Andrea Siciliani, principal, TechEnergy Ventures, is one of our top 50 Rising Stars for 2024.

Andrea Siciliani, who was recently promoted to principal, was one of the founding members of TechEnergy Ventures, the $150m corporate venture capital fund of Tecpetrol, a division of family-owned Italian conglomerate Techint Group. Trained as an aerospace engineer, Siciliani entered corporate venturing after studying for an MBA. He joined the Techint Group as an executive assistant to the chairman, a role that gave him exposure to C-level executive meetings and an overall understanding of the company’s strategy. It was in that role that he found out about the launch of a corporate development unit focused on sustainability. In 2022, that division launched the CVC, which Siciliani does investments for.

The CVC team has five people spread across two offices in Milan, Italy, and Buenos Airies, Argentina. The unit, which has 13 portfolio companies, invests in hydrogen; carbon capture, utilisation and storage; clean energy production and storage; and mineral extraction.  Siciliani heads hydrogen investments, specifically looking for technologies that decarbonise the production of hydrogen, which its parent considers using for the production of steel.

Siciliani recently oversaw an investment in a US hydrogen electrolyser startup. He is also organising a seed funding round for a hydrogen company built internally by the parent company. The spinout makes hydrogen through methane pyrolysis. 

For people looking to enter corporate venturing, Siciliani’s advice is to be open to learning “one order of magnitude more than what you are used to.” Being able to master new subjects quickly is also critical. “You have to study a lot, especially when you enter a field you are not familiar with. You have to spend hours and hours studying and talking to people to learn and have your own point of view,” he says.  It is important to develop your own point of view because “every startup looks beautiful. But if you know what to look for, you can do a much better job.”  

See the full list of GCV Rising Stars for 2024 here.