Kevin Chen, head, Lam Capital, is one of our Top 50 Emerging Leaders in corporate venturing for 2024.

Kevin Chen, Lam Capital

Kevin Chen is head of Lam Capital, the corporate venture arm of Lam Research Corporation, a US-based supplier of wafer-fabrication equipment and related services to the semiconductor industry. He joined the company in 2020.

The team of five at Lam Capital focuses on seed through series B investments across the semiconductor ecosystem. Chen leads the development of these investments by collaborating with business units. “He is very innovative and tends to challenge the status quo for continuous improvement,” says Eva Liu, portfolio manager at Lam Capital.

The resurgence of interest in the semiconductor space, fuelled by the world’s insatiable demand for computing power and artificial intelligence, has allowed Lam Capital to “make a healthy number of investments per year over the past several years”, says Chen.

“Chen is very innovative and tends to challenge the status quo for continuous improvement.”

Audrey Charles, president at Lam Capital, says: “Kevin continually sources for ideas and trends. He is an avid reader and networker and loves to prospect for emerging technologies.”

After getting his PhD in electronic materials from MIT, Chen spun out his research into Cumulus Photonics, an optical networking company. For the next six years, he worked as a product manager, first in the optical networking industry at what is now Lumentum and then in the semiconductor industry at Advanced Micro Devices.

In 2007, Chen joined a materials science startup, NanoGram Corporation, where fundraising efforts sparked his interest in becoming an investor. After NanoGram, he spent the next several years gaining management experience in the renewable energy space at Applied Materials.

His background provided “an amazing opportunity to be able to take all the real-world experience that I have gained as an entrepreneur and as an executive across deeptech sectors, to really help the entrepreneurs we work with,” he says.

See the full list of Emerging Leaders 2024 here.