The top 25: Lisa Lambert, founder and president, National Grid Partners

Lisa Lambert is chief technology and innovation officer for energy utility National Grid and founder and president of its corporate venture capital (CVC) vehicle, National Grid Partners (NGP).

National Grid chief executive John Pettigrew said of NGP: “I wanted to ensure we had an organisation that was connecting with new technology, with startups, and then bringing that new technology back into National Grid so we can adapt and meet the changing needs of our customers. And that is where National Grid Partners came from.

“For any startup that has got great technology and great ideas, National Grid is a great platform to take those ideas forward. Working with Lisa and her team, she will give you access to the people in our businesses who are desperate to improve service to our customers, improve security. It is a perfect segue into the business through Lisa.”

NGP was launched in 2018 with $250m in capital, $227m of which has now been invested to build a portfolio of approximately 25 companies. National Grid committed an additional $150m to NGP in April this year.

Lambert said: “We are investing in and deploying technologies across National Grid’s networks to enhance resilience and reliability, while more easily integrating renewable energy.

“Our company’s ambition is to become the most intelligent, cleanest transmission and distribution network in the world.”

Before NGP, Lambert did a stint at venture capital firm The Westly Group, having joined from chipmaker Intel where she had spent 19 years in various roles including vice-president and managing director (MD) for its CVC unit, Intel Capital.

In recent months, the unit has invested in power line sensor technology provider LineVision, wireless energy management technology developer Copper Labs, asset-tracking software developer SiteTracker, industrial cybersecurity technology provider Dragos and industrial data validation platform Aperio Systems.

Rounds for satellite data analytics provider AiDash, cybersecurity technology producer RiskIQ, organisational data tracking app 1Touch.IO, gas safety AI tech developer Urbint and speech recognition technology developer Uniphore are also among NGP’s recent investments.

The unit’s portfolio companies are creating an impact on National Grid through both deployments and collaborations with core business units. Some examples include Copperleaf’s deployment in both the US and UK business optimises decision analytics for National Grid’s critical infrastructure; CNIGuard’s ruggedised sensors are deployed across New England to identify gas leaks prior to manhole explosion incidents; and Dragos is deployed across multiple business units to support the security of industrial control systems.

National Grid was also a founding member of Energy Impact Partners, a VC firm launched in 2015 to back companies optimising energy consumption and improving sustainable energy generation. NGP is also an LP in IQ Capital and Jerusalem Venture Partners.

Lambert sat on the board of directors of several portfolio companies, and she is also on the board of directors for the National Venture Capital Association, co-chair of the Venture Forward initiative and the founder, CEO and chair of Upward, a global network of executive women designed to accelerate career advancement.