Michelle Gonzalez, Corporate VP and global head of Microsoft's M12, is one of the 100 leading corporate venturing professionals in our 2024 Powerlist.

GCV Powerlist 2024: Michelle Gonzalez

Michelle Gonzalez is the corporate vice president and global head of M12, Microsoft’s venture capital fund. Since she assumed her role in July 2021, M12 has an active portfolio of more than 100 investments and 20 exits.

M12’s investment strategy is focused on early-stage emerging tech companies with the potential to disrupt industries.

Microsoft, having pledged to invest up to $10bn in OpenAI, has emerged as one of the world’s leading investors in generative AI. This strategic focus is evident in M12’s recent investments. For instance, M12 participated in the $7.5m seed round for Guardrails AI, a developer of an open-source library designed to ensure safe interactions with large language models. It also backed the $60m Series A funding round for Foundry, a company developing a public cloud for AI computer access.

M12 also invests in sectors such as cloud infrastructure, cybersecurity, developer tools, vertical SaaS, web3 and gaming. These sectors are prioritised due to their alignment with Microsoft’s expertise and focus.

In 2023, Gonzalez announced that M12 would focus on closer strategic alignment with its parent company, Microsoft. While the unit retains autonomy in investment decisions, it maintains proximity to Microsoft’s leadership. M12 regularly engages with senior executives several times a year, providing updates, pitching new ideas and sharing insights.

M12’s investment strategy is focused on early-stage emerging tech companies with
the potential to disrupt industries.

Gonzalez has had a long career in corporate innovation, which began at consulting firm McKinsey & Co. She has held senior product and business leadership roles at Apple and was a partner at IBM Ventures. She also served as an entrepreneur-in-residence and investor at Comcast Ventures, before moving to Google, where she led Area 120, Google’s former in- house incubation division.

Gonzalez has a degree in business administration with a major in economics, as well as a juris doctor degree from Yale Law School.

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.