The Top 25: #20 Joe Jeong, Applied Ventures

Joseph Jeong has been at Applied Ventures, the corporate venture capital (CVC) unit of US-based chip equipment company Applied Materials, for more than six years. He came to the firm as an investment associate for a two-year stint in 2011, before moving up the ladder to senior investment associate. In 2015 he was promoted to his current role of investment principal, and in June last year helped in the launch of the Applied Ventures Innovation Fund.

State-backed fund-of-funds Korea Venture Investment Corporation (KVIC) committed as a limited partner (LP) in the fund in order to aid South Korean startups. The stakeholders have not disclosed the size of the fund, but a regulatory filing indicates they wanted to raise $40m.

Tony Chao, Applied Ventures’ general manager and senior investment director, said: “Joseph led our efforts in launching a new Innovation Fund focused on Korean investments and helped secure external LP investors, enabling our transition for a single LP CVC to a broader approach that focuses on synergy value creation across entity and geographic boundaries.”

However, many of its deals are still in the US. Applied Ventures took part in US-based semiconductor manufacturing technology producer Inpria’s $23.5m series B round in July, led by Samsung Ventures.

It is no surprise that Applied Ventures is making investments alongside the Korean tech giants Samsung given its size and importance and as Jeong worked there for three years as a senior researcher from 2005. After a short stay at SB LiMotive as a senior engineer and project manager, he went to school in Chicago for his MBA, which he completed in 2011 and joined Applied Ventures.

He had earlier spent nearly 10 years at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Aerospace Engineering collecting his undergraduate and masters degrees.