The rest of the 50 (in alphabetical order): Andrei Lesunovskii, senior investment manager, Severstal Ventures
Andrei Lesunovskii joined Russia-based energy, mining and steel group Severstal in March 2016 as a senior manager of corporate strategy before becoming senior investment manager for the company’s corporate venture capital (CVC) arm, Severstal Ventures, in March 2018.
His role is to identify and invest in disruptive technologies for Severstal business. During his time at the strategy group, the team came up with the corporate venturing idea and some members transitioned to new positions within the new CVC unit.
Lesunovskii said: “I strongly supported the idea from the origination phase. I see a lot of potential for outside innovation and doing investments in fast-growing tech companies to create close relationships and get some financial return [which] looks like a very reasonable approach.”
The team seeks growth opportunities for the broader Severstal business, having made limited partner commitments to two multicorporate venture capital firms based in Canada – Pangaea Ventures’ C$95m ($70m) fourth advanced-materials fund and industrial, energy and intelligent system-focused Chrysalix Venture Capital’s $120m fund – and two deals, including an investment in US-based metallurgical technology developer Arcanum Alloys.
The group’s other milestones include launching the industrial startup-focused Severstal SteelTech Accelerator with accelerator and incubator operator Global Venture Alliance in March 2019 and Open Innovations portal seven months after to drive innovation.
However, Lesunovskii was quick to point out that collaboration with internal business units posed a challenge, although it was getting better with time. Hoping to grow the portfolio and be more involved in managing it, he also considers integrating portfolio companies to be an area to be addressed and developing “relationship interfaces” to be one of the biggest priorities.
Lesunovskii has more than eight years of business valuation, venture investment and strategy experience under his belt at companies including Russian state-owned private equity and VC evergreen fund Rusnano and valuation consulting American Appraisal Associates.
He holds a bachelor of science in physics and a master’s degree in applied physics and mathematics from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, as well as a master in mathematics of finance from Columbia University.