The top 50: Stefan Gabriel, managing director and CEO, Hitachi Ventures

Stefan Gabriel oversees Hitachi Ventures (HV), the strategic corporate venture capital arm of Japan-headquartered industrial conglomerate Hitachi, as CEO and managing director.

HV globally scouts for innovative and disruptive technology startups to support Hitachi in realising its strategic goals towards a sustainable society and improving people’s quality of life as well as increasing customers’ social, environmental and economic values.

Hitachi Ventures’ sectors of interest are environmental technologies including energy and mobility, digital business solutions and digital services, healthcare and life sciences, and social businesses.

In December 2019, Hitachi Ventures started its first fund generation, and already in October 2021 announced its second fund with extra emphasis on environmental and healthcare topics.

Within the past two years, the venture arm has backed 15 companies in Europe, Israel and the US, and facilitated over 70 collaboration projects between Hitachi’s business units and startups.

Recent investments include the participation in a series D round for precision immunology company Scipher Medicine, as well as leading a series C round for Weka, a file system software developer for AI, fintech and life sciences businesses. HV celebrated its first exit in July 2021 when genomic analytics software provider Sophia Genetics went public on Nasdaq.

Gabriel strongly believes in strategic corporate venturing as a powerful tool for open innovation and business growth by fostering collaboration and business partnerships with startups.

Prior to his current role, Gabriel was president of 3M New Ventures, 3M’s global CVC unit. For over 20 years, he had multiple responsibilities in manufacturing engineering, global powertrain strategy and open innovation at BMW Group and led Future Automotive Concepts for BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce.

Gabriel holds a PhD from University of Huddersfield and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, Germany.