Meghan Sharp has departed from BP Ventures after more than a decade to head up the $600m Decarbonization Partners fund.
Meghan Sharp, global head of BP Ventures, the corporate venturing subsidiary of UK-listed oil and gas supplier BP, left today to start a stint as global head of investment vehicle Decarbonization Partners.
Decarbonization Partners is a joint venture for asset managers BlackRock and Temasek that concentrates on technology capable of reducing carbon emissions.
Sharp, a former GCV Rising Stars award winner-turned GCV Powerlist winner in 2021, had spent almost 12 years at BP overseeing its corporate innovation and engineering pipeline.
Sharp and her team helped guide BP’s technical and commercial efforts toward helping new businesses achieve net-zero emissions. BP Ventures has invested more than $650m in funding across some 45 portfolio companies.
Sharp said: “I could not be prouder of the portfolio and team and our efforts to support BP’s net carbon zero initiatives. Under [CEO Bernard Looney] and [CFO Murray Auchincloss] extraordinary leadership I know that BP will continue to be a trailblazer in the energy transition so critical to all of us.”
Decarbonization Partners will “invest in carbon-cutting technologies in late-stage venture and early growth opportunities,” Sharp said. “We have a combined $600m in initial seed capital from Temasek and BlackRock and a founding team that includes incredible talent from both firms.”
Previous to taking over as head of BP Ventures, Sharp had been chief operating officer of one of BP Ventures’ portfolio companies, Beyond Limits, a developer of cognitive artificial intelligence technology developed in space that can be applied in various industries, for a year from 2019.
Another achievement for Sharp at BP Ventures involved promoting gender equity and diversity. She said in 2019 when she was ranked second in Global Corporate Venturing’s Rising Stars award: “I am incredibly proud that of the 10 people in the US, including myself, five of us are women.
“Two short years ago there was only myself. I proudly inherited two of those women from other groups and for the other two, I ran an incredibly challenging external process to hire the two best candidates I could find – who both happened to be women.
“While widely known that diversity in groups and on boards leads to better outcomes, there is simply a dearth of women in venture capital to serve on those boards. I am immensely proud that one of the many things my team can offer to our portfolio companies beyond cash, is diversity at the board level.”
Before her stint at Beyond Limits, Sharp had been managing director for Americas at BP Ventures for nearly a decade from 2010. Of the deals she sourced and executed on behalf of the unit at that time, she highlighted microbiome technology developer Taxon in 2013, which led to a successful exit when it was acquired by chemicals producer DuPont three years later.
Prior to joining the VC world, Sharp had been on the academic track, stating: “After receiving my PhD in microbial genetics [from University of California, San Francisco], I was in a post-doctoral position at Stanford’s Carnegie Institute applying for NIH (US National Institutes of Health) transition grants and faculty positions when I changed my mind and became a venture capitalist instead. I decided I wanted to get technology out of lab notebooks and journal articles and out into the world.”
Sharp obtained an MBA in venture capital from Columbia University and has held several roles at life sciences-focused private VC funds based in New York and San Francisco.