The rest of the 50 (in alphabetical order): José Daniel ‘JD’ Díaz Ramos, senior investment professional, Femsa Ventures
Javier Alejandro García Quiroga, head of Femsa Ventures, Mexico-headquartered beverage producer Femsa’s corporate venture capital (CVC) unit, said: “JD’s work and engagement has been instrumental in both our strategies, and his knowledge and engagement with the best VC funds in Latin America has been impressive.
“He has proven that the fund-of-funds strategy is sound, and has already managed to secure co-investments with them into very promising companies. His due diligence work on Latin American VC funds has been very productive for us, as we have made six limited partner (LP) commitments over the past year. I would be surprised if there are more than two or three people that have looked into the best Latin American VC funds with more detailed understanding than JD.”
Díaz said: “Femsa Ventures is dedicated to its mission to build collaboration opportunities by being a practical bridge between our business units and the entrepreneurial ecosystem. To achieve this ambitious goal, we run our fund using a two-pronged approach.
“The first strategy consists of partnering the best VC funds in the region through strategic LP investments. We selected these funds based on multiple criteria, and with a strong focus on collaboration potential. The second strategy allows us to make direct investments into those startups that have proven to be a great match between our strategy as a fund and our current business operations, or those that are showing great collaboration potential for the future.”
Díaz believes many corporates have not seen LP participation in VC funds as valuable yet. He said: “At Femsa Ventures, we have successfully committed capital in six VC funds across LatAm which allowed us to achieve three main objectives: potentiate learnings, access to better deal flow and connect us with local networks.”
Prior to joining Femsa Ventures, Díaz worked at MLab Ventures, CVC arm of commercial vehicle parts producer Metalsa, having earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and another in sociology. “A combination of two social sciences that I believe has allowed me to understand the financial as well as the cultural and social side of venture capital,” he said.