that are doing good, and therefore, by definition, the only investments are investments that do good. And whether they do well is it’s different enough, up to a number of different factors. So the future is a world where you invest your pension, and you not only knew where that money is going, but you know that it’s going to a place where you’re securing your own future, but also that of your grandchildren by not destroying the planet at the same time.”

-“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” ― Bill Gates

-Advice to younger self: “1. Be patient. I think I was disappointed with the slow pace, change. 2. Be curious because as we saw from the labyrinth, you just don’t know where things are going to leave. 3. Goes back to the luck is hard work and opportunity. Take opportunities, they won’t all lead to something but then once in a while they will and you will never look back.”

-Advice to younger self: “I think also learn to negotiate early on and sales job in sales as your is your first job and the next part of your job is whatever you were hired to do.”

-Who next: Conduit Connect chair, Dr Annalisa Jenkins and Emily West.


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