Juan Palacios, managing director of Btomorrow Ventures, is one of the 100 leading corporate venturing professionals in our 2024 Powerlist.

GCV Powerlist 2024: Juan Palacios

Juan Palacios believes in saying yes. So, when he was asked to step into the role of managing director of Btomorrow Ventures (BTV), the corporate venture capital arm of British American Tobacco (BAT), at the beginning of 2023, his answer was obvious. A finance expert, Palacios has been in the company since 2006, having held various positions including commercial finance director in the US and global head of commercial M&A in London.

Palacios has made an outsized impact on BTV since stepping into the managing director role. His primary focus has been spearheading a portfolio prioritisation strategy with BTV’s core portfolio companies. The strategy has allowed the investment team and wider BAT team to deliver impact through its collaboration and utilisation of their global capabilities.

A notable investment was participating in FlexSea’s £3m seed round in October 2023. The investment came after FlexSea won Battle of Minds in 2022 – a global pitch competition run by BAT in partnership with BTV to discover and fund the next generation of changemakers FlexSea makes seaweed-derived polymers that can be used to create rigid and semi-rigid packaging to replace harmful plastics.

Palacios has championed a commercial partnership model at BTV, in which the CVC unit partners with the parent and the startup to accelerate growth, while simultaneously securing strategic priorities to the parent.

Another new investment BTV made last year was in Brazilian Mais Mu, which offers a range of healthy snacks and supplements. Souza Cruz (BAT Brasil) also became a strategic partner utilising its distribution network. Mais Mu took many years to reach 10,000 points of sale and in the first three months of the pilot with Souza Cruz, it reached a further 3,000.

Palacios has a degree in business administration and management from UCAB in Venezuela and an MBA in corporate finance from the Wake Forest University School of Business.

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.