Ioan Istrate

Strategy and Innovation Consultant

London, United Kingdom


Track record of high-profile innovation across a wide range of industries and geographies as independent consultant, entrepreneur, government strategist • Topical expertise across sectors, converging in frontier tech • Functional expertise in commercial strategy, AI governance & national capacity building, policy, M&A, investments • Won 2016 XPRIZE Visioneers • Young Leaders Fellow, Aspen Institute • Expert in global social impact accelerator

Domain experience

Relevant Total Experience: 12 years

Seniority Level: Manager

Sector Experience: 

Advertising Alternative Energy Resources Apparel Retail Biotechnology Research Equipment Manufacturers Broadcasting Business-to-Business (B2B) Cable and Satellite Combinatorial Chemistry and Other Lead Generating Technologies Commercial Airlines Diversified Banks Diversified Chemicals Diversified Telecommunication Services Drug Delivery Technologies Electric Power By Solar Energy Electric Power Distribution Electrocardiographs (ECGs) Food and Staples Retailing Health Care Technology Highways and Railtracks Homefurnishing Retail Insurance Life Sciences Tools and Services Oil and Gas Drilling Oil and Gas Refining and Marketing Pharmaceutical Research and Development Protein and Genome Sequence Products rDNA Pharmaceuticals Research and Consulting Services Software and Services Technology Hardware, Storage and Peripherals


Skilled in: Corporate Strategy, Project Management Office (PMO), Post Merger Integration (PMI), Target Sourcing, Joint Venture, Commercial Due Diligence, Financial Due Diligence, Vendor Due Diligence, Buy-and-Build, Corporate Governance & ESG, Value Creation & Enhancement, Investor Relations, Fundraising strategy, Sell-side M&A, Corporate Development, Buy-Side M&A

Technical Skills: VBA, Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, Microsoft Office, Capital IQ, Adobe Creative Suite, Adobe Photoshop

Languages: Spanish, English, French, Romanian

Work Experience


Strategy and M&A Consultant



- Now

Advised clients globally across the spectrum of industries and geographies, focusing on M&A (both investor-side and target-side), due diligence, strategy formulation, including go-to-market and pricing, for US and EU clients focused on multiple tech sectors. A selected list of projects can be found here: bit.ly/istrate_consulting .

Romanian Government




- 1/7/2023

Advised the Romanian Govt (directly reporting to the Minister of Innovation and Prime Minister) on building a national capacity on key emerging technologies, including setting up functional teams. - initiated and presided over the National AI Council, National Scientific and Ethics AI Council, as well as the AI Coalition, a group of companies and private sector-focused work on the impact of artificial intelligence, generative AI etc. - desgined and set up the NATO Innovation Fund, as part of a select group of experts. The NATO Innovation Fund is a pioneering, $ 1 billion, multinational sovereign VC fund focused on deep tech and advanced technologies

Net Zero Technology Centre

In-house consultant, Strategy



- 30/6/2022

Created in 2017 with £180M from the UK government to maximize the energy transition through net zero tech in the UK and globally, through a mix of funding, acceleration and thought leadership. - Advised on the redesign and improvement of the global-leading accelerator program, including key high-level liaising with major partners, 31 alumni companies, as well as with current investment cohort - Strategy, initiated partnerships & whitepaper for a VC fund supporting high potential climate tech

Springer Nature Group

Strategy Consultant



- 31/10/2021

The world-leading academic journal publishing and scientific solutions group (nature.com, McMillan, Springer Science etc.), enabling millions of researchers, educators, clinicians globally. - Assessed key target markets in cheminformatics, AI and related in silico software solutions, leading to a funnel and potential investment and key partnerships in novel solution across 3 main industries - Commercial due diligence and post-deal business plan modelling supporting a 9-figure investment thesis

UNLEASH - Innovation lab for SDGs

Mentor, Lead Facilitator, Unleash+ Social Impact Accelerator



- Now

Facilitating and advising high-potential social-impact start-ups in Unleash+, a 6-month pre-acceleration program designed specifically to develop and prepare to launch a prototyped solution addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

University of California, Los Angeles

Vice President, Graduate Student Body



- 31/5/2017

Directly elected by 13,000 UCLA graduate, professional and post-doctoral UCLA students


2016 Visioneer



- 30/11/2016

Organization sparking innovation for the benefit of all humankind, leveraging the world’s top thinkers (e.g., Elon Musk, Richard Branson etc.); I designed the $10 M ANA Avatar XPRIZE. - Coordinated a team of scientists, entrepreneurs, and artists form 3 continents and 5 times zones - Modelled the economic impact of avatars through quantitative reviews of 10 global markets - The concept “won” 2016 XPRIZE Visioneers and is currently XPRIZE’s flagship project

Deutsche Telekom

Project Manager, New Business Development and Partnerships



- 31/8/2015

Initiated strategic projects and partnerships for Deutsche Telekom across the EU. - Designed a cross-collaboration R&D hub, from business plan, strategy, and liaising key partnerships - Led a cross-group, EU-level team in identifying non-core development and M&A opportunities





- 31/5/2014

Part of CEE the regional strategy & operations team, with a heavy focus on market entry, strategic growth, and commercial due diligence across sectors. - 20+ projects on due diligence, market entry and commercial strategy projects across the CEE; sector agnostic, but with a focus on tech, finance & banking, FMCG, infrastructure and major projects etc. - Formulated the global commercial strategy for a top EU petrochemicals producer based in Romania - Held classes for 200 selected undergraduate students, conducted consulting recruiting interviews

A.T. Kearney

Business Analyst Intern



- 30/4/2011

Performed the buy-side commercial due diligence and strategy formulation for a top EU steelmaker, reviewed core processes of Romania's largest commercial bank and others


Assistant Manager



- 30/9/2009

Assessed sales of veterinary products in 3 countries, quantifying results into division strategy


UCLA Anderson School of Management




- 1/7/2017

● Deloitte National Case Competition - 1st place UCLA (Team Captain) ● Hong Kong Global Case Competition (Team Captain) ● Admissions interviewer, part of the UCLA Anderson Admissions Team (2016-2017) Student Leadership: ● Anderson Student Association: Vice President for International Students (elected by ~350 peers) ● Admissions Interviewer

Licenses / Certificates

University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations

Cambridge Exam of English: Proficiency (CPE)