26 – 100 in alphabetical order: Heriberto Diarte, senior vice-president, SE Ventures

Heriberto Diarte is responsible for external innovation and corporate venture capital (CVC) at France-based energy management and automation technology producer Schneider Electric since he joined in November 2017.

Diarte oversees open innovation for the company, including its incubation programs to launch new companies, and investing in startups and later-stage growth companies.

Schneider Electric launched a dedicated corporate venturing unit called Schneider Electric Ventures (SE Ventures) in November 2018 that invests between €300m and €500m ($340m to $565m) in startups.

Emmanuel Lagarrigue, Schneider Electric’s chief innovation officer, said: “We look to partner with companies – entrepreneurs bring disruptive ideas and agility and we bring deep customer knowledge, resources, and channels to test and scale ideas.”

SE Ventures focuses on energy efficiency and sustainability, in areas such as energy use and industrial management, and will deploy the capital for direct investments in startups, dedicated strategic funds, incubation initiatives and partnerships with entrepreneurs.

Most recently, the unit led an $11m series A round for hydropower turbine developer Natel Energy in March 2020. Diarte said at the time: “At Schneider Electric Ventures, we look for innovative companies that enable the world to transition to decarbonised, decentralised and digital energy, and Natel Energy by providing low impact, reliable renewable energy to communities fits perfectly in our portfolio.”

In addition, SE Ventures co-led a $10m series A round for battery management system technology developer Titan Advanced Energy Solutions in September 2019, which came shortly after it had participated in electric vehicle (EV) charging point operator Volta Charging’s $20m series C second tranche that took the round to $100m.

Earlier the same month, the unit hired two senior partners for its Silicon Valley-based team: Grant Allen, who had been head of ventures at ABB Technology Ventures, the CVC arm of power and automation technology producer ABB; and Varun Jain, who had led the global early-stage practice at mobile chipmaker Qualcomm’s corporate venturing unit, Qualcomm Ventures.

SE Ventures has made 13 direct investments and participated in six global funds to date. “We have successfully built an incubations and partnership practice that builds new companies and partners companies with our lines of businesses,” Diarte said.

For example, SE Ventures incubated solar technology installer Clipsal Solar and electric vehicle fleet services provider EIQ Mobility, and formed a scheme called Greentown Labs Bold Ideas Challenge in partnership with hardware incubator Greentown Labs.

SE Ventures has teamed up with all of its portfolio companies, including energy management device producer Sense with which it built the Wiser Energy Monitor for electrical distributors and builders. “Through this new product, consumers can achieve significant energy savings of up to 20% simply by tracking down ‘energy hogs’ in their homes. We are working together to make energy intelligence a core part of the smart home, including for control and automation,” Diarte added.

SE Ventures also inked a strategic pact with energy management software provider Autogrid to create a fully-integrated ADMS (advanced distribution management system) and DERMS (distributed energy resource management system) to digitise electric grids.

Diarte holds a bachelor of science in economics from Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, a master of public administration in business and government partnerships from Harvard University and an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

GCV Powerlist 2020 PDF