The top 50: Nicolas Sauvage, president, TDK Ventures

Nicolas Sauvage is president of TDK Ventures, the corporate venture capital (CVC) arm of Japan-headquartered electronics manufacturer TDK Corporation.

Formed in April 2019, TDK Ventures has achieved three exits to date: an initial public offering with fuel cell system developer GenCell, and two mergers and acquisitions transactions with laser light source technology developer SLD Laser and 3D printing technology provider Origin.

In April 2021, TDK Ventures closed its sophomore fund at $150m. The unit intends to tap its second fund to build a portfolio of 50 early-stage companies by 2024. The fund focuses on sectors including next-gen materials, energy and cleantech, connectivity and computing, industrial, mobility and healthtech. The unit typically invests between $250,000 and $5m in each funding round.

TDK Ventures has recently led the $25m series A round for Verdagy, a developer of green hydrogen production technology. The unit has also been involved in deals for Faction, a driverless vehicle startup, and Actnano, a business developing protective nanomaterial coatings for electronic equipment.

Sauvage sits on the boards of Autoflight, Metalenz, Mach49 Disrupting Outside-In (DOI) and TDK Ventures. He began his career as an engineer in microelectronics, moved to product management, then moved to sales and later senior director of ecosystem for TDK where he built long-term partnerships with partners including Google and Qualcomm.

He has a degree from the ISEN Engineering School in France as well as a master’s degree from King’s College London. Sauvage has also participated in the executive programme at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.