Heavy Hitters: The Digital Industrial Podcast
By Ty Findley
Heavy Hitters: The Digital Industrial PodcastMay 30, 2023
73. Ryan Kelly, AMT - The Next Decade in Manufacturing
Ryan shares how a 120 year old manufacturing trade association remains out in front driving technology innovation forward in the industry and why AMT launched a Tech Lab in Silicon Valley to support that, discusses what “The State of US Manuf.” currently is, defines how the industry has more of an adoption hurdle than we do an innovation hurdle, outlines how the accelerated US reshoring manufacturing efforts will be closely linked with associated nearshoring efforts in LATAM, and what efforts are underway to build up ecosystem and the associated talent base required for the next decade in manufacturing.
72. Scott Wolfe, Levelset - The State of Builtworld Innovation
Scott shares why he decided to transition into advising and angel investing in builtworld startups after selling his company to Procore in 2021, details the value he hopes to bring from an operator-to-operator perspective (hint: 3 horizons of vision setting), advises what he thinks the state of ConTech currently is now vs. what has been maturing over the last decade, and describes what it takes to scale the go-to-market engine of a startup when selling into the nuances of the construction market.
71. Tom Chi, At One Ventures - Accelerating a Net Positive Industrial Economy
Tom shares how a coral reef led to the genesis of At One Ventures launch, defines what “Net Positive” investing means within the current climate tech landscape, outlines At One’s physics fundamentals approach (matter, time, energy, and space) to screening deep tech innovation that in-turn has the potential to upend the unit economics of established industries, and describes why he is more focused on the aforementioned unit economic analysis ahead of traditional founder archetype and team dynamics heuristics when making investment decisions.
70. Nate Williams, UNION Labs - Deeptech, Where What is Meets What Could Be
Nate defines how he thinks about “deeptech”, outlines what the current state of venture investing is in the category (tip: deeptech does not have to be capital intensive!), shares how their firm gets comfortable investing ahead of the curve in deeptech categories that may not currently have mature exit environments and/or comps to benchmark, and wraps up discussing the importance of building ecosystem around this category and how even emerging managers can effectively build community.
69. Brian Laung Aoaeh, REFASHIOND Ventures - Refashioning a More Sustainable Supply Chain
Brian shares the REFASHIOND thesis behind the need to refashion the global supply chain, why he believes that “supply chain innovation is the foundation on which all sustainability initiatives must rest”, details how the current venture activity level in supply chain isn’t representative of the sector’s accelerated operational need for innovation, and finally outlines six rules their team defines for investing in early-stage supply chain technology.
68. Rick Zullo, Equal Ventures - Having a Prepared Mind
Rick discusses the advantages of having a prepared mind in the 5 key sectors Equal Ventures focuses on, shares a review and look-ahead for the supply chain sector, defines what “Climate Tech” is and how it squarely aligns to the digital industrial ecosystem, and outlines what an Emerging Manager is and how critical it is for an Emerging Manager to have a real, unique competitive advantage in order to stand out in today’s VC landscape.
67. Esteban Reyes, Zenda Capital - Redefining Underserved Industries in the US and LATAM
Esteban shares how he defines “underserved” economic sectors, why he created the fund to back those founders who are redefining those overlooked industries, what specifically he is looking to evaluate at the earliest stages of investment, what the unique aspects of investing in underserved LATAM sectors are, and he shares his current outlook on what it takes to be an emerging manager in today's competitive VC landscape.
66. Alex Moazed, Applico - The Rise of the Distributor
Alex breaks down the definition of a B2B distributor and the critical role they play in the industrial supply chain ($8T in spend flows through them!), outlines why he believes in working with distributors directly to support their digital journeys as opposed to innovating around them, discusses his playbook “The S Curve of B2B Unbundling” on how to drive tech innovation into the distributor ecosystem, and shares some tips on how distributor innovation business models have matured over the last decade.
