26 – 100 in alphabetical order: Tarik Galijasevic, managing director, Allstate Strategic Ventures

Tarik Galijasevic is managing director for Allstate Strategic Ventures (ASV), insurer Allstate’s corporate venture capital (CVC) arm that backs startups strategically relevant to the parent.

Suren Gupta, executive vice-president, Allstate Technology and Strategic Ventures, said: “ASV is an important part of Allstate’s innovation strategy. Our team has connected Allstate’s business units (BUs) with promising startups, which has led to some key partnerships that created value for Allstate. I am proud of the team’s global recognition and leadership in the Chicago CVC community.”

Regarding ASV’s recent performance, Galijasevic remarked: “We closed on multiple strategically relevant investments as we continue to build a portfolio that I am proud of.”

An active thought-leader in Chicago’s CVC ecosystem, he has helped ASV portfolio companies’ CEOs to become better leaders and operators, contributing to fundraising and exit strategy efforts.

Galijasevic has also been aggressively building relationships with ASV’s partners since the unit was formed in 2015. The team engages meaningfully with 14 BUs, enabling the testing of new technologies while providing feedback to the startups.

He explained: “I have streamlined the procurement processes for proofs of concepts (POCs) from months to weeks, and hired a program manager that monitors the ASV POCs with potential investments and strategic partners, and ASV portfolio engagements with the Allstate BUs.”

ASV has doubled the team size over the past year, recruiting ecosystem leaders including Reese Schroeder, former head of CVC units Motorola Solutions Venture Capital and Tyson Ventures who is himself a GCV Powerlist mainstay and recipient of GCV’s Lifetime Achievement Award. GCV also named senior associate Jack Statza a Rising Star earlier this year.

ASV believes CVCs can bring value to the startups especially during tumultuous times such as the Covid-19 pandemic. “We are hosting virtual, focused demo days for each one of our BUs allowing us to continue to build our innovation efforts at Allstate,” Galijasevic said.

“We will continue to look to invest in startups that align with our strategic objectives and meet our investment and business returns thresholds.

“ASV would also like to continue to be recognised as a thought-leader in Chicago. We have hosted dinners for the Chicago and Midwest VC community where organisations can come together and collaborate.”

Allstate has already benefited from the unit’s strategic contributions, including the ASV-led acquisition of independent consumer warranty company SquareTrade for $1.4bn in late 2016.

However, Galijasevic was quick to point out the pain points, saying: “The challenge for us – and other corporates – is how to efficiently evaluate opportunities and determine which startups will be the best fit for our business.”

CVCs must encourage parent company executives to embrace innovation, according to Galijasevic, who added that BUs’ subject-matter expertise can help evaluate investment opportunities and guarantee more streamlined engagement post-investment.

Galijasevic likewise stressed the importance of the collaborative approach – for example, OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), tier-one suppliers, rental car providers and insurance companies all want their customers safe on the road, so they should explore innovative solutions together.

CVCs can additionally help their peers’ portfolio companies by making introductions to each other’s appropriate BUs, thereby “opening the right doors” for the entrepreneurs.

Galijasevic continued: “We need to continue to demonstrate the value we bring to the companies we invest in. Startups can benefit from efficient and honest interaction with corporates, allowing them to better understand what they will need to do to stay viable and successful not only in the short term but long-term as well.”

A native of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Galijasevic moved to the Chicago area in 1995 to pursue his education, earning a bachelor in civil engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and an MBA from IIT’s Stuart School of Business.

He started his career at JPMorgan’s investment banking group, where he focused on private equity, mergers and acquisitions and capital raising in the transportation and consumer goods sectors. He has executed more than 40 transactions – surpassing $30bn – throughout his career.

GCV Powerlist 2020 PDF