The rest of the 100 (in alphabetical order): Mike Redding, Accenture Ventures

Relationships are everything in business. With his 25 years at consulting firm Accenture working directly with global 2000 C-suite executives, Mike Redding, managing director at Accenture Ventures, is well positioned to bring enterprise-relevant startups directly into the boardrooms of the world’s biggest companies.

Paul Daugherty, chief technology and innovation officer at Accenture, said: “Mike Redding is a driving force in Accenture’s ventures strategy, leading our strategic minority investments in disruptive new companies that we believe will shape the future of key areas including blockchain and artificial intelligence.”

Redding added: “Accenture’s clients are forging ahead with digital transformation and that means embracing new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) or operating models like crowdsourcing – and applying them now.”

To support this approach, Accenture Ventures focuses on direct corporate venturing investments in individual startups that have an immediate impact on the strategic agendas of Accenture’s clients.

This textbook emphasis on being a “corporate strategic” means Accenture Ventures invests in priority domains that will help the company’s clients to succeed. Based on Accenture’s vision of the future, these domains include AI, blockchain, cybersecurity, vertical software-as-a-service and crowdsourcing.

“The whole point of our disciplined investment program is to put Accenture’s money where its mouth is,” Redding said. In the past year, Accenture Ventures has added nine strategically-aligned deals to its portfolio.

As these equity investments bed down, Accenture Ventures’ strategy comes full circle, enabling Redding to leverage his business relationships to match startups in these priority domains directly with Global 2000 companies that can use the innovations to compete and thrive.

“We are harnessing the power of Accenture and providing credibility to these startups, while building relationships with them as they grow and succeed in the enterprise market,” he said.

As part of the Accenture Innovation Architecture, launched by Accenture Ventures in September, Redding’s team, which includes GCV 2016 Rising Star Pramila Mullan, have combined with other tier-one financial and corporate venture investors backing a unber of sectors, among them:

• Artificial intelligence – Mighty AI (Intel, Google Ventures, NEA, Madrona, Foundry Group).

• Blockchain – Digital Asset Holdings (IBM, Intel Capital and 10 other corporates), and Ripple (Intel, Standard Chartered).

• Cybersecurity – Endgame (Columbia Capital), Claroty (Bessemer, ICV Capital, Innovation Endeavors, Marker, Microsoft).

• Vertical software-as-a-service – nCino (Insight Venture Partners, Salesforce Ventures), Dynamic Action (West Coast Capital), RichRelevance (DFJ, Greylock, Centreview Capital).

• Crowdsourcing – Applause (Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Scale Venture Partners).

“In addition to my core investment responsibilities, I presented thought leadership on emerging and disruptive technologies at more than 50 events in the past year, such as the 2016 Montgomery Summit and the keynote at the 2016 AI Summit in New York,” said Redding.

He previously spent five years as the global managing director in Accenture Labs, so he is tuned in to Accenture’s R&D efforts and his presentation topics include sharing the Accenture Technology Vision – Technology for People: The Era of the Intelligent Enterprise, an annual research-based look at the implications of the biggest technology trends over the next three to five years, as well as deep dives on specific trends.

Accenture is also a large filer of patents given its research, and last year the consultancy firm caused reported upset in the fintech community by filing a patent for an editable blockchain feature.

Redding has set his sights on Accenture Ventures’ global expansion to a robust portfolio, with direct startup investments in Europe, Israel, India and China. In the coming year, Accenture Ventures also plans to expand its priority domains to include augmented and virtual reality and quantum computing.

This led Accenture to form a strategic relationship with Partech Ventures, a leading venture capitalist firm headquartered in Paris with offices in Berlin and San Francisco, to drive innovation and support the startup ecosystem.

Finally, Redding is working with several of Accenture’s clients to help them establish their own innovation capabilities, including corporate venturing as a means of bolstering strategic ambitions. He said: “Now Accenture Ventures is bringing our best to the next generation of future technology titans.”