The UpEnergy Team

Global Team

Nicole Ballin

Advisor and Co-Founder

Nicole is a co-founder and advisor to UpEnergy. Nicole is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and remains active in partner and investor outreach. As former COO, Nicole launched UpEnergy’s flagship carbon cookstove distribution business in Uganda and was responsible for day-to-day operational and strategic management. Nicole came to UpEnergy with five years experience in the financial sector working at UBS and Deutsche Bank. Nicole has spent the past five years involved in the social enterprise field with experience in micro-finance, social investment, and social entrepreneurship. Nicole holds an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.A. in International Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles. Nicole is a 2013 Unreasonable Institute Fellow.

Matt Evans

Director and Co-Founder

Matt advises clients on impact investment fund structure, carbon finance project structure, organizational growth and governance, and a range of market assessment challenges.

Previously he served as Director of Business Development and then Managing Director of Impact Carbon where he led operations and a consulting practice. He developed new impact investment products and launched a UV water treatment retail and finance business.

In 2010 Matt led the founding team of UpEnergy Group, a company that was named one of Fast Company’s 10 Most Innovative Companies in Africa in 2014.

Matt has worked in product management at Sunpower, with social enterprises in the NESsT venture fund and at Ashoka, and has developed climate models at Stanford’s Center for Environmental Science and Policy. Matt serves on several boards and holds an MBA from Haas – Berkeley and a BA in Economics from Stanford.

Evan Haigler

Director and Co-Founder

Evan is a Principal and Co-founder of UpEnergy. He has been a leader in the carbon finance and cookstove sector since its inception, contributing to the Voluntary Gold Standard Methodology for Improved Cookstoves and Kitchen Regimes V.1 and leading revisions for Version 3. Evan developed the first Voluntary Gold Standard Cookstove Project and is Co-Chair of the Carbon Finance Working Group at the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. Evan holds an MS in Environmental Health Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley and a BS in Molecular, Cellular, and Development Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Mark Mutaahi


As the former chief executive officer, Mark oversaw project implementation, carbon asset development, business strategy, and investor relations. Mark was born and raised in Uganda returned to Kampala after studying and working in Canada for over a decade.  Prior to UpEnergy, Mark had several years experience working in the financial sector with Royal Bank of Canada and Capital One.  He holds an MBA from the University of Ottawa and a B.A. in Economics/Statistics from the University of Alberta.

Alex Rau

Director and Co-Founder

Alex ia a Co-founder and Principal of UpEnergy. He is managing director of the carbon investment and management firm, Climate Wedge Ltd.  Alex has a decade of active market experience in carbon finance, emissions trading, and environmental commodities, and has worked with large corporate and institutional investors from Rio Tinto and Electrice de France to Cheyne Capital and CalPERS on carbon management and investment strategies.  Alex is a cofounder of U.S. carbon offset developer EOS Climate and was previously part of the Climate Change Services team in PricewaterhouseCoopers’s Energy Corporate Finance practice in London.  He co-authored the original version of the Voluntary Carbon Standard, the most widely accepted trading standard for non-Kyoto carbon assets, has a Ph.D. in physics from Oxford University, a B.A. from Cornell University, and is a CFA charter holder.

Erik Wurster

Director and Co-Founder

Erik is Director of Carbon Finance for BioLite, Inc. He was the founding chief executive officer of UpEnergy from 2011 to 2015. Prior to joining UpEnergy, Erik co-founded E+Carbon, Inc, E+Co’s carbon finance subsidiary company. He grew E+Carbon’s project portfolio to include some of the world’s first cookstove carbon finance projects developed in accordance with the Gold Standard, as well as one the earliest multi-country program of activities under the CDM focused on cookstoves. Erik co-authored the latest version of the Gold Standard cookstove methodology and served on the Alliance for Clean Cookstoves Carbon Finance Working Group. Prior to building E+Carbon, Erik worked as a consultant for the United Nations Development Programme’s sustainable energy department and before that, for a Norway-based energy efficiency consulting company. Erik holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School and a B.A. in Environmental Science from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Africa Team

Yvonne Krywyj

Country Director

Yvonne, who heads UpEnergy’s operations in Uganda, has experience managing and advising for-profit and non-profit social enterprises in Africa and Europe. Prior to UpEnergy, she managed Sustainable Health Enterprises, a Rwandan social enterprise making and selling affordable sanitary pads. Yvonne has also managed the operations and finances of CMAP, a participatory development NGO in Nigeria, played a role in the creation of, and initial pipeline development for, Yunus Social Business’ incubator in Tunisia, and co-founded Next Generation Lab, an accelerator for family businesses and SMEs in South Africa. She holds degrees in international business, law, and public policy. In her free time, you can find Yvonne swimming, diving, practicing yoga, and taking in as much live music as she possibly can.

Moses Amone

Director of Strategic Partnerships

As Operations Director, Moses is responsible for overseeing operations of UpEnergy Uganda including sales strategy, supplier and partner relationships, and project implementation . Prior to joining UpEnergy, Moses worked in a variety of sales roles in Uganda and launched the solar social enterprise, Barefoot Power in West Africa, with a primary focus on Ghana. Moses is currently pursuing a professional post-graduate diploma in marketing at the Chartered Institute of Marketing UK (CIM) and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.

Jesse Sekibombo

Finance Manager

Jesse is currently the finance manager for UpEnergy Uganda and leads the accounting and finance division. Previously, Jesse worked with the Danish not-for-profit Danida leveraging social entrepreneurship and poverty reduction projects in Uganda to affect change. Jesse has also worked with Ugastove, one of the largest clean cookstove manufacturers in Africa, as the Operations Manager. He has worked for Impact Carbon on carbon record keeping and Uganda Telecommunications on accounts and financial management. Jesse holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree majoring in Finance from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda.

Andrew Wanyaka

Business Analyst

As a Business Analyst, Andrew is charged with sales data management, designing bespoke models that support business processes and gathering of robust business insights to enhance corporate competitiveness.

Andrew has worked with Kampala Cement Company as Stores Manager and most recently with Barefoot Power Uganda as Project Accountant where he was involved in collection, analysis and reporting of impact data from end users of Solar Energy products for various Project Partners.

He holds a Bachelor’s of Commerce degree (Accounting) from Ndejje University.

Andrew Nabende

Inventory Manager

As inventory manager, Andrew is responsible for managing Up Energy’s warehousing division. His role involves coordinating logistics related to the flow of products in and out of UpEnergy’s Kampala facility and providing ad-hoc support to the sales department.  Prior to joining Up Energy, Andrew worked as Administration Officer, Personal and Political Assistant of Honorable Evelyn Kaabule in the Ugandan Parliament. He also was part of the Office Administrative Staff at Deeper Christian Life Ministry and worked as Sale’s Assistant in Afya Estates Ltd. Andrew holds a Diploma in Business Administration from Makerere Business Institute,  a Certificate in Computer  Applications from Institute of Commercial Studies,  a Certificate in Christian Service from Africa Theological School of Evangelism & Ministry ,  and A+ System Support Engineer  from Monaco Labs, Kampala, Uganda.

Denis "Bull" Olinga

Sales Manager