The top 50: Michelle Gonzalez, corporate vice-president and global head, M12

Michelle Gonzalez was appointed global head of M12 in 2021 after being headhunted by Christopher Young, executive vice-president for business development, strategy and ventures at US-based software and computer technology provider Microsoft.

Speaking shortly after she joined M12, the corporate venture capital group formed by Microsoft, Gonzalez said: “When I first met the exceptional Christopher Young and discussed the M12 role, I was pretty heads down leading the transformation of Area 120, Google’s in-house incubator.

“However, as Chris and I continued our chats and as I met more leaders at the company it became clear to me that Microsoft – and M12 in particular – was a special place where one could have undeniable positive impact for our team, our communities and our world, through its support of over 100+ startups, founders and their teams.”

In the six years since M12 was launched, it has made over 230 investments with 23 exits. Recent deals include participation in a series C round for document management software provider PandaDoc, which valued the company at $1bn, and a role as lead investor on the $25m series A raise for Wallaroo, a developer of enterprise AI software.

Among M12’s other portfolio companies are geospatial mapping technology developer, identity management and security platform Authomize, fraud prevention technology provider Arkose Labs, and business planning software developer Workboard.

Prior to her role as managing partner at Area 120, Gonzalez had spent a year as a director at the office of the Google CEO, Sundar Pichai. She had previously spent two years as a partner at IBM Ventures and time as an investor for Comcast Ventures’ Catalyst Fund supporting Black and LatinX founders.

Gonzalez holds a BA in business administration from University of Oklahoma and a JD from Yale Law School.