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Why every corporation needs a venture building programme — and how to do it well
Call it “venture building” or a “startup studio” but the practice of large corporates building new startup companies themselves — as opposed to just investing in existing ones — is once again becoming an increasingly popular tool in the corporate innovation toolkit.

It isn't a new idea — corporations have gone through waves of doing this in the past. The trouble is, it has been difficult to do this well, and the history of venture building is littered with failures.

We'll look at how the current wave of venture building might avoid some of the mistakes of the past. What is emerging as current best practice for a successful programme?

Linda Yates, Chief Executive Officer, Mach49
Debbie Brackeen, Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer, CSAA Insurance Group
Gurdeep Singh Kohli, SC Ventures, Standard Chartered Bank
Alex Mahr, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Stryber

Moderated by Maija Palmer, Editor, GCV

Feb 8, 2023 05:00 PM in London

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Linda Yates
Chief Executive Officer @Mach49
Linda Yates is the Founder and CEO of Mach49 — Driving Growth for Global Businesses. Mach49 partners with the Global 1000 to build their growth engines, creating portfolios of organic ventures and external investments to disrupt markets and create new ones through venture building, venture transformation, venture investing, strategic partnering, and targeted M&A.
Debbie Brackeen
Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer @CSAA Insurance Group
Debbie Brackeen is chief strategy and innovation officer at CSAA Insurance Group, where she has develiped a multi-faceted approach to corporate venturing, including internal venture building. Her team helped create Mobilitas, CSAA's insurance solution for ridesharing. Before joining CSAA Brackeen was managing director of Citi Bank's corporate venturing and innovation group, and before that she was vice president of HP corporate ventures, where her team incubated disruptive new business opportunities and managed HP’s relationship with the startup and VC community. Brackeen has more than 20 years of experience at Fortune 500 companies in Silicon Valley including Apple, Sun, Cadence, and eBay. Debbie graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in American studies.
Gurdeep Singh Kohli
SC Ventures @Standard Chartered
Gurdeep is a member of SC Ventures at Standard Chartered Bank. As one of the founding members, he has been responsible for helping set up SC Ventures with a focus on building new business models, venture incubation and governance, and client co-creation. He has been instrumental in building a portfolio of over 30 ventures many of which have been successfully launched. He relocated from Singapore to London in 2021 to expand the SC Ventures mandate in Europe and Americas. Gurdeep has over 20 years of experience in financial services strategy, innovation and venture building. Prior to joining SC Ventures in 2018, he was a Managing Director in Standard Chartered Bank’s Group Strategy team and led a variety of strategic discussions for the Bank’s Management Team and the Board. He started his career with McKinsey & Co in India in 2001 before moving on to join Credit Suisse’s Corporate Development and Strategy Group in 2008.
Alex Mahr
Co-Founder and Managing Partner @Stryber
Alex Mahr is the Co-founder and Managing Partner of Stryber, the leading independent corporate venture builder in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Since 2016, Stryber has been helping large corporations, sovereign wealth funds as well as family offices in becoming future-proof by developing new business models that generate sustainable growth through applying its tried and tested "corporate venturing OS" to clients' specific needs. With a team of more than 100 skilled entrepreneurs at heart, growth marketers, designers, product and tech specialists, Stryber is building valid, impactful and scalable ventures and venture studios at record speed. Alex' background includes strategy consulting, corporate innovation and corporate venture capital before he became an entrepreneur.
Maija Palmer
Editor @GCV
Maija Palmer is the editor of Global Corporate Venturing. She was previously Innovation Editor at Sifted, the FT-backed media site focused on the European startup economy, and prior to that had a 20-year career at the Financial Times, including roles as European Technology Correspondent and Deputy Editor of Special Reports. Maija was one of the original team helping create FT.com and later helped set up the FT's social media team.