Top 50 Rising Stars 2022 (in alphabetical order by CVC unit): Christopher Spears, principal, and Grace Chan, associate, BP Ventures

Chris Spears, a principal at UK-headquartered oil and gas producer BP’s corporate venturing arm, BP Ventures, focuses on investments in production and operations as well as gas and low carbon companies.

He also serves on the boards of two portfolio companies: artificial intelligence and machine learning company Belmont Technologies and cloud-based geospatial analytics company Satelytics.

Regarding his CVC journey, Spears said: “Corporate venture is an incredibly exciting place to be. All venture investors, broadly, serve a key function in capitalising startups with the potential for high growth.

“As a corporate venture team, we can go beyond that – in addition to capital, our parent company has massive surface area for startups to work with, collaborate with, and drive revenue growth. It’s tough work but very rewarding.”

Spears was promoted to his current role in January 2021 following a year-and-a-half stint as an associate at the unit, before which he worked as technical project manager for machine learning at BP between 2017 and 2019, and as part of the rotational development programme starting in 2014.

Grace Chan, on the other hand, joined BP Ventures in June 2020 as an associate and focuses on the commercial aspects of deals – including due diligence and portfolio management – across multiple sectors.

Prior to BP Ventures, she wore several hats at BP across the globe, most recently as commercial interventions lead in the Gulf of Mexico between 2018 and 2020 and a six-month stretch as planning analyst focusing on Mauritania and Senegal.

Between 2017 and 2018, she worked as planning and commercial advisor at the Thunder Horse oil field in the Gulf of Mexico and as a financial analyst for nine years between 2008 and 2017.

Fernando Moncada Rivera

Fernando Moncada Rivera is a reporter at Global Corporate Venturing and also host of the CVC Unplugged podcast.