Brian Martin, director and partner at Telus Ventures, is one of our top 50 Emerging Leaders in corporate venturing in 2023.
A relative newcomer to CVC, having joined telecommunications company Telus’s corporate venturing unit Telus Ventures in late 2020 as director and partner, Brian Martin was pleasantly surprised by the intensity of deal flow relative to his previous role at a traditional VC.
“Last year we did 24 financial transactions. It’s almost one every other week,” he says. “The volume and the pacing and the speed at which Telus executes was something that I wasn’t quite prepared for, but I like it. The intensity’s good.”
His engineering background is conducive to a strong product-focused approach – while many investors might favour simplicity from startup pitches, Martin prefers to get into the weeds of the technology, its features and functionality.
“We’ve been really focused on intelligent mobility as a theme,” he says. “With autonomy coming, telcos are nicely positioned with 5G networks to help drive and enable some of the services that are required to advance autonomy. We’ve done a number of deals within the autonomy sector. It’s really been the focus that I’ve had over the first two years.”
Since joining Telus Ventures, Martin has seen it evolve and grow, particularly in the growth of its business unit engagement team to better liaise with the rest of Telus’s business and better align its thesis to its parent.
Over the next year, automation will remain a strong focus for Martin along with a deeper dive into connected worker technology, for which the tailwinds of the pandemic remain strong.
“There’s a lot of diversity in terms of the work and the deals and the momentum that we have, that I would be pretty satisfied if I were in the same role five years from now,” says Martin.
See the rest of our Top 50 Emerging Leaders here.