Top 50 Emerging Leaders 2022 (in alphabetical order by CVC unit): Cindi Choi, managing director, TotalEnergies Ventures

Cindi Choi is a managing director at TotalEnergies Ventures, the corporate venturing unit of France-headquartered energy group TotalEnergies, where she focuses on investments in energy startups based across North America.

Girish Nadkarni, president of TotalEnergies Ventures, said: “Cindi recently moved from Paris to San Francisco to head our North American investment activities. She brings a lot of energy and new ideas to her role and is a great team builder and tireless networker.

“Besides her deep background in the energy space from her days in M&A at SunPower, Cindi has led a number of sector studies and investments in emerging sectors like ‘gas to value’ and bioplastics.”

Regarding her journey to CVC, Choi said: “My initial attraction to CVC was born out of my own experience as an entrepreneur between 2006 and 2008. After raising from a strategic investor, I realised the importance of selecting the right partners for growth.

“I realised the right corporate investor can bring the ability to help startups grow with their corporate assets, knowledge, expertise – setting up a startup to accelerate faster toward success amongst its competitors.”

TotalEnergies Ventures’ areas of interest include renewables, distributed energy, new mobility, energy access, energy storage, bioplastics and recycling, artificial intelligence and the internet of things.

Choi holds board observer positions in multiple portfolio companies including Octillion, Ionic Materials, Autogrid, Solstice, Tado and Deep Branch.

Before joining TotalEnergies Ventures in 2017, Choi worked as senior director at solar system manufacturer SunPower for nine years, leading the strategy and business development activities of the firm’s residential, commercial, and utility businesses worldwide.

She previously co-founded OEMtek, an electric vehicle startup that develops battery solutions for the automotive industry, and worked as senior associate at JPMorgan Chase.