The rest of the 50 (in alphabetical order): Ippei Akiyoshi, corporate venture capital and business incubation manager, Mineral Resources Group, Mitsubishi Corporation

Ippei Akiyoshi has been manager of corporate venture capital (CVC) and business incubation at diversified trading group Mitsubishi Corporation’s Mineral Resources Group since April 2018.

Akiyoshi said he was drawn by CVC because of its dynamic nature to synergise corporates and startup companies that by nature have opposite characteristics as business entities, and considers having convinced the senior management of Mitsubishi’s Minerals Resources Group, “one of the most conservative Japanese companies”, to be among his greatest successes.

Kevin Didden, founder and chief executive of US-based mining technology developer Cidra, which is one of the unit’s portfolio companies where Akiyoshi is a board member, said: “I have worked with Ippei for over a year in activities ranging from capital raising to building collaborative relationships with mining industry leaders to create technology partnerships. It is in these two areas that Ippei’s talent, level of professionalism and integrity rise to a level above his peers.

“It is rare to find someone with Ippei’s mix of quality attributes – both professional and personal. Before crossing into the CVC business units, Ippei worked in both Japan and Peru in the mining sector, with experience in both public and private sector roles, which allows him to provide a unique insight and a deep understanding of both region’s business cultures. Not many professionals can count on this first-hand experience working in both a country that is a top producer of key minerals and the country which they are commercialising and exported to. This very deep understanding of two key cultures that are so important to the mining sector sets Ippei apart from his peers.

“After this experience, he crossed over to his first corporate venturing investment deal in 2017 with the company MineSense, which aims to unlock the value of never before accessible data to help increase the profitability of mine operations and extend mine line, where he was a project lead.

“This is where Ippei discovered his passion for helping to bring valuable new technologies and novel ideas to mining operations through corporate venturing and decided to form a part of the newly created CVC team in the Mineral Resources Group at Mitsubishi and was excited to help build this new area from scratch.

“Ippei’s passion is demonstrated through the tremendous momentum he has led with his team at Mitsubishi. Since April 2018, he has helped lead three investments, which are Chysalix RoboValley Fund, Jetti and Cidra. Through his work with Cidra, you can see his desire to make an impact on the industry, as his involvement as a member of the board and an observer he works very closely and goes above and beyond to work with us in strategic planning and market penetration.”

Edison Fu

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