Top 50 Rising Stars 2022 (in alphabetical order by CVC unit): Amelia Gandara, principal, Nationwide Ventures

Amelia Gandara is a principal at Nationwide Ventures, the corporate venturing arm of US-based insurer Nationwide, who concentrates on investment and operations.

Erik Ross, head of mergers and acquisitions and venture capital at Nationwide Ventures, said: “Amelia is an amazing and talented investor that immerses herself in all things venture capital to ensure Nationwide is both seeing the best deal opportunities, helping portfolio companies as best we can and forging strong relationships with other investors.

“She is truly a rock star leader on the team and we continue to expect great things from her.”

Nationwide Ventures focuses on investments for Nationwide’s digitisation efforts in its insurance and financial services businesses. The unit seeks to support startups that have the potential to transform the industries.

Regarding why she joined the unit, Gandara said: “I was interested in how incentives are aligned within corporate venture, and how CVCs can increase the value of their efforts in multiple ways – by investing for financial returns, facilitating partnerships between the startups we engage with and our business units, and by sharing insights we gather from our thematic research with our business leaders.”

She also highlighted the unit’s success: “Each year, we have helped facilitate a number of pilots or commercial agreements between startups and our business units. While we take pride in the introductions, and assist with partnership structures, we are most proud when the business units are so pleased with the relationship that they quickly take ownership of the relationship themselves. It demonstrates we are finding truly valuable companies for Nationwide to partner with.”

She joined Nationwide Ventures in early 2018 as head of platform and operations after a one-year stint at industrial conglomerate GE in an operations and community management role.