The top 50: Quinn Li, senior vice-president and global head, Qualcomm Ventures

Quinn Li has been overseeing Qualcomm Ventures, the corporate venture arm (CVC) of Qualcomm, the world’s leading wireless technology innovator, since 2016.

Li has cemented his reputation as a leader in the venture community with a string of successful investments and initiatives. Qualcomm Ventures now boasts a global investment portfolio of more than 150 companies worth more than $2bn. Li and his team invest in areas including 5G, artificial intelligence, automotive, the internet of things, enterprise and cloud as well as mixed reality and metaverse to help expand Qualcomm’s ecosystem of customers and partners.

In the past year, Qualcomm Ventures has invested in several companies including Sibros, a provider of cloud solutions for the automotive industry, and Weights and Biases, which helps machine learning teams track their models, datasets and experiments. The unit’s portfolio also includes companies such as supply chain visibility platform provider FourKites, sales preparation software provider MindTickle, and AI based machine health solution provider Augury.

Among the unit’s most significant exits to date are the IPO of video conferencing solution provider Zoom in 2019, and endpoint cybersecurity provider SentinelOne in 2021, deemed the highest-valued cybersecurity IPO in history.

Li joined Qualcomm Ventures in 2005 after roles at IBM, Broadcom and Lucent. He received his MBA from Cornel University and his bachelor’s and master’s degrees as well as PhD in electrical engineering from Washington University in St Louis. He has said that the key to building and running a successful CVC group is finding the balance between strategic and financial objectives while building the right team with diverse experience to expand investments into new areas.