Top 50 Rising Stars 2021 continued (in alphabetical order by CVC unit): Kevin Deneen, principal, Schneider Electric Ventures

Kevin Deneen serves as a principal at Schneider Electric Ventures (SEV), a US-based €500m ($557m) investment vehicle for France-headquartered energy and automation system provider Schneider Electric (SE).

Grant Allen, a general partner at SEV, said of Deneen: “At SEV, he focuses on investments at the intersection of energy management and industrial automation, including mobility, IoT (the internet of things) and smart infrastructure.

“As the first team hire, Kevin played a central role in the construction of SEV’s early investment portfolio and setting the proper alignment with the corporate LP (limited partner).

“Kevin has cemented his role on our growing SEV team as a savvy dealmaker and passionate defender of highly thesis-driven scouting and investing.

“He is a driven investor who digs deep in diligence and understands the balance we must strike in building a financially oriented and compensated venture brand that is simultaneously strategically linked to a large industrial conglomerate, and we are constantly relying upon his experience with Aster and understanding of the Schneider ecosystem.”

Deneen is no stranger to corporate venture capital, having spent four years at Aster Capital, a multi-corporate venture capital firm. Aster focuses on energy, transportation and mobility, and industrial productivity. Backed by several large European corporates, Aster had cornerstone investments from Alstom, Solvay, Plastic Omnium and SE.

Based in San Francisco, Deneen headed Aster’s investment activity in North America, including leading the investment in Element Analytics where he became acquainted with Allen and helped drive collaboration between LPs and Aster portfolio companies and the wider innovation ecosystem.

Prior to Aster, Deneen spent more than six years at Switzerland-based private equity fund Aeris Capital, now renamed Calibrium. It was there where he began covering public companies in energy and resource-related industries in 2011 and began making and managing investments in venture and growth-stage companies in the same sectors in 2012.