The rest of the 100 (in alphabetical order): Peter Quadros Seiffert, Embraer
Investors tend to consider vision and persistence the best attributes for entrepreneurs, and Peter Quadros Seiffert, head of corporate venture capital at Brazil-based aeroplane maker Embraer, scores on both.
After a decade of discussions, Embraer started its corporate venture capital initiative in July 2012. When he became a GCV Rising Star in 2016, Seiffert said: “The greatest success was to propose, develop and raise cash for a CVC fund, bringing three institutional investors [the Brazilian development bank BNDES, Brazil’s Funding Authority for Studies and Projects and the Brazilian development agency Desenvolve SP] besides Embraer into a general partner [fund manager] and limited partner [investor] investment structure.”
This first Embraer-sponsored fund, FIP Aeroespacial, has been joined by another covering the US (called Catapult Ventures) and a global indirect fund to commit to VCs called Embraer Ventures.
José Antonio Filippo, Embraer chief financial officer before his departure last month to join cosmetics company Natura, said: “The operation of the first investment fund – the FIP Aeroespacial – has enabled the development and consolidation of the competence in Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) at Embraer.
Since it was created in 2014, FIP Aerospace has been supporting small and medium-sized innovative companies throughout Brazil (nine companies invested up to today).
“The corporate venture capital [CVC] approach allows investment in new opportunities, with risk sharing and resource leverage. In addition, such investments are executed faster and at a lower experimental capex [capital expenditure].
Recently we expanded our CVC operations internationally, setting a new fund in Silicon Valley with three investments already made in the first quarter of 2018.
“The expectations are that this first international experience and the overall results will consolidate our global investment platform and CVC competence, allowing further enhancements in the future.”
Seiffert said Embraer had increased more than three times the direct resources in its CVC funds for the period of 2018 to 2022 to R$125m from R$40. In addition, other institutional and corporations had committed a further R$246m to its programs.
Last year’s deals for the first FIP Aeroespacial fund included Virtual Avionics, Aquarela, Desh and EZ Security.
As befits one of Brazil’s largest and most innovative industrial groups, Embraer is ahead of its peers. In October 2015, Brazil’s state development bank BNDES said it had visited 20 corporations over the previous few months to discuss the issue of corporate venturing. The bank held a breakfast meeting for 50 CEOs and chief financial officers on the morning of the second day of the Corporate Venture in Brazil event, curated by Global Corporate Venturing and hosted by the country’s inward investment agency, Apex-Brasil.
As Leonardo Pereira, head of investment funds at BNDES, said in his opening keynote speech to the conference: “Many of the boards did not know about open innovation or corporate venturing.”
However, a year later in October, more than 100 local corporations were actively engaged in innovation and venture strategies at the second Corporate Venture in Brazil conference organised by Apex-Brasil in partnership with Global Corporate Venturing and in last year’s third conference there were others, such as Stefanini, RBS, Algar and Natura, developing their programs.
Seiffert said he had already helped more than eight Brazilian corporations or leaders on their benchmark process to set their own CVC initiative and also mentored startups of InovAtiva Brasil, a government virtual accelerator program.
Seiffert was one of the few people able to convince a Brazilian board to start venturing, having written a book “– Corporate Venturing: Strategies, Process and Best Practices – in 2004 after completing his master’s degree, PhD and post-doctoral studies in business administration in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Being handed the remit of new business development in 2001 enabled Seiffert to pull together a group of 50 executives to develop a 15-year strategic plan that they started to put into effect from 2007.
His personal attributes also helped persuade the board of the merits of corporate venturing. In a LinkedIn testimonial, Fabricio Simoes, a former colleague who is now director of marketing operations at Dell, said: “Peter is an outstanding professional. He combines strong analytical skills and a deep knowledge of strategy with the courage of an entrepreneur.”
As well as his zeal for the industry and startups, Seiffert, for his Rising Stars profile, said: “The possibility to converge strategic thinking, entrepreneurship, innovation, business development and M&A expertise, together in just one mission, to create wealth, jobs and transform society, through investing in exciting businesses is amazing.
“I am passionate about entrepreneurship. In my spare time, I am an angel investor and startup mentor. I am a mentor at Inovativa.org.br, a government virtual accelerator program, and angel investor and co-founder of Allgoo.com.br. In the past, I have founded startups such as Valetec.com.br.”
He is firmly on track to achieve his Rising Stars ambition of being “recognised as the founder and the executive developer of one the most admired CVCs in the aerospace and defence sector, as Google and Intel did in the information and communication technology sector, for example”.