Eduardo Brussi, head of corporate venture capital, Banco BV, is one of our top 50 Rising Stars for 2024.

Brussi was a corporate relationship manager at one of Brazil’s largest banks, Arab Banking Corporation (“Banco ABC”), with no experience in venture capital when he got a call from a colleague asking him to join the Banco BV’s new investment arm.

Despite not knowing much about VC, Brussi’s boundless energy, creativity and people skills landed him the job. He describes himself as a “politics” person, adept at building relationships inside the organisation as well as externally with startups and investors. “I have the characteristics of a politician, so I really fit well in CVC,” says Brussi.

Banco BV’s $100m venture fund, launched in 2022, invests mostly in series A and B startups based in Brazil. It is also a limited partner in 13 venture capital funds, which Brussi chose to do to diversify the venture unit’s Brazil-focused portfolio.

The CVC invests in areas that diversify the bank’s business lines, such as insurtech, solar financing and even healthcare. Brussi is particularly excited about the combination of artificial intelligence and quantum computing and how this can improve the bank’s clients’ user experience.  

Brussi says the key to corporate venturing success is to be curious and humble “because everyone’s better than you. You are going to talk with billionaires, CEOs, four times founders, and you have to be ready to learn.”   

Leandro Minniti, head of digital products and growth at Banco BV, says Brussi’s “passion for innovation, sharp analytical skills, and ability to identify strategic opportunities set him apart as a powerful driving force in the field.”  

Investing in startups is the easy part of the job, says Brussi. Helping startups to grow and gain commercial agreements is the challenging part. This area of CVC – portfolio management – is increasingly acknowledged as critical to successful corporate venturing. “In CVC you have to have relationships, even with people that you wouldn’t normally choose to be connected with,” he jokes.

See the full list of Rising Stars for 2024 here.