The Top 10: #3 Jaclyn Kossmann and Saewook Lee, senior investment managers, Applied Ventures

Jaclyn Kossmann and Saewook Lee are senior investment managers at Applied Ventures (AV), the corporate venturing unit formed by US-listed materials engineering technology provider Applied Materials.

For more than a decade, Applied Ventures has partnered and invested in startups that are developing innovative technologies and products related to smartphones, augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, big data, life sciences, 3D printing, robotics, clean technology and advanced materials.

The unit invests across stages and provides up to $50m per year globally, having backed more than 80 companies in some 15 countries. Its most recent deals include connectivity technology developer Ayar Labs, optical technology manufacturer Rockley Photonics and medical imaging system developer Exo.

Entrepreneurs from AV’s portfolio companies can gain access to new materials engineering and semiconductor technology innovations, and use Applied’s fab infrastructure to validate their concepts. They can also leverage the corporate’s global network of customers, supply chain partners and co-investors across corporate and financial venture capital funds.

Anand Kamannavar, AV global head, said of Kossmann: “Jacklyn ‘Jackie’ Kossmann joined Applied Ventures [in 2017] and has successfully closed and exited some of our notable investments in the broader optics and semiconductor sector. She is active board observer on several AV portfolio companies and has actively championed investments in Europe as well as partnerships between AV portfolio companies and Applied’s business units (BUs).”

Kossmann joined AV after two years at Green D Ventures, a VC firm that backs Dartmouth College-affiliated companies, where she invested in more than 30 startups. In her current role, she focuses on deeptech areas including augmented and virtual reality and autonomous driving technologies.

Prior to VC, Kossmann was a project developer of utility-scale wind and solar farms across the United States. She holds a bachelor of science in civil engineering and biomedical engineering from Tufts University, a master of science in sustainability engineering from Edinburgh University and an MBA from Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

Regarding Lee, Kamannavar said: “Saewook Lee joined Applied Ventures [in 2019] after a successful stint at 3M Ventures as well as SK Telecom. Previously Saewook led business partnerships at Samsung. At Applied Ventures, Saewook has led multiple investments in Korea in broader industrial 4.0 and display sector as well as helped set up collaborations between AV portfolio companies and Applied Materials BUs.”

Lee backs roll-to-roll web coating technology-enabled startups on behalf of AV. He also oversees the unit’s South Korea-based innovation fund and drives investments in the region.

He had spent more than 16 years in corporate venture capital (CVC), having most recently been an investment manager at 3M Ventures, the investment arm of advanced materials product maker 3M. Before that, he had held a similar role at telecommunications firm SK Telecom for nearly three years from 2006.

Lee began his CVC career at consumer electronics producer Samsung Electronics as a business alliance manager. He earned a bachelor of science degree in electronic engineering from Yonsei University in Korea and an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, with concentrations in marketing and finance.