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.

Edison Fu

Edison Fu is a reporter and Asia liaison at Global Corporate Venturing.