Brandon Middaugh, senior director at Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, is one of the 100 leading corporate venturing professionals in our Powerlist this year.

Brandon Middaugh is senior director of the Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, the sustainability-focused investment vehicle set up by US-based software provider Microsoft. She was appointed in March 2020, shortly after the fund was initially announced.

Microsoft pledged $1bn for the fund as part of a wider goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, and to remove the equivalent of the excess carbon it has emitted since its launch by 2050, through actions that will also involve switching to renewable energy use and electric vehicles across all its campuses.

Microsoft pledged
$1bn for the fund as part of a wider goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030

The fund invests in developers of carbon reduction and removal technology, though the corporate – which already owns venture capital unit M12 – has not set details of a timeframe for that capital, nor how wide the range of its portfolio is likely to be.

So far, the fund has made investments in 26 portfolio companies. Among its most recent deals are a role in the $30m series B round for private-markets sustainability platform Novata and participation in the $120m series C raise for Boston Metal, a firm which is developing technology to reduce the carbon footprint of steel production processes.

Before joining the fund, Middaugh spent four years at Microsoft as a senior programme manager, leading its distributed energy strategy as part of the company’s energy and sustainability activities. Before moving to Microsoft, she had stints at fuel cell system provider Bloom Energy and as a vice president at energy utility Sun Edison, bookending roles as a venture fellow at impact investing network Investors Circle and an internship at venture capital firm Prelude Ventures.

See the full 2023 Powerlist here.