Erik Ross, head of mergers & acquisitions, venture capital at Nationwide Ventures, is one of the leading corporate venturing professionals in our 2024 Powerlist.

Erik Ross joined Nationwide in 2014 and one year later launched the CVC group at the US insurance and financial services teams.

He now leads the corporate development team that has a commitment from Nationwide to invest $350m in early-stage companies that can bring strategic insights and accelerate current and future capabilities for the corporation. To date, more than $150m has been invested from the fund, with three exits.

In line with its mission of “protecting people, businesses and futures with extraordinary care”, Nationwide takes minority positions in seed and series A startups, working on several broad themes, including living in retirement, mobility, agtech, future of work, proptech, cybersecurity, financial services and insurance infrastructure.

In 2018, Nationwide invested in Betterview, the property intelligence platform that assists property insurers in analysing, scoring, managing and monitoring property risk. Late last year, the platform was acquired by Nearmap, a location intelligence and aerial imagery solution provider.

Most recent notable investments include NewRetirement, the digital-first financial planning platform for consumers and enterprise partners, which closed its series A with $20m in funding.

In late 2023, Nationwide invested in CLARA Analytics’s recent $24m series C funding round. The AI platform analyses structured and unstructured data, performing contextual analysis, and generates insights that allow claims associates to make data-driven decisions.

Ross’s background spans Fortune 100 companies, early-stage technology startups and the public sector. He was also an executive-in-residence at the MIT Media Lab and has more than 50 issued patents.

He has a BSBA from Bloomsburg University, with a minor in philosophy, and an MBA from Penn State University.

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.