The rest of the 50 (in alphabetical order): Jelena Markovic, investment associate, BayWa RE Energy Ventures

Ulrich Seitz, managing director of BayWa RE Energy Ventures, conglomerate BayWa Group’s corporate venture capital (CVC) group, said in his nomination of Jelena Markovic: “Jelena is a self-starter in dealflow acquisition and partner management and set up our Europe-wide network of multiplicators in the Nordics, Baltics, France, UK and Tel Aviv.

“With her friendly and outgoing personality, she has a tremendous stake in the successful positioning process of BayWa RE Energy Ventures as an exit-driven CVC unit and made it possible to see over 800 energy-related startups within only one year.”

Markovic joined the unit in June 2018 as a VC analyst – the unit’s first employee – building the unit from scratch with Seitz, before ascending to investment associate 10 months after. She said: “I am an associate involved in the whole process of a VC investment – from deal sourcing to the analysis of the startups and to deal structuring and due diligence.

“I am heading the deal sourcing and network building part, as well as a big part of our PR (public relations) activities.”

The fund invests in series A and B rounds in the energy sphere – mostly renewable energy – with initial tickets from €1m ($1.1m) to €5m ($5.6m), in Europe and Israel.

Markovic learnt about Israel-based solar technology developer Raycatch during her first week on the job and had a hunch that its solution was special. “My feeling was right, and it became our first investment.”

Markovic said she entered the corporate venturing business because of its dynamic character, with a focus on disruptive technologies and business models, while requiring skills ranging from communication, “it is a people business,” she added, technological understanding, strategic planning to financial analysis.

Prior to joining BayWa, Markovic had worked for IT equipment producer Fujitsu as a fund and alliance manager for two years. Before that, she did her master’s degree in strategic business management, focusing on innovation, IT and VC at the Technical University of Dresden in Germany.

Edison Fu

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