65. Sujeet Chand, Rockwell Automation - Industrial Automation and Controls, Powering Society
Sujeet details the history behind industrial automation software and hardware (hint: PLCs have been around since 1969!), how he defines “3 levels” within the industrial automation s/w stack that are driving convergence between OT and IT environments, what it takes to build a scalable and repeatable go-to-market engine when selling industrial automation innovation, and finally a macro zoom-out as to where he sees US domestic manufacturing capabilities headed to become more intelligent, hyper-connected, and highly automated.
64. Kaushal Diwan, DPR - Evaluating and Investing in Construction Innovation
Kaushal shares the context of ‘why’ one of the world’s premier general contractors has taken innovation so seriously since its founding, how that innovation focus led to standing up their corporate venture capital efforts at WND Ventures, how DPR has defined a highly structured process for engaging external innovation start-to-finish (key: align internal and external incentive alignment early), and “What’s Hot and What’s Hype” currently in the builtworld ecosystem.
63. Ben Fife, GS Growth - What's Happening in Growth Stage for Industrial Innovation?
Ben shares an outlook on what’s going on in the growth stage ecosystem given the current market reset (spoiler: lots of capital still to deploy and they remain active), dives into how that reset is impacting the industrial innovation sector now and going forward, what he is evaluating growth stage companies on, and how his team at GS Growth harnesses the vast, global resources of Goldman Sachs to add value back into the companies they invest behind.
62. Karen Kerr, Exposition Ventures - The Infrastructure of Doing Business
Karen explains how the Chicago Columbian Exposition spurred on the 2nd industrial revolution and inspired the launch of her firm, why there has been such an explosion of venture capital interest and investment in digital industrial innovation over the last decade, what will be required of both the public and private US ecosystems to accelerate the current manufacturing revitalization underway, and finally a chat on “What’s Hot and What’s Hype” for digital industrial innovation.
61. Dennis Muilenburg, New Vista Capital - A Matter of National Security
Dennis shares how a lifetime dedicated to aerospace innovation led him to co-founding New Vista Capital as his next chapter after Boeing, what the transferable lessons learned are that bridge from running one of the world’s largest industrial companies to early-stage innovation, what he sees as accelerating market trends behind the firm’s aerospace and national security thematic focus areas, and why maintaining US competitiveness in manufacturing is currently one of the greatest challenges and opportunities facing the US in the decades ahead (a matter of national security).
60. Jim Adler, Toyota Ventures - Discovering What’s Next For Toyota
Jim shares the origin story of Toyota Ventures and how the firm leverages its $500M AUM to discover what's next for Toyota, how having a broad investment thesis beyond just core automotive and mobility helps avoid the innovators dilemma, what he is looking for in robotic-enabled innovation and the associated challenges and opportunities that come with those business models, and how having a dedicated Climate Fund is supporting Toyota’s goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050.
59. Sam Smith-Eppsteiner, Innovation Endeavors - The Super Evolution is Here
Sam shares how the convergence of data, compute, and advanced engineering is leading to their thesis of “The Super Evolution”, how that thesis is intersecting and driving impact into industrial sectors, what the 4 key trends are that she is seeing develop behind tailwinds in industrials, and why she thinks of climate tech as a “persistent, horizontal underlying trend in nearly every space we touch”.
58. Katie Rae, The Engine - Tough Tech To Make a Positive Impact on the World
Katie shares The Engine’s definition of and approach to Tough Tech investing, her thoughts on why the Tough Tech category has shown fundraising resilience during a challenging time for the broader venture market, details how the firm drives value to their portfolio via both public and private sector partnership networks (stat: for every $1 raised from The Engine, raised another $1.22 from the public sector), and how The Engine has chosen tools and frameworks that enable the firm to quantify and deliver on its deep commitment to having a positive impact on the world.
