A place on the Rising Stars or Emerging Leaders award list is a coveted position for corporate venture capital professionals.
For some winners, it was a milestone on their path towards moving to other venture firms or heading up their own respective corporate venturing units.
The winners of this year’s Global Corporate Venturing (GCV) Rising Stars and Emerging Leaders awards will be announced on January 21 as a part of the GCV Digital Forum 3.0.
But until then, find out where previous top winners of the GCV Rising Stars and Emerging Leaders awards are currently since picking up the honour.
Lambert was ranked first in the inaugural GCV Rising Stars awards list of 2016, while working as vice-president and managing director of the Diversity Equity Fund at Intel Capital, the venture capital arm of semiconductor and data technology provider Intel.
She is now chief technology and innovation officer of electricity distributor National Grid as well as the founder and president of its investment arm, National Grid Partners (NGP).
Lambert leads on corporate venture capital (CVC), incubation and business development activities among other responsibilities. Since launching in 2018, NGP has raised a $300m investment fund and completed at least 24 deals.
Between 2016 and 2018, Lambert was managing partner at Westly Group, responsible for investments in the internet, software and internet-of-things (IoT) sectors.
As a senior director at Qualcomm Ventures, the CVC unit of chipmaker Qualcomm, Jack Young reached the number two spot on the GCV Rising Stars awards list of 2016.
Young left Qualcomm Ventures the following year to become a partner and global head of venture and growth capital at Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners (DTCP), the corporate venturing arm of telecommunications firm Deutsche Telekom.
Young also won fifth place in the 2017 GCV Rising Stars awards, while heading up VC investments for DTCP.
Vanessa Colella’s leadership of corporate venturing team at financial services firm Citi earned her the number three spot on the 2016 GCV Rising Stars Awards list.
Since then, Colella has climbed the ranks to be named chief innovation officer and head of Citi Ventures, as well as head of Citi Productivity.
At Citi, Colella oversees the firm’s global investment strategy, internal strategic growth initiatives and its accelerator programme.
She was also featured on the GCV Powerlist for three consecutive years from 2017 to 2019.
Colella was previously a partner at management consulting firm McKinsey, charged with assisting media and technology companies with their strategy development, innovation and organisational activities.
Yao Xia was an executive director at Tencent Investment, an investment arm of China-based internet group Tencent, when he ranked in first place for the GCV Rising Stars award roster for 2017, a position he remains in.
Tencent Investment managing partner Jeffrey Li said Xia sourced the deal for Didi Taxi (now Didi Chuxing), a China-based ride hailing service the unit backed in 2013. Tencent provided $15m for a 20% stake in the business as a part of its series B round. The company is now valued at around $56bn, according to recent private market trades.
Xia also led investments in online retail startup Xiaohongshu and used car auction company Youxinpai, both of which achieved billion-dollar valuations.
More recently, Xia was involved in $68.3m series D round for China-based fast-food chain Hefu Noodle which was co-led by Tencent and Longfor Capital.
Ana Segurado is a managing director for the VC team at alternative asset manager Alantra, but was a global managing director at Telefónica Open Future, a subsidiary of telecommunications firm Telefónica, when she won second place in the GCV Rising Star awards 2017.
At Telefónica, Segurado led more than 100 investments and 20 exits in a range of technology subsectors including fintech, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence (AI) and IoT.
Segurado draws upon 18 years of VC and private equity experience, part of which was spent as an investment manager at Spain-based private equity firm Inversiones Ibersuizas, now known as Portobello Capital.
Alvin Wang Graylin leads the China region operations for Taiwan-based smartphone provider HTC. It was Graylin’s work in this role that secured him a number three position in the GCV Rising Star awards 2017.
Graylin also featured on the GCV Powerlist for three consecutive years from 2017 to 2019.
At the GCV Asia Congress in 2018, Graylin said: “HTC is right now the global leader based on investments – we are the most active AR/VR [augmented reality/virtual reality] investor in the world.”
Prior to joining HTC, Graylin co-founded and served as a chairman at China-based mobile search provider Minfo. He was also founding director at SOSV’s Mobile Only Accelerator.
Stephen Zhu was vice-president of strategy at Didi Chuxing, a China-based ride hailing service, when he was ranked number one in the GCV Rising Stars awards list of 2018 as well 16th in the 2019 edition. Zhu was later promoted to senior vice-president of strategy at Didi.
He was previously an executive director at Goldman Sachs where he arranged private equity deals for the investment bank, before joining Didi in 2014.
Didi won GCV’s Large Deal of the Year award in 2017 for its own fundraising activities. The company is said to be considering an initial public offering this year, according to a Reuters report from October.
Lisa Suennen is co-leader for Manatt Ventures, the corporate venturing unit of US-based law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips.
She was placed at the number two spot for the GCV Rising Stars awards list of 2018, when she was a senior managing director for GE Ventures, a corporate venturing arm of US-based industrial and power technology provider General Electric.
She led GE Ventures’ healthcare investment team when she won the award but would leave in August of 2018.
Suennen was previously a managing member at Psilos Group, a healthcare-focused VC and growth equity firm from 1998 to 2014.
Levin Yao was an executive director at Tencent Investment when he won third place in the 2018 GCV Rising Stars awards but is now a managing director at the firm.
He has been described by Tencent Investment managing partner Jeffrey Li as a corporate venturer “with tonnes of deal experience.”
This experience helped him lead the $150m Tencent investment in Yixin, an auto finance spin-off of auto media company Bitauto in 2015. More recently, he was involved in Tencent’s $5m strategic investment in AI technology company ObEN.
