The top 50: Oliver Keown, managing director, Intuitive Ventures

Oliver Keown is the managing director of Intuitive Ventures, the $100m corporate venture capital (CVC) fund launched in October 2020 by US-headquartered surgical robotics technology provider Intuitive.

Intuitive Ventures invests in and is advancing the digital, device, therapeutic and diagnostic ecosystems of minimally invasive care and beyond, that aims to foster strategic and financial returns for the long term. The unit is overseen by Julian Nikolchev, who joined Intuitive in 2019 as senior vice-president of corporate development and strategy.

“In the two years since its launch, Intuitive Ventures has bridged significant value-exchange with our broader innovation ecosystems and Oliver has helped establish the group as an impactful platform to accelerate transformational independent early-stage companies,” said Nikolchev.

The vehicle was co-founded by Keown, who was hired by the company in August 2019 after three years investing at GE Ventures, the CVC arm of industrial and power technology provider General Electric.

Intuitive Ventures already has several deals under its belt, including its first disclosed investment in KēlaHealth, a US-based operator of artificial intelligence-powered surgical solutions, and its most recent stake in, a comprehensive data management platform accelerating future of biomedical research and collaboration. The unit has also invested in Endogenex, a developer of device therapies for GI and metabolic disease processes, amongst several other undisclosed investments.

Keown brings with him a rich career as both a physician and policy adviser in the UK National Health Service. He spent a number of years advising an array of UK, US and global healthcare innovation projects across technology, government, commercial and academic fields while a policy adviser at the Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College London.

He holds a medical doctorate and a bachelor’s degree in pharmacology from the University of Edinburgh.