Venture West Panel Preview: The State Of The Strategics

Venture West SF is just 2 months out with invaluable built world industry insights just waiting to be heard and debated starting with “The State of Strategics in the Built World” panel on the morning of Day 1 of the conference (March 21). This panel will kick off the innovation-inspiring Socratic dialogue that this SF-based event has in store for construction/real estate professionals.

The emergence of corporate/strategically-motivated Venture Capital (CVC) has been a critical component in the advancement of the still nascent built world startup ecosystem. The growing level of tech adopting skin-in-the-game that emerging AEC strategic funds/CVCs are driving into parent companies’ legacy operations has become a mission-critical element in the development of early-stage solutions.

Pilot program exhaustion has run rampant in the construction space with 2 decades of underdeveloped/disappointing tech solutions. Many stubborn contractors have given up on trying to implement new technologies on their jobsites (some never trying at all), leading to the industry-wide adoption lag.

However, the pandemic’s digital accelerant and the construction windfall that followed have created a cash-rich construction environment where startups can thrive, as larger AEC players look toward the future of the built world and where they fit in it.

Despite the Fed’s pervasive demand curbing rate hikes, the built ecosystem experienced an agnostic acceleration of strategic fund rollouts with CRH Ventures’ $250M launches and SE Ventures’ (Schnieder Electric) >$500M Fund II in December & November 2022, respectively, leading this capital-juiced innovation campaign into 2023.

This panel of industry experts possesses a rare triple-threat of fundamental construction industry knowledge, innovative investing experience, and clear visibility of startup viability (having the ability to test ventures in-house), which provides them with built-world venture insights you won’t hear anywhere else. These innovation-guiding leaders will cover everything from how they assess the nuanced performance metrics of a corporate venture arm to what the future of the built world has in store.

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Meet the Panel

Eric Lamb Maverick-01

Eric Lamb -      Director @ DPR Construction

A natural problem-solver and numbers man at heart, Eric studied civil engineering the University of Virginia before his love for building steered him towards a master's degree in construction management at Stanford University.  During more than 30 years in construction and engineering, he has combined the best of both worlds. Eric has been instrumental in setting up preconstruction processes and operating systems that continue to serve as a foundation for DPR Construction today. A founding member of DPR's Management Committee for 28 years, he now serves on the Board of Directors. In addition, he is the Managing Director of WND Ventures, a Corporate Venture Capital firm for DPR Construction.

cutler knupp director dysruptek

Cutler Knupp - Director of Strategy & Technology @ Dysruptek

Cutler leads the corporate venture arm of Haskell, Dysruptek. Cutler focuses on early-stage venture investments, tech scouting, corporate strategy, and innovation.

Dysruptek has established a portfolio of investments in DeepTech, IoT, Modular Solutions, Robotics, and Blockchain.

Before joining Haskell + Dysruptek, Cutler led M&A for Softvision, a global software developer acquired by Cognizant Technologies in 2018. He studied Finance and International affairs at NYU Stern School of Business and Kennesaw State University.

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Gonzalo Galindo - President @ Cemex Ventures

Gonzalo Galindo is the head of CEMEX Ventures. With over 30 years of experience in the building materials industry, he promotes a construction revolution by working with startups in construction, entrepreneurs, universities, and other entities interested in the industry. His focus is on finding innovative business models for the construction industry, helping propel innovation, sustainability, and digitization in the built sector that lead to more collaboration and less fragmentation. Thanks to Gonzalo ́s work and his team in CEMEX Ventures, he ́s been named one of the most relevant investors in the construction ecosystem for 3 years in a row.

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Prabhakar Karri - Director @ Andersen Ventures

Prabhakar “KP” Karri is the founder of Andersen Ventures+, the corporate venture capital group of Andersen Corporation, based in St. Paul, MN.  Prior to founding Andersen Ventures+, Karri spent over 20 years of experience in venture capital, investment banking, and tech startups.  Prior to Andersen Ventures+, he founded Nymbl Technologies, a fitness analytics company.  Karri has an MBA in finance from the University of Minnesota and an MS in Applied Physics from the University of New Orleans.

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Jennifer Marcus - Director @ Home Depot Ventures

Jenn is Managing Director of Home Depot Ventures, where she leads venture investments in early-stage companies with potential to advance innovation throughout Home Depot. Jenn joined The Home Depot in 2016 and has held various roles across Finance, Strategy, and Business Development. As a founding member of Home Depot Ventures, Jenn has led the development of the fund's strategy, investment thesis, and network to support strategic investments.