26 – 100 in alphabetical order by company: Johann Boukhors, managing director, Engie New Ventures

Johann Boukhors leads Engie New Ventures (ENV), the corporate venturing unit of France-headquartered energy utility Engie, as managing director (MD).

Formed in 2014, ENV manages a €180m (roughly $210m) fund that targets developers of clean energy technologies that the corporate can leverage to boost internal innovation. The unit has 17 team members based in France, the US, Singapore, Mexico, Israel and Chile.

ENV has deployed over €120m of capital across some 25 investments globally, focusing on geographies covering Europe, North America, Israel and Asia. The unit’s recent investments have included industrial optimisation software provider Ndustrial, integrated energy storage system developer Connected Energy, energy efficiency technology provider Redaptive and cloud energy management software provider Energyworx.

Amid the covid-19 pandemic, the fund pledged to support its portfolio companies. Boukhors said in May 2020: “During this period, ENV will provide as much support as possible for its startups. The startups in our portfolio know that if they urgently need funds – following a shock event such as covid-19 that has impacted their cash flow – they can turn to us.”

Nigel Purcell, ENV investment director, added: “Covid-19 is a global shock which, on a commercial level, will have a varied impact on different industries. From the perspective of cleantech investments, certain trends are likely to accelerate, such as the acceptance of digital tools in the industry. Remote working has received a huge boost in the past few weeks. In the long term, it could also represent an opportunity for the integration of technologies such as video, AI, connectivity and automation in the industry.

“The impact of Covid-19 will show that the green agenda and the energy transition have become more resilient compared to previous economic crises we have experienced. Today, climate change is seen by many as the new global challenge. As such, there’s no evidence of investor disengagement from start-ups contributing to this change. European governments are aware of the importance of these innovative ecosystems across all sectors and are currently setting up support programs for start-ups. France, Germany and the UK, for instance, have been quick to act. In the long term, all this may well result in European companies becoming more competitive.”

Prior to assuming his MD role in 2018, Boukhors had held various roles at Engie from 2004, including senior manager of business development in France, director of new business development focused on marketing, sales and energy supply in Mexico and director of the Belgian branch covering Belgium and Luxemburg.

Before that, Boukhors was a commercial manager from 2001 at C4Gas where he helped Fluxys Europe and GRTGaz Développement create the joint venture and launch its services.

He holds a master’s degree in generalist, industry and mechanics and a master’s in engineering from Arts et Métiers ParisTech (previously known as École nationale supérieure d’arts et métiers) and an executive MBA from ESCP Business School.