Tina Tosukhowong, investment director at TDK Ventures, is one of our 50 emerging leaders in corporate venturing in 2023.

Serving entrepreneurs first as well as focusing on building a network are key to becoming a successful corporate investor, says Tina Tosukhowong, investment director at TDK Ventures, the corporate venture arm of the Japanese electronics manufacturer.

“You only know as much as your network,” says Tosukhowong. “It’s very important to expand your network because you often won’t hear about a good startup company unless someone referred it to you. The hit rates for companies that come through referral are a lot higher than from people cold calling me.”

She also puts a lot of time and effort into building syndicates when it is time for portfolio companies to raise financing. The venturing team make introductions and promote their startups during funding rounds. “It takes a village to really commercialise new technologies. I expect all the investors in the syndicate to really roll up their sleeves and help entrepreneurs,” says Tosukhowong.

She joined TDK Ventures in 2021 after spending almost five years at GC International, a subsidiary of PTT Global Chemical, a Thailand-based chemicals manufacturer. At GC International she helped set up its corporate venturing arm, GC Ventures America, and recruited investment team members. One of the portfolio companies she invested in, ESS, a long-duration energy storage manufacturer, achieved an IPO.

“I expect all the investors in the syndicate to really roll up their sleeves and help entrepreneurs.”

She also cut her teeth in startup world when she joined a biotech company that was acquired after the team successfully commercialised its technology.  

Her passion and focus is the decarbonisation sector. The venturing unit has invested in technologies such as hydrogen electrolysers and lithium extraction. This year, she will focus on industries that are hard to decarbonise and that have faced underinvestment, such as cement, steelmaking and buildings.

Her goal is to take on more board director roles at startups and she hopes to see more IPOs and exits.     

See the rest of our Top Emerging Leaders for 2023 here.

Kim Moore

Kim Moore is the deputy editor of Global Venturing and produces video for the website.