The rest of the 100 (in alphabetical order): Iain Cooper, Schlumberger
Iain Cooper, manager of technology investments, moved to head oil services company Schlumberger’s corporate venturing deals in 2007 after his first 15 years with the company. In this role he looks after early-stage technology scouting and corporate venturing for Schlumberger Worldwide and a decade later his persistence and ability in venturing has paid off with the company committing to a larger initiative.
Imran Kizilbash, vice-president of the expanded Schlumberger Venture Fund, said: “At the end of 2016, Schlumberger decided to significantly increase its activity in the corporate venture capital space, and will consider investment opportunities from a broader spectrum of industries, ranging from energy and mobility, to transformative software.
“Technology is one of three core values at Schlumberger, which created its corporate venture capital unit nearly a decade ago. Iain has been instrumental in directing our efforts to gain access to technologies outside our industry vertical and partnering venture companies, which has proven to be a successful source of innovation for Schlumberger.”
added: “In terms of achievements we had a nice exit with Liquid Robotics – with a pretty good multiple – and with an eye to the future, we undertook the first investments for Schlumberger in the renewable energy and oil and gas decarbonisation spaces with Kite Power Solutions, Alphabet Energy and GHGSat.”
GHGSat, a Canada-based company that operates the world’s first satellite capable of detecting and measuring methane emissions, was in September named the winner of the third annual Oil and Gas Cleantech Challenge hosted by the Colorado Cleantech Industries Association. Its venture round is undisclosed.
Cooper said: “We also commercially deployed in the field in multiple locations brand new technology – sorry, I cannot disclose which – that can revolutionise production from oil and gas wells from an investment we made only two years ago.
“Plans for the year ahead are to grow the team a little larger, continuing the focus on the alternative energy space, while still supporting the core Schlumberger businesses and supporting our new Menlo Park software innovation technology centre.”
In 2015, he recruited Jake Latcham from OneSubsea, a subsea oil production company jointly owned by Schlumberger and oil and gas company Cameron. The hire took Cooper’s team to three people, with Latcham joining Christina Karapataki, a GCV Rising Star, who was added to the team in 2012. Further internal moves to add to Schlumberger Venture Fund this year include Kizilbash and another from mergers and acquisitions.
Latcham is an Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate like Karapataki, who has deployed $9m in 10 financings of companies, including Nantero, Onapsis, 908 Devices and Naturafrac, reflecting Cooper’s desire to have a team of technical experts. For last year’s Powerlist, he said: “I have always thought the financial stuff is the easier side. I always like to pick people with domain expertise and leverage our group by looking at tech, which is much more fun.”
Cooper himself gained a PhD in meteorology from Reading University in 1992, before which he studied mathematics and physics at Bristol University. He joined Schlumberger as a research scientist in 1992 before working his way up to product development manager by 2007, when he founded the corporate venturing group. He keeps active on the creative side, with at least 26 granted US patents and a few more pending.
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