57. Steve Sloane, Menlo Ventures - "Cambrian Moment" in the Global Supply Chain
56. Manifest Conference 2023 - All-In Supply Chain Innovation
Hot off a trip to Vegas for the 2023 Manifest supply chain innovation conference, the four besties Chris Stallman of Fontinalis Partners, Julian Counihan of Schematic Ventures, Santosh Sankar of Dynamo Ventures, and host Ty Findley of Ironspring Ventures go off script digging in on a macro market pulse where we are now in the latest freight market cycle, a then & now reflection on what supply chain innovation has occurred over the last decade that led us to today, and finally a 2023 crystal ball session about where both innovation and deal-making trends are headed in this sector. I might even ask them what they would do first if they were made Department of Transportation Secretary for a day...
55. Alan Cohen, DCVC – DeepTech Tackling “The Other $80T in GDP”
54. Lior Ron, Uber Freight - Uber for Freight
Lior shares the origin story of both why Uber Freight was launched in 2017 and how the intrapreneurship support he had from Uber leadership was key to building this freight division, the circumstances and path Uber Freight took from launch into profitability in 2022, how far along we are in the autonomous, Class 8 trucking commercialization effort, and finally why Uber Freight decided to link up with competitors Convoy and JB Hunt to form a data interoperability consortium and make freight appointment scheduling more efficient for the entire industry.
53. Mike Droesch, Bessemer - Roadmap to Supply Chain Software
Mike outlines how a systems engineering background working on maritime tugboats eventually led to building up the supply chain investment thesis at BVP, how the firm defined its “Roadmap to Supply Chain Software” research to overlap and compliment categories BVP already had deep expertise (enterprise software, vertical SaaS, digital infrastructure, etc.), how over a decade of Vertical SaaS lessons learned can apply directly into scaling go-to-market for supply chain software, and finally a “What’s Hot and What’s Hype” outlook on trends he is keeping an eye on.
52. Katherine Boyle, a16z - American Dynamism
Katherine shares with us the why & how the a16z American Dynamism practice was founded to build for America and the national interest (USA!), what it takes to scale a company within these legacy industries whether private or public end markets, a deep dive example into the ~3,000 foundational machine shops infrastructure underpinning the American economy and our national security, and finally a “What’s Hot and What’s Hype” outlook on where things are headed in 2023.
51. Lior Susan, Eclipse Ventures – Redefining physical industries and powering the ongoing industrial evolution
Lior shares what the two ah-ha moments were to launch Eclipse where he saw the tech growth potential ahead for industrial sectors, why the current global macro accelerants to innovation in these industrial sectors have him more bullish than ever on their strategy and additional capital providers piling in, lessons learned on business models at the “interaction of bits meet atoms” and the associated metrics/standards developing as best practices, and we wrap up discussing why its critical to define industrial sustainability impact both in terms of environmental and economic ROI markers to quantitatively build the case of just how important the industrial evolution is to society.
50. Torie Crown, Four More Capital - A Multi-Generational Outlook on Industrial Innovation
Torie shares the origin story of launching a venture arm, Four More Capital, within the multi-generational Henry Crown & Company platform, how they formed a three-prong strategy to build internal operating company partnerships that in turn drive differentiated commercial value to both the operating companies and startups they work with (hint: show up and get on the plant floor in person), why the rising trend of industrial family office venture investing is here to stay and which investment strategies best fit this model, and finally we wrap up with an outlook on "What's Hot and What's Hype" right now within Industry4.0.
49. Byron Knight, Koch Disruptive Technologies - Corporate Industry4.0 at Scale
Bryron shares when, how, and why a private corporation with $120B in revenue, 120,000 employees spread across 70 countries, 10 major platform businesses, 550 manuf. facilities, etc. decided to launch venture capital and growth equity platform, KDT, how their team decided which CVC investing structure was most aligned to drive value back to all of Koch Industries various platform businesses, why Koch Labs was developed as a part of the KDT platform to drive differentiated value creation internally and externally to create a “virtuous cycle of mutual benefit”, and we wrap with a section of “What’s Hot and What’s Hype” in Industry4.0.
