Brian Kaas, president and managing director of TruStage Ventures, is one of the 100 leading corporate venturing professionals in our 2024 Powerlist.

GCV Powerlist 2024: Brian Kaas

Brian Kaas, president and managing director at TruStage’s corporate venture unit TruStage Ventures, believes the secret to a successful CVC unit is a close-knit team.

“I believe in empowering the team. I want to make sure everyone appreciates how important they are to the overall success of our ventures programme. That means treating the team as my colleagues and my partners,” he says.

The investment team consists of 10 people, two of whom joined in the past year. Kaas says that actively engaging with the team has ensured a high retention rate for investors at TruStage Ventures.

“I listen and learn from the team each and every day and, as a result, people have stayed. I take pride that in my years of being here, I have kept the team together,” he says.

Kaas has been at TruStage for more than 11 years, helping set up the CVC unit in 2016. Prior to TruStage, Kaas spent 14 years at US- based law firm Foley & Lardner as a partner.

The past year has been busy for TruStage Ventures, despite the difficult overall investment climate. “We have made 18 investments in 2023. Nine of those investments were in new companies and the other nine were follow-on investments in existing portfolio companies,” he says.

“I listen and learn from the team each and every day. I take pride that in
my years of being here, I have kept the team together.”

The team has no intention of slowing down, says Kaas. “We are going to continue to invest in both new and existing companies. We are probably in the best shape that we have been in for the past two years now,” he says.

TruStage, formerly known as Cuna Mutual Group, founded TruStage Ventures and has invested more than $350m since it was set up. The unit invests in fintech and insurtech startups and currently has more than 50 companies in its portfolio, including financial education children’s platform Goalsetter and digital insurance marketplace platform Matic.  

Powerlist cover

The Global Corporate Venturing Powerlist represents the 100
individuals spearheading the future of the corporate venturing industry.

These individuals excel in terms of their venturing approach and structure, number and quality of portfolio companies and in their contributions to the corporate venturing profession.

See the full 2024 Powerlist here.