Daniel Ateya, president and managing director of RTX Ventures, is one of the 100 leading corporate venturing professionals in our 2024 Powerlist.

With a PhD in mechanical engineering, focused on sensors and material sciences, Daniel Ateya went to work at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC. From there, his interest in defence technology was fixed.

Fast-forward nearly 15 years and, after more than a decade at 3M Ventures – where he led the unit’s Silicon Valley office – Ateya took the helm at RTX Ventures, the CVC unit of aerospace and defence company RTX in 2022.

The unit is excited to pursue opportunities in areas such as cybersecurity, advanced propulsion, hypersonics, space technology, signal processing, advanced compute, as well as the tectonic shift that generative AI has the potential to create.

The state of conflict in the world…really highlights how important investing in this space is and will be for the next several years

“The appropriations bill that was passed in the US, supporting some of the defence tech innovation components of the Department of Defense budget, is a major change and tailwind for this space,” he says, adding that it tangibly recognises the importance of leveraging the startup community to put the best technology in the hands of service members.

One thing that has pleasantly surprised Ateya in recent years is the sheer amount of engineering quality he sees in the startup sector. Teams with experience in SpaceX and other cutting-edge companies, where they learned a number of innovative and aggressive technical processes to iteratively build and test technology rapidly, have the potential to lead to major breakthroughs, says Ateya.

Just in the few years since RTX Ventures was founded in 2022, the need for robust defence investment has come into sharper focus by the steady cadence of conflicts that have flared up around the world. “The state of conflict in the world has been a major shift since we started and, just really highlights how important investing in this space is and will be for the next several years,” says Ateya.

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.