48. Sophie Purdom, Climate Tech VC - Breaking Down Climate Tech Within Industrials
Clean Tech, ESG, Sustainability, Decarbonization, Energy Transition, Impact Investing, etc. descriptors have all seemed to blur, and Sophie helps us tie this all together with her definition of ‘Sustainable Investing’ and how she buckets efforts into 7 climate-related industry sectors (spoiler alert: a further deep dive with 80 sub-sectors is coming shortly!). We then discuss the newly proposed SEC rules to standardize and enhance climate-related disclosures for investors, how she thinks these potential SEC climate disclosure rules will be adopted in practice given how far behind most industrial corporations are in their digital transformation journeys, and we wrap up with a deals and dollars venture investment (and exit liquidity!) outlook on the trends she is seeing where Climate Tech is intersecting with industrials sectors.
47. Stacy Scopano, JE Dunn - Constructuring and the Construction Innovation Wave
Stacy walks us through a macro-historical retrospective detailing what structural issues led to the last decade of rapid innovation within the construction ecosystem, outlines when, why, and how he has seen venture capital pour into the broader builtworld environment to accelerate digital transformation aligned to those structural issues (note according to McKinsey, on a comparative basis, VC investment in construction tech outpaced the overall VC industry 15-fold through 2019; and didn’t slow in 2020 or 2021!), and finally we discuss how the accelerated movement towards Pre-fabrication and Modular construction is ushering in major impact aligned to the term “Constructuring”.
46. Eric Spiegel - Industry4.0, Just Get Started!
Eric explains how he defines Industry4.0 and walks us through a global outlook on how the US, Germany, and China are progressing their respective initiatives, what the challenges are associated with selling digital innovation into these industrials settings both for large enterprise accounts and the long tail of mid-market manufactures (tip: get them to see successful digital innovation in person!), how companies can get started on their digital transformation journies and why you have to bring along the human element from the very outset, and finally why systems integrators are becoming an ever more critical component within the Industry4.0 transition towards digital and interoperable industrial capabilities.
45. Carl Bass - Maker Movement in 2022
Carl shares what led to his maker passion within industrial settings and re-launching Flying Moose, how the current Russia and Ukraine war (as well as Covid fallout) will impact global supply chains, how he is advising his h/w-oriented startups to harden their own supply chain and manufacturing capabilities, his strategy for capitalizing business models with sizeable 'bits meet atoms' h/w components (tips: take the cash if available, building truly differentiated h/w products create clear moats), why the ‘blitzscaling’ model often doesn’t fit within industrial innovation and in some ways can be slightly destructive, and finally, tech trends on "What's Hype and What's Hot" including a shout out to fusion energy potential.
44. Ankoor Patel, Kaleris - Rise of Rail
43. Jeff Immelt, NEA - Digital Industrial in 2022
Heavy Hitters episode 43 is live now with NEA Venture Partner, Jeff Immelt. As a GE Ventures alumni, this one is extra special to me. Jeff discusses how an interest in company creation led him into venture capital as his next chapter after GE, where his role as a Venture Partner fits into NEA’s fund strategy, how he transitioned his skillset from running one of the world’s largest and most prestigious corporations into the venture capital asset class, why he outlined in his new book “Hot Seat” that the most crucial component of leadership for a founder is a willingness to make decisions, where he thinks the Indsutry4.0 adoption cycle is at today and the challenges ahead to overcoming slow adoption (hint: get the money to the floor!), and finally we run through a “What’s Hot and What’s Hype” section.
42. Mike Zayonc, Plug & Play - Engaging Startups & Corporations to Fix the Global Supply Chain
Mike discusses what the trends and indicators were all the way back in 2017 that led Plug and Play to launch their supply chain focused program, how they leverage their extensive corporate network to build out a win/win/win model to drive value to startups, corporate partners, and Plug and Play, what the specific events and engagement tactics his team leverages to facilitate deep relationships between startups and corporate partners, and from the supply chain program’s global footprint (Silicon Valley, Toronto, Bentonville, Savannah, Antwerp, and Hamburg) Mike shares his outlook on global supply chain trends unfolding right now.
