Join us on Thursday 19 November 2020 at 6:30pm at Mediterranean Conference Centre, Girolamo Cassar Hall, for our next ACMlab.

Mauro Pace Parascandalo from Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector, Matthew Caruana from Zaar, Simona Cassano from the National Book Council and Susan Ronald from the Malta Film Commission will explore various funding opportunities they offer.


Mauro Pace Parascandalo

Mauro Pace Parascandalo graduated from the University of Malta in Physical Education and worked in education as teacher both in the primary and secondary sector, for 15 years, teaching in the areas of Physical Education and Health and Safety. He has served in this present post as CEO of the Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector since 2010 where he set up the operational structure for MCVS including the funding lines and volunteer centres. Presently he is also Member of the Supervisory Council of the Malta Community Chest Fund Foundation (2014 – ).

He served as Director General of the Malta Red Cross Society (2002 – 2004), where he was involved with Red Cross EU Office to plan projects for Malta prior to accession, understanding and facilitating the transition in the NGO field. He was one of the Directors appointed on the Committee of Directors at the Red Cross EU Office, Brussels. Appointed to serve on the inter-Ministerial Committee on Pandemic Preparedness (2005-2007) representing the Ministry of Education, Youth and Employment and chair the bilateral committee on contingency plans between the Education Division and the Health Division (2006-2007). Editor of the Eduforum, the quarterly newsletter of the Education Division, between 2006 and 2007. National Coordinator of the European Union Programmes Agency, under the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport (2007-2010). He also served as Vice President of the Malta Amateur Athletic Association (2014 – 2017 ) and Secretary of the Zurrieq Wolves Athletics Club (2012 – 2016). Set on the Management Committee of the Malta Red Cross Society (1999-2002) were he also served as vice President and I Operations Manager of the Malta Red Cross Society (2001 – 2004). Appointed member in Civil Protection Council in the Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs, representing the Association of Local Councils on Disaster Management and Preparedness (2000- 2002). Local councillor for the locality of Zurrieq (1996-2004, 2007- 2012 ).

Mauro also paints and models in clay having trained with the artist Mark Mallia.

Matthew Caruana

Matthew Caruana is a business innovator, coach and mentor with a proven track record for driving project success from the grassroots up. Passionate about start-ups and entrepreneurship, Matthew’s involvement has been integral to the successful launch of countless projects across various economic and social spheres.

His extensive career so far has seen Matthew’s role extend from project management and e-business analysis, to the management of entire operations. Since 2016, he has driven ZAAR – Malta’s leading crowdfunding platform – and has grown it into a nationally-recognised brand. In this position, he has excelled at taking numerous start-up projects through their critical early days and helped them to become successful. His recent achievements include coaching and mentoring students in the Climate KIC accelerator programme, JAYE and in the international Masters programme SMARTUP, as well as judging several start-up competitions, and speaking at numerous conferences about crowdfunding, entrepreneurship and alternative finance both locally and internationally. Beyond that, he has also made his mark as the country expert at the European Commission workshop, DG GROW Workshop on Alternative Finance and FinTech, for last three consecutive years.

Today, Matthew continues to strive to positively transform Malta’s start-up scene, whether through lobbing, collaboration, mentoring, and even policy making. He sits at the forefront of this important sector of the Maltese business landscape and continues to be one of its most passionate drivers and advocates, believing it to be essential for the future of local economic success.


Simona Cassano 

Simona Cassano is a publishing professional specialised in international publishing and literary translation, who built a career in the publishing industry in Italy, the UK and the United Arab Emirates. Simona has joined the National Book Council in 2017 and has since been intensely engaged in developing the Council's operations. She currently holds the position of Executive Director.



Susan Ronald

Susan Ronald is Fund Manager at the Malta Film Commission since 2012. Main duties are mainly related to managing specific schemes including the Financial Incentives for the Audiovisual Industry and the Malta Film Fund. Having a diverse background she gathers experience from a number of areas including the local film industry having worked at the Mediterranean Film Studios, and organised training programmes for the Audiovisual Industry both in Malta and in Germany. Susan is also a professionally trained marketer and communicator, having worked for over 10 years specifically in the field of Marketing. Her experience is backed by three degrees, B. Communication (Hons), a Business Degree in Insurance – ACII and a Master’s degree in Cultural Heritage Management.

Kindly note that due to Covid-19 restrictions this event is limited to 30 people.

Book your place on*

*Upon attendance, patrons will be refunded the €5 within a maximum of 15 working days.