51 - 150 in alphabetical order of CVC unit: Ben Wright, vice-president, 3M Ventures

Ben Wright leads 3M Ventures, the corporate venture capital (CVC) arm of US-headquartered world-leading science company 3M, as vice-president.

He joined the unit in April 2017 having spent over a decade at 3M in various roles ranging from business strategy and corporate development to mergers and acquisitions. 3M Ventures seeks to advance 3M’s innovation and growth through internal and external venturing. 3M Ventures partners with entrepreneurs, startups and innovative companies in fields related to the parent company’s strategic focus areas.

The main fields of focus are advanced materials and process technologies, healthcare and life sciences and digital solutions.

Among 3M Ventures’ recent investments are a role in the $250m series D round for Cellink, developer of a flexible conductive backplane for power electronics, and a role in the $4m seed round for Gray Matter Robotics, which designs solutions to help people complete ergonomically taxing tasks.

Wright is committed to improving diversity, both within his own team and in those of 3M Ventures’ investee companies. “We should improve diversity within our own ranks, but we also have the ability to lead the way for the rest of the tech industry,” Wright said. “We can influence our startups to promote diversity in their leadership teams and boards.”

Prior to joining 3M, Wright had experience working on the leadership team of a startup. Before that, he had spent eight years in the US Army as an attack helicopter pilot, leading deployments in Bosnia and Iraq.

Wright has a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point as well as an MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.