Fellows Directory

Laura Gaviria Halaby

SoftBank Group International

Laura Gaviria Halaby is a scale-up and business development expert with entrepreneurial background and ample experience in leadership roles in venture capital and tech.

She started her career in financial services at Deutsche Bank and left to start her entrepreneurial journey building a fintech in Colombia which focused in democratizing access to financial services through products like crowdfunding. After a successful exit she got a scholarship from MIT as a Legatum Fellow and completed her MBA program with a focused in technology.

In 2015 she joined Citibank to accelerate the implementation and launch of new digital products leveraging the power of open innovation as Global Head of Fintech Acceleration. Leading programs included Citi Mobile Challenge, Citi Tech for Integrity Challenge and Data Science Challenge. Her work at Citi gave her exposure to global fintech landscape working across Asia, EMEA and LatAm.

In 2017, Laura joined The Venture City as Chief Acceleration Officer focusing her efforts in sourcing companies, investing and helping companies scale. She also led the transformation of the FOMIN to what is now the IDB Lab as senior advisor CEO and Entrepreneur in Residence.

Laura's exposure to crypto started in 2014 while at MIT where she became passionate about the concept of smart contracts and the new business models it would unlock. Since then she has become an active advisor, investor and thought leader in the space.

Her current role as part of the leadership team of the Operating Group at SoftBank Latin America Fund, a US$10 billion fund dedicated to the region, focuses on delivering operation support to the portfolio companies in order to accelerate their growth. She also leads scalable programs for SoftBank such as the SoftBank Group Operator School who has up-skilled over 8000 professionals in over 50 countries around the world.

Laura is also a member of the Fintech / Crypto Action Board for the City of Miami; is an investor and active mentor for early and growth stage startups and also serves in the Board of Banco Sol in Bolivia

Education, Personal, and Fellowship

Laura holds a Bachelor’s in Applied Mathematics from American University (Cum Laude) and an MBA from MIT Recipient of MIT Legatum Fellowship for entrepreneurial excellence.