The top 25: Lak Ananth, Siemens

In November, Lak Ananth left US-based enterprise IT company Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) to join Germany-based conglomerate Siemens as managing partner of its €1bn ($1.1bn) Next47 corporate venturing unit.

Ananth reports to Joe Kaeser, Siemens’ CEO. He said: “As a Siemens subsidiary, we have both an external and an internal vision. The external vision is to be the world’s premium address for ventures between corporates and startups, as well as a role model for open innovation. The internal vision is to shape Siemens’ core businesses of tomorrow.

“A decisive factor will be the team’s ability to find opportunities and engage with the Siemens ecosystem. We have the ability to form a great business from just an idea in a short time. For instance, we have enabled a robotics business to develop eight generations of hardware within less than a year. We can offer access to some of the world’s most sought-after clients, including Siemens.”

Next47 recently formed partnerships with two US-based initiatives run by accelerator Techstars, Techstars Mobility and Techstars IoT.

Ananth said: “Collaborating with Techstars is an important and exciting step for Next47 and Siemens. We are excited to provide Siemens employees access to the proven Techstars platform globally.”

Before heading Next47, Ananth developed and built the Hewlett Packard Pathfinder organisation, bringing together innovation strategy, venture investments, acquisitions and partnerships.

Earlier, Ananth worked in strategy and corporate development at Cisco Systems and was instrumental in the $2.9bn acquisition of Starent Networks, the $1.2bn acquisition of Meraki, and an investment in Control4.

Siemens will invest an additional €1bn in disruptive technology companies through Next47 – a reference to 1847, the year Siemens was founded – operating from offices in California, China and Germany.

Siemens already operates the Siemens Venture Capital unit under Ralf Schnell and the STB accelerator, which have so far jointly invested nearly €500m.