Michelle Zhou, investment manager at Hyundai Cradle, is one of our top 50 Rising Stars in corporate venturing in 2023.

With more than three years at Hyundai Cradle, the corporate venture arm of Hyundai Motor Group, Michelle Zhou has brought to the table a background of corporate strategy, technology development, financial analysis and a knack for connecting startups with critical business units in the Hyundai Motor Group.   

“Michelle has been a rising star at Hyundai Cradle, managing investments in sustainable mobility and electrification space. She advocates well for her portfolio companies and intelligently connects with key stakeholders within business units,” said Hyundai Cradle’s head of venture investments, Davorin Kuchan.  

“She advocates well for her portfolio companies and intelligently connects with key stakeholders”

Portfolio companies Zhou works closely with include top solid-state battery developers including Solid Power, which the unit initially backed in a $20m series A round in 2018, and Factorial Energy, which it backed in late 2021. She is also closely involved with Hyundai’s investment in Ionic Materials, which received investment in 2018.  

Zhou has 15 years of experience fundraising and operating climate-tech startups and investing in the  sustainability sector.  She has more than a decade of technical experience developing hydrogen, biogas and carbon capture technologies before joining the venture capital sector. 

Zhou obtained her bachelor of science in chemical and bioengineering from McMaster University and her MBA from University of British Columbia.   

Hyundai Cradle’s other portfolio companies include automotive LiDAR company Opsys Technologies, automotive cybersecurity company Upstream, fleet safety platform Netradyne and hydrogen production company H2Pro.  

Before joining Hyundai Cradle in late 2019, Zhou spent most of the year as an investor at CVC-as-a-service firm Pegasus Tech Ventures. She was also board member and managing director at Marco Hoffmann, sales manager at A.H. Lundberg Systems, process engineering manager at carbon capture startup Svante and process engineer at Xebec Adsorption.   

See the rest of our Top 50 Rising Stars here.

Fernando Moncada Rivera

Fernando Moncada Rivera is a reporter at Global Corporate Venturing and also host of the CVC Unplugged podcast.