Yao joined Tencent’s mergers and acquisitions division in 2011 after previously being responsible for principal investment in Greater China at investment bank Deutsche Bank.
Russell Dreisenstock won the number one spot at the 2019 edition of the GCV Rising Stars award, while he was head of international investments at Naspers Ventures, the investment arm of South Africa-based media and e-commerce group Naspers.
Prosus, a Netherlands-listed consumer internet company, spun out of Naspers in 2019, taking Naspers Ventures with it and renaming the corporate venturing unit Prosus Ventures.
In the past, Dreisenstock has focused on sectors such as education, health and food. He was instrumental in Naspers’ $71m investment in India-based e-commerce platform Flipkart in 2017.
Dreisenstock had worked at Naspers since 2000 and was previously head of mergers and acquisitions and global expansion.
Prosus Ventures CEO Larry Illg described Dreisenstock as the deal mastermind behind its food delivery investments and said he had been instrumental in developing the firm’s education technology portfolio.
Meghan Sharp was managing director of the Americas at oil and gas producer BP’s investment unit, BP Ventures when she ranked number two in GCV Rising Stars award list in 2019.
Sharp led major investments for the firm and her team managed the majority of BP Venture’s portfolio.
She said at the time: “At the close of 2018, the Americas team will have invested over $300m in the US and Canada out of a total of approximately $500m invested globally by the venture team.”
Sharp is now global head of BP Ventures and leads the CVC team. She is also in charge of BP’s innovation engine.
Chris (Haiyang) Yu was placed third in the 2019 GCV Rising Stars awards as an executive director at Tencent Investment.
Later promoted to managing director at Tencent, Yu was also featured in the GCV Emerging Leaders Awards 2020 at the number six position.
Yu oversees investments in the social networking, education, real estate, tourism, games and pan-entertainment sectors.
In an interview with GCV last year, Yu said: “Investing on behalf of Tencent, a leading internet company, I can lead and participate in some investment deals that change people’s lives and promote social development. This is the most attractive aspect for me.”
Before joining Tencent, Yu worked at venture capital firms China Growth Capital and WI Harper.
Ashutosh Sharma leads India-based investments for Prosus Ventures and won first place at last year’s GCV Rising Stars Awards.
Prosus Ventures told GCV last year that India is a top priority for the unit and that Sharma led several key investments since joining in 2016.
Before joining Prosus Ventures, Sharma was a vice-president at investment firm Norwest Venture Partners.
He was previously an India-focused investment manager at Qualcomm Ventures, the corporate venturing arm of mobile semiconductor technology provider Qualcomm.
Prosus Ventures CEO Larry Illg said last year: “Over the last several years in India, Ashutosh has demonstrated a deep passion and keen talent for seeking out innovative, high-potential businesses led by impressive entrepreneurs that are solving uniquely Indian needs.”
Ling Ge is chief European representative for China-based internet company Tencent and reached second place in the 2020 GCV Rising Stars awards.
Ge is involved in strategic investments and partnerships for Tencent, with a specific focus on fostering links with Europe-based startups, universities and governments.
She has a doctorate in quantum computing from Oxford University and inspired Tencent to pursue quantum computing technology, the company’s Tech QQ news portal reported in 2019.
Andy Cao is a principal at Comcast Ventures, the CVC arm of media company Comcast and a third-place winner at the 2020 GCV Rising Stars awards.
Cao has been involved in investments in enterprise software and cybersecurity companies since he joined the firm in 2018.
Prior to joining Comcast, Cao previously worked at VC firm Trident Capital and co-founded growth equity firm Sunstone Partners.
Comcast Venture managing director and head of funds Amy Banse said: “I am impressed with Andy’s curiosity, attention to detail, excitement for venture and desire to create an inclusive community around him.”
Kim Armor, a managing director and chief financial officer at Comcast Ventures, secured top spot in the 2020 GCV Emerging Leaders awards.
Armor oversees Comcast Ventures’ finance and administration activities as well as strategic partnerships. She also directs the growth of Comcast Ventures’ presence across Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Prior to joining Comcast Ventures, she held finance roles at ESPN, Disney, ABC and KPMG.
“Whether it is working with new entrepreneurs or weathering economic ups and downs, last-minute deals and complex transactions, Kim and her team in finance, legal and business development never miss a beat,” said former Comcast Ventures managing director and head of funds Amy Banse.
Intel Capital managing director Dave Johnson was placed at number two in the GCV Emerging Leaders awards in 2020.
He spent 10 years in financial management positions at Intel’s finance and treasury organisation before joining Intel Capital in 2003.
Johnson focused on investment in areas such as industrial systems, computer vision, robotics and autonomy, 5G and network infrastructure.
At the time of his award, Johnson had invested in approximately $85m in more than 25 companies on behalf of Intel Capital, 10 of which the unit has now exited.
Jonathan Charles is a managing director at Samsung Catalyst Fund (SCF), a corporate venturing unit of South Korea-based consumer electronics manufacturer Samsung. Charles secured the number three spot in the 2020 GCV Emerging Leaders awards list.
He is responsible for identifying investment opportunities in data and AI technology across a range of sectors including healthcare, fintech, insurtech, mobility and B2B enterprise.
He was previously worked at VC firm Apjohn Ventures and private equity firm Amherst Fund.
SCF head and managing director Shankar Chandran described him as a leader at the unit with a strong track record. “Investments led by Jonathan early in his career are maturing and beginning to return capital,” he added.
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