The Top 25: #8 Christopher Chu, Samsung Catalyst Fund

Christopher Chu is a managing director at the Samsung Catalyst Fund, an investment vehicle of consumer electronics producer Samsung. His team invests in emerging technologies that Samsung considers will have a significant impact on the lives of people and on the world. He said: “We invest in the most promising, disruptive startups and provide access to Samsung’s vast network of global resources to enable them to grow and thrive.”

Shankar Chandran, managing director and head of the Samsung Catalyst Fund, said in his nomination of Chu: “Chris has built deep trust with leading entrepreneurs and startups and finds the best way for Samsung to invest and collaborate with them across areas like automotive and digital healthcare. His contributions have helped Samsung position itself as a leader in the future of autonomous tech. We are so proud to have him lead the team and look forward to many more years of success with him at the helm.”

Citing Samsung’s mission to shape the world through transformative ideas and technologies that improve people’s lives, Chu said: “This, along with the idea of being with a strong and stable corporate platform from where I could help nurture ideas and strategic growth opportunities alongside startups and entrepreneurs, is very exciting for me.

“Since Samsung is fortunate to have a solid financial position and is less concerned about shorter-term gains, my investment team can take a longer-term view of the ups and downs of a startup and help strategically position the company for real growth. This is a huge benefit of CVCs.”

Over five years at the fund, Chu crafted the first automotive and autonomous driving investment thesis in 2015 which eventually led to the fund investing in over a dozen startups in the space. He said that through these investments, Samsung gained knowledge and networks that helped fuel strong activity in the space from both business and strategic perspectives.

He said he was proud to be a contributing investment team member for Samsung and of his involvement in more than two dozen investments. “The Samsung Catalyst Fund team hunts as a pack. I personally have been fortunate to have made an impact on more than 25 investments over the past few years and am looking to continue at this pace.”

As these companies grow together, Chu’s passion is to help build long-lasting strategic relationships between them and Samsung.

He added: “We have a relatively small but very productive investment team. However, it does take time and resources to seek out the most creative ideas, innovation and technologies. Technology investment is truly borderless, and we are addressing this by continually looking to build our team.”