41. Steve Taub, In-Q-Tel - Digital Industrial is a National Security Issue
Steve explains what is meant by In-Q-Tel’s platform slogan to “combine the security savvy of government with the can-do curiosity of Silicon Valley”, why their efforts building a bridge between private sector innovation and federal government agencies is so important to us all from both an economic and a security perspective, how digital industrial innovations specifically are legitimate matters of national security for the US government to stay on top of (hint: a lot of offline infrastructure assets are being brought online faster than ever), and how In-Q-Tel tangibly works with its portfolio company to drive value back to a startup leveraging the breadth and reach of the federal government at their side (over a 50% hit-rate on commercial engagement introductions!).
40. Aaron Jacobson, NEA - The Golden Age of Industrial Automation
We discuss the ‘6Ts’ framework Aaron developed to evaluate industrial automation innovation, how he analyzes the total market opportunity for robotic applications that are blazing new trails, the capitalization strategy he leverages for businesses that have both s/w and h/w components (bits meet atoms!), what role blitzscaling has to play in these industrial categories where bits meet atoms, and finally, we discuss the underlying macro factors and tailwinds that are at play globally leading to what Aaron coins “The Golden Age of Automation”.
39. Sunil Nagaraj, Ubiquity Ventures - Investing in Software Beyond the Screen
Sunil outlines how he got the conviction to leave a premier VC platform to launch Ubiquity Ventures, breaks down his thesis and definition of investing in “Software beyond the screen”, shares how he defines Deep Tech (and what its not!), details how he got comfortable investing ahead of the curve in Deep Tech categories that often don’t have clear exit potential paths/comparables at the outset, and finally, Sunil provides a critique of why Elon Musk’s comment of “Space is hard” is not only wrong but counterproductive to the ecosystem.
38. BuiltWorlds 2021 Summit Panel - Build vs. Buy (or Partner?)
Heavy Hitters episode 37 is live now thanks to BuiltWorlds allowing the release of their 2021 US Summit panel discussion “Tech Strategy: Build vs. Buy”. Listen in on the discussion I hosted with a diverse group of Builtworld experts including Stacy Scopano at JE Dunn, Meg Baldini at Procore, Vivin Hegde at Hilti, and Dave Burns at McCarthy. We cover a lot of ground including evaluating frameworks to decide on “Build vs. Buy (or Partner!)”, how subsequent implementation considerations weigh heavily into those decisions, what tech trends are currently prominent to this discussion, and how the current capital market environment is driving various incentive structures (rationale & irrational) into the equation.
37. Tim Keebler, OpenView - Product-Led Growth in Industrials
Tim shares his own driver for jumping into the digital industrial investment ecosystem, what he defines as the ‘pre-covid and post-covid’ macro factors that outlined the time was now to focus on these industrial markets in order to both drive alpha for the fund and align to OpenView’s mission to “improve people’s working lives”, why he thinks specialization and having a prepared mind are critical to moving fast within industrial automation applications, how OpenView applies their Product-Led Growth (PLG) model into blue collar industries, and aligned to deploying resources such as PLG, how their platform leverages an impressive 6:1 OpenView employee headcount-to-portfolio company ratio to drive value for their portfolio.
36. Brentt Baltimore, Greycroft - Builtworld on the Horizon
We walk through how Brentt found himself carving out a thematic focus on the Builtworld ecosystem within Greycroft, how he defines the Builtworld ecosystem start-to-finish, why the time was now to begin investing behind that thesis to drive alpha for their fund, why its critical to be thematically and sector-focused in order to compete within the venture asset class today, how Greycroft leverages their value-add platform of resources to support founders scaling in these sectors, share Builtworlds themes of “What’s Hot and What’s Hype”, and how he evaluates exit potential within the emerging Builtworld ecosystem.
