26 – 100 in alphabetical order: Lily Yeung, Molex Ventures

Lily Yeung has been vice-president at Molex Ventures, a subsidiary of manufacturing, chemicals and energy conglomerate Koch Industries, since December 2017. In this role, she sources and funds startups developing pharmatech, healthtech and medtech to bring forth innovative approaches to the healthcare industry by combining engineering, manufacturing, intellectual property and licensing strategies.

Molex Ventures invests on behalf of Molex, Koch’s medical device subsidiary. Its incumbent chief executive, Joe Nelligan, defined Molex Ventures managed by Yeung by saying: “Our world is rapidly changing and to meet the needs of our customers and the marketplace we are driving transformative change by investing and partnering with innovative companies that offer new ideas, technologies and talent.

“Our venture program is one of the critical elements we need to support our solutions vision as we work to create the virtuous cycles of mutual benefit that will support our profitable growth in the future.”

Before joining the corporate venturing unit which she helped build, Yeung had held several roles at its parent Molex. She first took a senior financial analyst role in 2007 before ascending to finance manager in 2009 and strategic business development manager in 2012. Eventually, she was promoted to corporate development director in 2014, a position she still holds concurrently with her corporate venturing duties.

When Yeung was appointed to her current role as vice-president at Molex Ventures in December 2017, she said: “Fostering the cross-pollination of ideas and capabilities can serve as a catalyst for transformational innovation.

“As a technology leader, Molex welcomes opportunities to forge strategic relationships with startups at key stages in their development.

“We are proactively seeking collaborations with startups that have developed a successful solution or concept and are ready to take their innovation and commercial growth to the next level.”

Her pledge remains intact almost a year and a half later. Under Yeung’s leadership, Molex Ventures currently has eight active portfolio companies with which the unit has strategic engagement:

  • Pharmaceutical device developer Windgap Medical.
  • Transportation software provider Excelfore.
  • Datacentre connectivity infrastructure developer MultiPhy.
  • Inhaled insulin products developer Dance Biopharm.
  • Remote and wireless charging technology developer Ossia.
  • Silicon photonics technology developer Elenion Technologies.
  • Wireless power applications developer NuCurrent, which is exploring additional synergy.
  • Fluid flow rates measurement technology developer Vasa Applied Technologies, which has been acquired by Molex but pending sales process to appropriate original equipment manufacturer.

Four exits:

  • LED lighting developer Bridgelux.
  • Telecoms, lifestyle, computing and automotive maker Hi-P.
  • Autonomous vehicle technology developer Strobe, Molex Ventures retained its strategic engagement with acquired owner.
  • Retail insights and engagement platform provider Xenio Systems.

Yeung said that Molex Ventures’ total lifetime investment was under $50m, and “on average, we do between four and six transactions a year, including new ones and follow-on”.

Yeung started her career as a senior accountant at accounting and business advisory firm Maner, Costerisan & Ellis in 2001 after she graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in accounting. She then enrolled in University of Phoenix in 2005 for her MBA studies, while she was a financial analyst at Sanford North America.