26 – 100 in alphabetical order by company: Héctor Shibata Salazar, director of investments and portfolio, AC Ventures

Héctor Shibata serves as director of investments and portfolio for Mexico-listed beverage distributor Arca Continental’s corporate venturing fund, AC Ventures (ACV).

The fund invests directly in companies operating in the verticals of financial technology, retail technology, advanced analytics, logistics, distribution and supply chain. It also makes limited partner (LP) commitments to VC funds.

Arca Continental has subsidiaries and offices across Argentina, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and the United States. The company produces, distributes and sells non-alcoholic beverages under The Coca-Cola Company brand, as well as snacks under the brands of Bokados in Mexico, Inalecsa in Ecuador and Wise, CCS and Deep River in the US. With a client base of over 120 million people, the company reported revenues of nearly $9bn in 2019.

This financial and network prowess combined with the need to be exposed to innovation, disruptive business models and technologies led Arca Continental to form ACV about a year and a half ago in a bid to back and partner technology companies that have passed their product evaluation stage and have market traction.

This past year, ACV has invested in an Israeli retail technology company disrupting the foodservice industry in the US, a Chilean company that helps digitise and provide better delivery services and prices to retailers and restaurants, a Mexico-based take-out company that provides point-of-sale and management systems to restaurants and a US food delivery company. The unit also made an LP commitment to VC funds in Israel and the United States.

Shibata said: “We are actively collaborating with startups running proof of concepts, pilots and commercial agreements. For instance, we are in the process to run pilots with [autonomous retail system developer] Zippin in the US, we have technically integrated with [Switzerland-based virtual ATM platform] Sonect so retailers can provide that service, and exchange insights with companies such as [India-based retail digitisation technology developer] LoveLocal. Last year, we reviewed 186 potential pilots with business units, made 59 introductions and ran six pilots.

“We have participated in multiple events as speakers, panellist, mentors and judges with organisations such as SuperReturn, Lima Fintech Forum, Lavca, Pecap, ColCapital, MassChallenge and Xcala, [among others].”

In addition to his ACV role, Shibata is also an adjunct professor at ITESM’s Graduate School of Business. Shibata earned an MBA at New York University’s Stern School of Business and received distinction having been inducted to Beta Gamma Sigma honour society and Golden Key International Honour Society. He holds a bachelor of science in industrial engineering with magna cum laude from ITESM.