35. Cutler Knupp, Haskell Dysruptek - Innovating the General Contractor
Cutler shares why a world-recognized, 60-year old general contractor decided in 2018 to launch a dedicated innovation division, Dysruptek, what his latest industry pulse on the state of construction tech today is, what some of the unique challenges that come with deploying innovation within a construction environment, how he leverages Dysruptek’s corporate venture capital platform to drive sector-focused value both to startups and to Haskell, and we wrap up discussing construction tech trends “What’s Hot and What’s Hype”.
34. Chris Stallman, Fontinalis Partners - Reinventing the Way People and Goods Move
Chris walks us through the history that led to Fontinalis Partners launching one of the very first thematic VC funds specifically targeted on mobility and “Reinventing the way people and goods move”, how the broader mobility ecosystem has evolved over the past 12 years since launching the fund and what that has meant to Fontinalis’s thematic strategy, why sector-focus and thematic specialization in venture capital is important to compete in the current VC asset class, why the automotive industry specifically is somewhat unrecognizable from the decades past, and finally his thoughts on “What’s Hot and What’s Hype” within the mobility ecosystem right now.
33. Sam Baker, Scale Venture Partners - Cognitive Apps are the Future of Work
Sam shares how his iconic, early-stage enterprise s/w venture fund found itself investing in emerging tech applications like warehouse robotics, drones, etc., outlines why “cognitive applications” will be the next generation of great s/w companies and how those apps are built on top of the current foundation of cloud & SaaS infrastructure, describes how Scale leverages their Mega-Trends Process to identify the upside potential/alpha within emerging technologies, walks us through lessons learned of what does and doesn’t work to hit product-market-fit in industrial robotic settings where bits meet atoms (hint: start with doing one high-frequency task associated with a tangible ROI really well!), and finally he discusses how he thinks about early-stage investment syndication within these emerging tech and industrial applications.
32. Rayfe Gaspar-Asaoka, Canaan - A Generalist VC or a Portfolio of Thematic Specialists
Canaan is a storied, early-stage venture VC fund that has been around 34 years with ~6B AUM across 12 funds, and Rayfe discusses what the macro factors were that led Canaan into expanding a frontier and industrial tech thesis that would drive alpha for their fund. With a large and diverse partnership that is split 1/3 healthcare (digital, biopharma, medtech) and 2/3 tech (consumer, fintech, enterprise/cloud, frontier), he discusses both how to navigate a partnership into a new investment category/thesis and how the diversity of thinking within such a broad partnership leads to the beneficial cross-pollination of complimentary ideas and networks. He discusses how he leverages his thematic specialization to diligence and win deals (hint: a prepared mind from specializing = speed!), how he thinks about financing syndication nuances aligned to the categories of frontier and industrial tech applications (hint: supercharge networks), and finally why he is for off-cycle founder conversations to ensure deep relationships are built long before a fundraising process.
31. Ginger Rothrock, HG Ventures - When Industrial Innovation Meets the Physical World
Ginger explains why a private, fourth-generation family-owned industrials business founded in 1930 with over 38 operating companies (heavy construction and materials, environmental services, and specialty chemicals) would spool up a venture group, how her team leverages the extensive resources of The Heritage Group to drive differentiated value to their portfolio companies, why we should all remember industrial innovation relies on physical world innovation (i.e. hardware) not just digital innovation, what team DNA is required to lead these hard tech innovations that often require physical materials, and finally a capital markets discussion on the downstream investment and exit underwriting outlook in these categories (hint: value the moat!).
30. Trevor Zimmerman, Blackhorn Ventures - Redefining Resource Efficiency in Industrial Sectors
Trevor outlines how having a sector focus, and associated domain expertise, provides a prepared mind that allows him to both underwrite investments quickly and provide sector-aligned value back to their portfolio companies, where he thinks the venture asset class is headed between sector focused funds and generalist funds, why Blackhorn expanded its multi-stage investment capabilities from seed-to-growth with an opportunity fund that provides the ability to ‘play through’ with investments throughout the lifecycle of a company, how specialized growth equity (and SPACs!) has a key role to play within some of the sub-sectors involved with industrial innovation, and we finish with some tech trends of “What’s hot and what’s hype”.
