The Max Stenbeck Charitable Fund honors the life and legacy of entrepreneur and philanthropist Max Stenbeck. Max was a passionate believer in technology for good, as well as an advocate for equal opportunities and for the rights of vulnerable children.
The Max Stenbeck Charitable Fund will continue to give back in his legacy.

About Us

Sophie Stenbeck

Sophie Stenbeck

Sophie is a Co-Founder and General Partner of Max Ventures. Max Ventures is an early stage venture fund that focuses on digital health, digital media and digital commerce. Sophie has been an avid impact investor, with a focus on sustaining and improving the environment, for the last 15 years. She has extensive experience investing globally. Earlier in her career, she worked in the media and political sectors both in Los Angeles and New York. Sophie sits on the board of directors of Penske Media Corporation, one of the world’s leading publishing and media organizations with over 30 brands.

In addition, Sophie is a dedicated philanthropist through the Sophie Stenbeck Family Foundation, focusing on child rights, education and the fight against trafficking. She is a co-founding board member of the Swedish Queen’s World Childhood Foundation and the Chairman of the Stenbeck Stiftelse, a family foundation based in Sweden. Sophie co-founded the ChildX Awards that annually honor and support social entrepreneurs from around the world who fight the trafficking of children.

She received a B.A. in English and American Literature from New York University and studied entrepreneurial finance under the guidance of UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Sara Damber

Sara Damber

Sara is one of Sweden’s most prominent social entrepreneurs, a passionate change leader with experience from civil society, politics and business, and the founder of four different NGOs.

In 1997 Sara founded Friends, a Swedish NGO which has grown to become the largest organization in Scandinavia working against bullying and discrimination in schools. A little more than 10 years later, she teamed up with international investment group Kinnevik to establish Reach for Change, an organization that provides support to social entrepreneurs across the world who fight to make life better for children. To date, Reach for Change has supported more than 1,000 social entrepreneurs in 18 countries across three continents.

In addition to her career as a social entrepreneur, Sara has led a number of management projects within Swedish government and public institutions on local, regional and national level. Sarah also published the book “En handelsresande i godhet,” which explores the evolution of Swedish civil society and her personal journey within the sector.

Michael Blakeney

Executive Director

As a lifelong educator and impact entrepreneur, Michael has had extensive experience managing grant-funded projects as both grantee and grantor. He is passionate about supporting grantees through the development and implementation of their initiatives as well as identifying opportunities that may emerge from ongoing projects.

A native New Yorker, Michael grew up on coastal Long Island and now lives in Westchester County. He is an avid gardener and has been featured in the New York Times Magazine and instructed courses as well as workshops at the New York Botanical Garden. A lifelong swimmer, Michael has trained with groups throughout the NY Metro area and completed an eight-mile solo swim to qualify for a 25K race across the Long Island Sound in which he finished first in his category. He is also an avid supporter of the Arts and LGBTQ+ initiatives.

Michael received a B.A. from Franklin & Marshall College as well as an M.A. and Ph.D. from New York University where his research focused on how people make sense of major change initiatives in the workplace.

Hugo Stenbeck

Hugo Stenbeck

Hugo has a lifelong commitment to ice hockey and has invested in several Swedish sport clubs over the years. Within his sport engagements Hugo has also initiated and run philanthropic ventures in aim to improve the conditions for youth in Sweden. Hugo is also board member of the Stenbeck Family Foundation since 2018.

Gregory De Haydu

A native of New York City, Gregory attended Choate Rosemary Hall in Connecticut. During their first year, Gregory and Max were placed on the same floor of the freshman dorm where they became fast friends. They grew and cherished that friendship over many years of travel and adventure. Subsequently, Gregory earned a BS in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Today, Gregory is Executive Vice President of Christine Valmy, Inc., where he oversees day-to-day operations including strategy and growth initiatives. Previously, Gregory was Vice President at York Capital Management, specializing in distressed credit investments for both corporate and sovereign opportunities. Prior to that, Gregory lived in Los Angeles working for Tennenbaum Capital Partners and for Rothschild, Inc. in the Restructuring Group in New York.

Outside of work, Gregory enjoys reading and staying active, playing tennis, running and ice hockey.

Jay Hull

Jay Hull

Jay is a Portfolio Manager for friends and family. He researches industries and public companies to find businesses with under-appreciated prospects. He lives in Beijing, China with his wife and two children. He grew up on Long Island, NY where he met Max.

Jay believes Max had a profound impact on his life. Max was Jay’s best friend, from early in life. Max encouraged Jay on his entrepreneurial endeavors. Jay eventually adopted, with his urging, Max’s enviable reading habit. Jay fondly remembers Max as a wise soul, high in empathy, who cared dearly for his family, friends, and young ones the world over.

Previously, Jay worked in private equity for a subsidiary of China Investment Corporation, China’s sovereign wealth fund. Prior to that, he was a Finance Manager focusing on financial planning and analysis (FP&A) and investor relations for China Hydroelectric Corporation, a NYSE-listed company. Prior to that, he founded Hull Research, a consulting business helping companies analyze their financial and operating performance, building financial models and helping with their business plans. Jay earned a BA in Economics from Colorado College.

Jay is passionate about entrepreneurship, lifetime learning, reading, health, and golf.

Who We Support


The NYU Entrepreneurial Institute leads University-wide initiatives to launch successful startups and commercialize technology created by NYU’s students, faculty and researchers.

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Challenging Heights Logo

Challenging Heights works to end child trafficking and promote children’s rights.

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Missing Children Europe strives to protect and empower children to prevent them from going missing, and to keep them from harm when they do go missing.

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The Sonia Nabeta Foundation believes in an Africa where children with type 1 Diabetes have an equal chance at long, healthy, productive and gainful lives.

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Hand in Hand logo

Hand in Hand work with entrepreneurship as an effective, long-term, and sustainable method to fight poverty.

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Thorn logo

Thorn builds technology to defend children from sexual abuse.

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Choate Rosemary Hall is a co-educational boarding and day school for students grades 9-PG in Wallingford, Connecticut.

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The New Frontier Network brings together a diverse, cross-generational group of emerging leaders and philanthropists.

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World Childhood Foundation logo

World Childhood Foundation work to promote and develop solutions to prevent and address sexual abuse and exploitation as well as other forms of violence against children.

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Interdisciplinary research improving the health and quality of life for those living with diabetes.

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The Shed welcomes innovative art and ideas, across all forms of creativity, to build a shared understanding of our rapidly changing world and a more equitable society.

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Unfinished work to strengthen civic life in the digital age.

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Contact us

Please contact us below or email if you have any questions about the Max Stenbeck Charitable Fund.

We look forward to hearing from you!