Owner and Chief Executive Officer
Vestergaard and Sceye
Mikkel Vestergaard is the CEO and owner of Vestergaard, a global social enterprise dedicated to improving the health and well-being of vulnerable people, especially those who live in developing countries. Mikkel is known internationally as a visionary leader who is willing to challenge the status quo and take risks when necessary to produce innovative solutions. He has structured the company around a humanitarian entrepreneurship business model where doing good is good business. This approach supports achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Vestergaard’s game-changing solutions contribute to a healthier, more sustainable and socially just planet by fighting diseases including malaria, HIV/AIDS, diarrheal disease and neglected tropical diseases, decreasing hunger and malnutrition, and enhancing gender equality. These global challenges are tackled by four separate companies integrated into the overall Vestergaard enterprise.
Vestergaard’s public health company is the largest global producer of long-lasting insecticidal bed nets. More than 1.6 billion people have benefited from PermaNet® bed nets, which have contributed to the reduction in deaths from malaria by more than one third over the past decade. Vestergaard’s water company produces the award-winning LifeStraw® water filter which was named “Best Invention of the Year” by Time magazine. Its food security company produces products under the ZeroFly® brand that protect livestock and harvested grains from the debilitating impact of flies and other insects.
In 2014 Mikkel founded Sceye, a company that is building stratospheric platforms to prevent human trafficking and provide last mile connectivity and real time climate change monitoring. Sceye will use the unchartered territory that exists between drones and satellites to place airships parked at 65.000 feet. They will provide unsurpassed remote sensing and connectivity capabilities by offering persistence and proximity that neither drones nor satellites have the capacity to do.
Mikkel has served in leadership positions outside the company as well. He was an advisor to the prime minister of his native Denmark and was chosen to be a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. The Luhya tribe of western Kenya made him an elder, a rare and important honor for foreigners who have touched the lives of Kenyans in an extraordinary manner. Mikkel has served on the board of directors of the Roll Back Malaria partnership, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. He was also a member of the NASA/USAID LAUNCH Council and currently serves on UN Women’s advisory board for Nordic countries.
For his contributions to humanitarian efforts, Mikkel has been honored with the Social and Economic Innovation Award from The Economist, was elected to the “Women Deliver 100” list of the most influential people contributing to the health of women and girls around the world, was celebrated at the Danish Hero Gala in Copenhagen, and was presented with the Saatchi & Saatchi Award for World Changing Ideas.