29. Travis Connors, Building Ventures - A Better Builtworld
Travis explains how they saw the opportunity to build an architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) and real estate focused network of investors to launch Building Ventures to invest in ‘sapling-stage’ companies, helps define what the terms Built Environment and Builtworld mean to them, outlines why buildings and the associated construction process of making them have a massive role to play in sustainability efforts going forward, why he feels the term “Constructuring” is indicative of how construction is evolving to be more like manufacturing settings, and how he thinks about the end game for startups in this Builtworld sector.
28. Bryan Dow, Stifel - A Capital Markets Outlook on Digital Industrial Innovation
Bryan has easily been one of the most active investment bankers within the digital industrial ecosystem, and he kicks off the discussion outlining why he believes Desktop Metal’s SPAC in late 2020 was the catalyst that set off the record level of dry powder in the capital markets to target the digital manufacturing ecosystem. He walks us through how 8 months after Desktop Metal’s SPAC there have been 61 transactions and ~$7B in transaction volume; which is on par for the entire history of investment in this category. Of those 61 deals, 22 deals and $5B were in public equity (SPACS, Follow-ons, IPOs), 22 deals and $1.3B were in M&A, and 17 deals and $420M were in private markets. We then discuss why we both feel this current flurry of manufacturing investment activity both is not a bubble and is structurally very different than the digital manufacturing wave of 2013-2014 (3D Systems, Stratasys, Protolabs, etc.), and how SPACs specifically have re-emerged in the capital markets to fill a growth-stage investment gap that existed in this category. Finally, we wrap up with a ‘What’s hot and what’s hype?’ section on innovation trends Bryan is seeing in the market.
27. Gina Chung, DHL - Creating The Logistics of Tomorrow
Gina leads the DHL Americas Innovation Center, a 28,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility in Chicago where customers, partners, academia, and thought leaders can experience the next generation of logistics in an interactive showroom environment. From her vantage point helping create the logistics of tomorrow, we discuss what logistics innovation is hot and what is hype, why DHL’s recent sustainability pledge to be emissions free by 2050 is a critical initiative, how to deploy and actually scale innovation within challenging real-world logistics environments, and why we should all be preparing to advance the topic of the future of work within these supply chain environments.
26. Mike Plasencia, Ryder Ventures - The Rapid Pace of Transportation & Logistics Innovation
Supply chain tech startups raked in $7.7 billion in venture funding in Q1 2021, an increase of 90.6% over last quarter and a staggering 355.1% year over year (Pitchbook), and transportation & logistics subsegments were a major part of that activity. Mike & I discuss the innovation journey Ryder took to launching Ryder Ventures, what trends and technologies his team are focused on, how he defines and approaches last mile innovation to meet ever-increasing customer experience requirements, and where he sees the broader transportation and logistics ecosystem headed to further engage in the startup ecosystem.
25. Guy Perelmuter, GRIDS Capital - Deep Tech's "Present Future"
Guy’s unique background, blended between deep tech and capital markets, guides us through a fun discussion on the topic of “Deep Tech”. We define what “Deep Tech” is, outline why we’re already living in a ‘Present Future’ surrounded by these technologies, evaluate how the future of work will be impacted by these innovations, and then bring it all back to how the capital markets are exploding with funding growth in this category to meet the opportunity ahead.
24. Cindy Revol, Perot Jain - The Rise of the Family Office
Family office direct investing into the private markets, and the venture capital asset class specifically, is at an all-time high. Cindy joins us to outline how the Perot Jain office leverages its extensive industrial operator network and physical infrastructure footprint to gather market intelligence on real-world pain points to invest behind, how their broader platform leverages all of its resources to drive tangible value back to startups targeted at those pain points (hint: they’ve actually developed a master-planned smart city, Alliance, Texas, that also serves as a supply chain & mobility testbed for startups), and finally why she feels family office direct investing is here to stay.