The top 25: David Goldschmidt, VP and MD, Samsung Catalyst Fund; David Lee, EVP, Samsung Next; and Sung Hoon Yang, GM and VP, Samsung Ventures America

David “Dede” Goldschmidt is head of Samsung Catalyst Fund (SCF), an evergreen vehicle for South Korea-headquartered consumer electronics manufacturer Samsung Electronics, who leads the unit’s global activities.

Goldschmidt said: “At Samsung Catalyst, we are committed to driving innovations and new businesses by investing in brilliant entrepreneurs with disruptive ideas.”

Goldschmidt has been in the venture capital ecosystem for two decades. SCF hired him in 2015 as an Israel-based managing director to oversee investments in the country and in Europe, covering areas including 5G, artificial intelligence, automotive, cloud, healthcare, quantum and robotics technologies. Samsung appointed Goldschmidt to run the vehicle in March 2021.

Managing directors Christopher Chu, Scott Levine and Nicolas Autret – selected as Global Corporate Venturing’s Rising Stars in 2019 and 2018, and Emerging Leader 2021 respectively – form part of SCF’s leadership team alongside Goldschmidt.

Goldschmidt holds a master of science in solid-state physics and a bachelor of science in mathematics and physics from Tel Aviv University.

David Lee, on the other hand, is executive vice-president for Samsung Next, an early-stage technology investment fund formed by Samsung in 2017 formerly known as Samsung Global Innovation Center.

Samsung Next focuses on emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, the internet of things, and augmented or virtual reality, and pursues both strategic investments and merger and acquisition deals.

Lee joined the team in February 2021 after more than five years as a managing partner at venture capital firm Refactor Capital. The Samsung Next management team includes head of investments Brendon Kim, managing directors Eyal Miller and Raymond Liao.

Lee holds a bachelor of arts in physics and maths from Johns Hopkins University, a master of science in electrical engineering from Stanford University and a JD in law from New York University School of Law.

The corporate has another VC unit, Samsung Ventures, which concentrates on semiconductors, telecommunication, software, internet, bioengineering and medical technologies. Sung Hoon Yang serves as investment manager, general manager and vice-president for Samsung Ventures America.

Yang oversees the investment activities in the US, Europe and Israel offices for Samsung Ventures, leveraging the experiences he gained in the semiconductor and display industries. His main investment areas are materials, equipment, software and data services, and also include enterprise software, quantum computing, biotechnology and pharmaceutical technology.

Yang has been with Samsung Ventures for almost a decade, first as South Korea-based chief investment manager for nearly six years and a half from 2011 before making his way up to US-based general manager and senior director, a role he held for almost two years from 2018. He took up his current role, also in the US, in January 2020.

Yang holds a bachelor’s in polymer science, a master’s and a PhD in material science from Seoul National University.