Top 50 Rising Stars 2022 (in alphabetical order by CVC unit): Claude-Sébastien Lerbourg, external ventures manager for Europe, Saint-Gobain Nova
Claude-Sébastien Lerbourg leads the Europe team for Saint-Gobain Nova, France-headquartered glassmaker Saint-Gobain’s corporate venture capital (CVC) arm, as external ventures manager. He helps form partnerships between Saint-Gobain’s business units and Nova’s Europe-based portfolio in a bid to help the parent firm explore innovative technologies and novel business models.
Minas Apelian, vice-president of internal and external venturing at Saint-Gobain, said: “Claude previously led Saint-Gobain’s venture team in China where he made a significant impact on our engagements in Asia Pacific.
“He has been instrumental in closing a number of deals in China and Europe, leading investments with venture fund partners, and creating win-win partnerships with our business colleagues.”
Regarding his role, Lerbourg said: “I connect startups to the relevant people in the businesses of Saint-Gobain and its research and development centres. I help the group to identify investments opportunities in startups and structure the deals.”
Prior to joining the European Nova team in Paris in January 2021, Lerbourg had been in a similar role at Nova’s China-based counterpart for three years, overseeing collaborations for the unit’s portfolio companies in Asia.
Among Saint-Gobain’s notable Chinese ecosystem involvements was its participation in a $20m series C round in April 2020 for local interior design technology developer InDeco, before committing to China-based investment firm Richland Capital’s third venture capital vehicle dubbed Richland Capital Fund III the year after.
Lerbourg had previously spent nine years at the group’s high-performance materials unit Saint-Gobain Abrasives in China, first as a product engineer for construction products before moving on to several roles leading up to automotive aftermarket business manager where he managed the sales and product teams.