26 – 100 in alphabetical order by company: Michael Young, director, Caterpillar Ventures

Michael Young has been director of Caterpillar Ventures, the corporate venturing subsidiary of construction equipment maker Caterpillar, since the unit’s launch in June 2015.

Caterpillar Ventures makes strategic investments in early-stage companies with a cheque size between $500,000 to $5m to support entrepreneurs globally to foster and grow their businesses with Caterpillar’s industry knowledge, resources and dealer network.

Parent firm Caterpillar’s areas of focus include three areas: construction industries, resource industries, and energy and transportation. Caterpillar Ventures targets startups in distributed power, analytics, robotics, additive manufacturing and business models to seek out synergies.

In April 2021, Caterpillar Venture Capital was among the investors that backed a $220m private investment in public equity financing for the reverse takeover conducted by its portfolio company Sarcos Robotics, an industrial robotics technology manufacturer.

Sarcos joined special purpose acquisition company Rotor Acquisition Corp in a transaction that would later value the merged entity, Sarcos Technology, at a combined $1.3bn, taking the spot on the New York Stock Exchange secured by Rotor in a $240m initial public offering in January 2021.

Caterpillar Ventures has 10 active portfolio companies including microgrid developer Powerhive and Busybusy, the creator of a software platform that enables labour costs on construction jobsites to be tracked in real time.

The portfolio also includes electric vehicle and battery technology provider Fisker, smart hardhat manufacturer Guardhat, workplace robotics technology provider Sarcos Robotics, mining data platform MineSense Technologies, robotic technology developer Clearpath Robotics and business planning software developer Riivos (formerly Alight).

Apart from backing companies, Young also oversaw a mergers and acquisitions (M&A) transaction in 2017 when Caterpillar acquired its portfolio company Yard Club, a construction equipment management platform, for an undisclosed sum.

Before joining the unit, Young had been a director of corporate strategy at the parent Caterpillar for three years where he was involved in the company’s five-year strategic plan called 2020 Vision, which has included initiatives such as the seed-grow-harvest business model.

During that time, Young was also in charge of M&A where he carried out 12 transactions in both the US and Asia-Pacific.

He also served seven years as Caterpillar’s China-based director of business development of Asia-Pacific, including joint venture and M&A, in Beijing.

Before that, he had been at computing technology manufacturer Dell from 1995 to 2001 holding multiple roles in the US, Singapore, Hong Kong and mainland China. In Singapore, he served as a transaction associate at its corporate venturing unit Dell Ventures, where he led investments in four enterprises in Asia-Pacific – three of which went public.

While in mainland China and Hong Kong, Young was chief financial officer where he devised China sales and operations and handled Dell’s investments, operations, employee benefits, banking and taxing with government authorities.

Edison Fu

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