26 – 100 in alphabetical order: Larry Harper, Stanley Ventures

Larry Harper has been a vice-president at Stanley Ventures, the corporate venture capital unit of US-based hardware product maker Stanley Black & Decker, for the past three years. He and his team invest in early-stage companies from seed, series A and series C rounds with innovative technologies are strategically relevant to its parent’s business units.

Stanley Ventures fosters and mentors startups to help accelerate their growth and develop innovative products. Its areas of focus span a variety of 15 unique sectors, among them are additive manufacturing, wireless charging, batteries and materials, with companies hailing from the US, Canada, Italy, Switzerland, Ireland and Israel.

Stanley Ventures has already had two of its members chosen as Rising Stars by GCV – in 2018, Michael Mahan, who was an investment manager at the time of selection and was promoted to managing director earlier this year, and Dina Routhier, an investment manager, in 2019. Sean Wright has also recently joined in Frankfurt, Germany to pursue the unit’s mandates in Europe.

As Stanley Ventures’ leader, Harper is no exception to these accolades. Jim Loree, Stanley Black & Decker’s CEO, said: “Larry brings a unique blend of independent visionary entrepreneurialism and corporate management experience which enables him to build productive relationships with all parties involved with corporate venturing.

“He has the ability to envision the art of the possible and marry it with the practical realities of business. His enthusiasm for the application of technology and extreme innovation is infectious and inspirational.

“Larry is beloved by our business leaders here at Stanley Black & Decker for his extensive contributions to our venturing transactions as well as our innovation ecosystem in general.”

Harper said Stanley Ventures had so far invested a total of $45m and resulted in two exits worth $14m. Veloxint, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) spinout developing novel metal alloys, was acquired by ecological aluminium alloy producer Braidy Industries. 3xLogic, a cloud-based video analytics service provider, on the other hand, was purchased by Stanley Security, an Stanley Black & Decker division that provides security systems, which “is key to our strategy in our enterprise security space”, he said.

Harper said: “The venture team is very active – closing 12 investment in 2018 with a portfolio of 20 in the portfolio [since the unit was launched three years ago].” Stanley Ventures has commercial agreements with 16 out of the 20 portfolio companies.

Many of the portfolio companies have partnered Stanley Ventures to develop further, apart from 3xLogic, operational intelligence security services provider Viakoo, robotic companion developer Pillo Health and electric vehicle charging technology developer Freewire “are all in revenue with us at this time”, added Harper.

Before becoming the unit head, Harper had held several roles at Stanley Black & Decker. He initially founded inventory and material management software supplier CribMaster in 1992 and remained its president even after it was acquired by Stanley Black & Decker in 2011 with $66m in sales and an $11.7 offering memorandum.

In 2014, Harper became chief executive of inventory management software provider View Technologies, a joint venture between Stanley Black & Decker and smart antenna hardware and software developer RF Controls. Simultaneously, he took on vice-president of technology business development to bring in innovation into the organisation before he was finally promoted to his current post in late 2015.