26 – 100 in alphabetical order by company: Fernando Impuesto Nogueras, general manager of Enagás Emprende; Luis Emilio Martínez Gavira, head of open innovation and corporate venturing; Sergio García García, head of venture building

Spain-based natural gas supplier Enagás’s corporate venturing subsidiary, Enagás Emprende, counts Fernando Impuesto, general manager of the programme; Emilio Martínez, head of open innovation and corporate venturing; and Sergio García, head of venture building, on the team.

Impuesto has more than 15 years of experience in the natural gas industry, having been a commercial and logistics director for Enagás in charge of the operations of infrastructure commercialisation and logistics, as well as the technical services in the areas of liquefied natural gas plants, gas transport and underground storage.

Martínez is directly involved in the innovation ecosystem and is responsible for sourcing and analysing the startups and their technologies on behalf of Enagás Emprende. He had spent a decade in the entrepreneurial ecosystem holding positions including project director at entrepreneurship consultancy Cink Emprende and programme manager for accelerator scheme Startups Alcobendas.

García executes the investments, negotiates with the entrepreneurs, manages the portfolio, helps with follow-on deals and reports to the corporate parent. He said: “Our mission is to accompany entrepreneurs on a day-to-day basis, helping accelerate the development of their plans so they can reach their objectives. We become a kind of ‘big brother’ for the companies’ management team.”

Regarding open innovation, Enagás chief executive Marcelino Oreja said: “Innovation is essential to take advantage of the new opportunities offered by our process of opening up and international development, as well as those linked to the new uses of gas as a cleaner fossil fuel.

“It is only through these small companies that we will be able to provide flexibility to activities that would be impossible to carry out inside a large enterprise like Enagás.

“We are driving the future, we invest and accelerate technologies and new business models – that is why we created Enagás Emprende.”

Estela Vilches, a co-founder of Sercomgas, an innovation-focused subsidiary of Enagás, and a coordinator of Enagás Emprende, added: “Starting your own business is a thrilling process and a daunting personal challenge.”

Erika Escolar, a co-founder of Bioengas, another subsidiary formed by Enagás that concentrates on transforming organic waste into renewable gas, and current head of venture capital at renewable electricity group Capital Energy: “Enagás Emprende has provided a lot of assistance to our venture – just the drive we needed.”

In 2020, Enagás Emprende added three startups to its portfolio and collaborated with 14 of its portfolio companies with which it has completed various projects. In addition, the unit incubated nine startups and invested in a fund.

Its portfolio companies include small satellite producer Satlantis, biogas technology developer DualMetha and solar steam vendor Solatom.

Intrapreneurship is one of the main activities of Enagás Emprende in the energy transition space, with special emphasis on areas such as renewable gases such as biogas and hydrogen, sustainable mobility, energy efficiency and digitisation.

The unit intends to invest €120m over the next five years in open innovation and corporate venturing initiatives and hopes to secure an energy unicorn by 2028.

Edison Fu

Edison Fu is a reporter and Asia liaison at Global Corporate Venturing.