24 November 2020

Crowdfunding platform Spacehive appoints new CEO

Spacehive, the UK’s leading place-based funding platform and one of its most innovative social businesses, has announced the appointment of a new CEO. Marketing leader Misha Dhanak, the co-founder and former CEO of leading agency, The Romans, replaces Chris Gourlay, founder of Spacehive, who is stepping down as CEO and will join the Board.

Founded in 2011, Spacehive enables users to crowdfund projects that make local places better and recent successful projects include the regeneration of Leyton High Street by artist Camille Walala and the transformation of parking spaces in Liverpool into galleries, gardens and playgrounds. It matches local community crowdfunding with support from local councils, foundations and brand partners as well as receiving international recognition from the UN.

Dhanak has vast experience of running commercially successful and award-winning businesses, which includes developing high profile campaigns for some of the world’s leading brands, from Facebook, Twitter and Samsung to innovative startups such as Atom Bank. She will oversee a significant period of growth in the business and is supported by the appointment of Gizem Akyil as VP of Growth to drive development of the technology platform. Akyil was the former Head of Expansion at Deliveroo, where as the 7th person into the team, she developed and implemented the operational and commercial growth strategies that helped the company to rapidly expand across the UK and internationally.

Chris Gourlay, founder of Spacehive said, “These appointments are an exciting step at a pivotal moment in our growth and will enable Spacehive to deliver an impact we are all very proud of. There is so much more to come and I’m thrilled that Misha will be leading the next stage of Spacehive’s adventure. She is a brilliant, tenacious and creative business leader and I know she is going to do a fantastic job and get everyone very excited about what we can achieve in the years ahead.

I’m looking forward to working with her and Gizem and continuing to support Spacehive’s success from a wider orbit.”

Dhanak said, “The Spacehive mission has never been more relevant and represents a lot of things that are important right now: locally-led action, collaboration, tech-for-good and community. The opportunity to play a role in this innovative and growing company as it enables people to improve their local area is incredibly exciting and humbling.”