Top 50 Rising Stars 2022 (in alphabetical order by CVC unit): David Li, principal, and Pooja Shah, associate, Avanta Ventures

David Li is a principal at Avanta Ventures, the corporate venturing arm of insurance provider CSAA Insurance Group, who since joining in 2018 has been concentrating on mobility startups, seeking to leverage young companies’ technology and insights to disrupt a large industry.

Sanjiv Parikh, managing partner for the unit, said of Li: “David has shown tremendous leadership and knowledge in all aspects of venture investing and is well on his way to making partner. David serves on several boards for Avanta Ventures and is taking on greater leadership roles within the venture function and the parent corporation.”

Before joining the Avanta team, Li spent a year at Pivotal Software on the product operations team for Pivotal Cloud Foundry from 2017 to 2018, following a two-year stint as venture investor at Longitute Capital and another two years at Lazard.

Regarding Pooja Shah, an associate at Avanta Ventures, the unit’s partner Steve Bernardez said: “Pooja brings industry and venture expertise from her time at QBE, QBE Ventures, SageSure and the OnRamp Insurance Accelerator. She has experience building novel relationships between corporates and startups, especially early-stage startups.

“We are excited to have her on board to leverage her background in the insurance industry and her experience in driving strategic value from sourcing and investments for the broader business.

“In the short amount of time that Pooja has been with Avanta and CSAA, she has built strong internal and external relationships and has become an integral value add part of the team. She will go far with Avanta Ventures.”