The rest of the 100 (in alphabetical order): Philipp Ulbrich, Eon

Philipp Ulbrich stepped up to be vice-president of innovation scouting and co-investments at Germany-based energy utility Eon in May last year after the departure of Susana Quintana-Plaza to local peer Siemens.

Ulbrich joined Eon a decade earlier after completing his PhD at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt. With Frank Meyer as overall senior vice-president of innovation at the company since 2016, Eon has what Ulbrich called a “well-planned” portfolio, half in Europe, half in the US and appetite to do more.

Ulbrich oversees a budget of more than €100m ($120m) for scouting, testing, development and initial launch of products and business models at the group, as well as its corporate venturing activities. Last year’s €24m invested was its “best ever”, he added, and he conducted two investments directly, including Kite Power Solutions in the UK.

He said seven of the 18 portfolio companies were in the Cleantech 100 list and there had been two exits, Robotix and OPower, while Thermondo, a digital heating company, was preparing for its series D round with a valuation of at least $100m. Nearly 95% of portfolio companies currently have a technical partnership with Eon, according to Konrad Augustin, a GCV Rising Star 2016 who joined Eon from BASF.