Lisa Dufresne, CVC associate, GC Ventures, is one of our top 50 Emerging Leaders in corporate venturing in 2024.

Lisa Dufresne, CVC associate, GC Ventures

“Do not be afraid to learn from others,” says Lisa Dufresne, an associate at GC Ventures, the corporate venturing arm of Thai petroleum producer PTT Global Chemical.

“Every conversation you have with another CVC investor or a VC fund is an opportunity to get better at what you do,” says Dufresne.

She also stresses the importance of networking with startup founders even when their companies are too early for a CVC fund to consider investing in. “It is good to talk to companies when they are first starting out because your corporate’s priorities might change in the future,” says Dufresne. “When you are ready to invest in a couple of years, you can also see their progress when conducting your due diligence.”

“Every conversation you have with another CVC
investor or a VC fund is an opportunity to get better at what you do.”

Currently investing out of Fund 2, GC Ventures manages about $70m in total capital. The unit has about 12 active portfolio companies and has made six fund investments.

Having joined GC Ventures in early 2019, Dufresne focuses on the North American market, identifying and assessing potential investments. She serves as a board observer for a portfolio company, US polymer 3D printing company Inkbit.

“The hardest part of our job is connecting a startup with our corporate parent because timings and the way they do things are different,” says Dufresne. “But that is how you acclimate them to the idea of innovation that comes from outside and that is very different. We have had great success after a lot of effort and creativity.”

Before joining GC Ventures, Dufresne worked for more than 16 years at Foresight Science & Technology as a senior consultant. During her time at the technology commercialisation and transfer firm, she realised her passion for innovation. “I love the technology. I love entrepreneurs. I have seen how priorities shift and change over my career, and how they can bubble up in certain parts of the world when there is a little bit of funding,” she says.

See the full list of GCV Emerging Leaders for 2024 here.