Inga Grieger, business development manager at BMW i Ventures, is one of our top 50 Rising Stars in corporate venturing in 2024.

Inga Grieger started as an automotive designer, working mainly on car interiors.

“I came from a different path into the corporate venture capital arm,” says Grieger. But, she says, her background has been helpful. “From a designer perspective, you are always seeing through your customers’ eyes. This is very similar to what we are doing in business development when looking at how
we can support portfolio companies with their next steps.”

Grieger is one of a growing number of business development specialists on the GCV Rising Stars list, a reflection of the role’s increasing importance in corporate venture. Grieger was the first in this role at BMW i Ventures.

Besides a financial support, the CVC provides the portfolio companies with valuable contacts and platforms. Grieger works closely with the BMW Group strategy team to learn what needs are coming up for the automaker.

“Companies are so different. You have to stay open-minded to find individual opportunities for each one.”

Grieger is often the first point of contact for many startups after BMW i Ventures invests in them.

“I’m a translator,” she says. “I am the link between our portfolio companies and the BMW Group. With my background from more than 10 years in the company, I can give them insights into the black box, helping them know which doors to knock on.”

She also coaches startups on what they need to do to become full suppliers for BMW, a process that can take as long as a year in some cases.

One thing Grieger has learned in two and a half years on the job is that each startup needs a tailor-made approach.

“In my first year, I was always thinking about a process that might help every single company in the same way. Now, I realise there can be no process because the companies are so different. You have to stay open-minded to find individual opportunities for each one.”

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