Brian Walsh, head of Wind Ventures, is among the 100 leading corporate venturing professionals in our 2024 Powerlist.

While many venture investors retreated to some extent in 2023, Wind Ventures, the early-stage investment arm of Chilean energy and forestry group Copec, had its biggest year yet under the leadership of Brian Walsh.

“The team grew and we did 10 transactions last year, when a lot of investors were stepping away from the market. We have this thesis that if you are waiting for the good times to come back, you will probably be too late,” says Walsh.

“Good times or bad times, I have been doing venture on the private side and the strategic side for 20 years, and you always have to add to the portfolio if you can.”

Wind Ventures invests in mobility, energy and retail technologies and is not afraid to back big rounds, contributing to a $129m round for German e-fuel developer Ineratec in January.

Walsh heads a San Francisco-based outfit with a portfolio leaning heavily towards North America. He provides these startups with what he calls ‘unfair’ access to Latin America, courtesy of a larger sister team called Wind Garage based in Chile and Colombia.

“Good times or bad times, I have been doing venture for 20 years and you always have to add to the portfolio if you can”

“We are bridging south in other words,” he says. “There are a lot of other firms, especially here in California, bridging to Europe or Asia. We are doing pretty much the same thing, but bridging south, and the model we have is to deliver that in an exceptional way.”

Wind Ventures is also known for its annual Growth Markets Survey, which asks VCs which are the most compelling markets outside North America and Europe. The unit itself is already looking ahead.

“We are looking to take Wind Ventures to the next level,” says Walsh. “I do not know what that looks like yet, but we are having some exciting discussions, and that will hopefully result in something we can announce to the market next year or even the end of this one. That is a big to do on my list for the rest of 2024.”

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.