VC Taskforce

CVC Forum: Hardware and Materials Investments

CVC Forum: Hardware and Materials Investments

For CVCs, investors, strategy and corporate development executives

Date: October 22, 2020 Time: 12:00 - 1:30 Zoom
  • Exciting areas in hard tech space
  • Trends in hard tech that might be burgeoning after the pandemic
  • Investment challenges in hardware and new materials
  • Impact of more extended return periods on LPs’ perspectives and fund structure.
  • Roles of strategic and financial investors in this ecosystem


Anil Achyuta
Investment Director and Founding Member
TDK Ventures

Anil Achyuta is an Investment Director and a Founding Member of TDK Ventures, which is a $50M deep-tech corporate venture fund of TDK.
Anil is passionate about energy and healthcare sectors as he believes these are the most impactful areas to building a sustainable future – a mission directly in line with TDK Ventures’ goal. At TDK Ventures, Anil has reviewed over 700 start-ups and invested in: 1) Autoflight (an electric vertical take-off and landing / flying car company), 2) Genetesis (a magnetocardiography cardiac diagnostics company where Anil serves as Board Observer), 3) Origin (3-D printing mass manufacturing company), 4) Exo (hand-held 3-D ultrasound imaging company), 5) GenCell (ammonia-to-hydrogen fuel cell company). Prior to TDK, Anil held leadership roles at Fortune 500 companies including L’Oréal, Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, and Draper. Anil has a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Northeastern University and has authored over 15 peer-reviewed journal publications and 5 US patents.
Radhika Malik
Samsung Catalyst Fund
Radhika Malik is a Senior Associate at the Samsung Catalyst Fund, Samsung’s corporate venture capital fund focused on core technology areas including AI/deep learning, cloud infrastructure, smart machines (cars, robots, factories), IoT, digital health and device-level technologies.

Prior to Samsung, Radhika was at Panorama Education (a startup backed by Y Combinator, Mark Zuckerberg and Spark Capital among others), where she built data and analytics products for educators. Radhika has also served as a software engineer and product manager at large tech companies including Microsoft and Amazon, as well as early stage startups including MindMeld.

Radhika holds a B.S. and M.Eng. from MIT in Computer Science and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Connie Bowen
Director of Innovation and Investment
Connie Bowen is the Director of Innovation and Investment at AgLaunch, a farmer-centric technology development group in Memphis, TN. In this role, she drives organizational growth, oversees accelerator investments, develops internal innovation capacity, and champions innovation to build a transformed regional food and agricultural economy. In addition to AgLaunch, Connie serves as Investment Manager for The Yield Lab Europe.

Prior to AgLaunch, Connie served as an Analyst for Chess Ag Full Harvest Partners and as a Partner with Chess’s subsidiary, Farmacopia Farms, as Principal for The Yield Lab, and as the Director of Operations for Grape Arbor VC. She is a 2016 Venture for America fellow, serves on the Venture for America Alumni Board and The Yield Lab Institute Board, is a contributor to Forbes, and co-hosts The End of Ag: The Podcast.

Sarah Applebaum
Pangaea Ventures
Rejoining Pangaea Ventures in 2020, Sarah brings almost a decade of venture capital and company building experience to the team. Sarah has cultivated expertise in building entrepreneurial teams, scaling early stage ventures, and venture financing. Sarah is an active mentor to early stage entrepreneurs and a startup community activator and advocate.

Sarah led Pangaea’s investments into PolySpectra and Correlia Biosystems. Sarah holds a Bsc. From Dalhousie University and an MBA from the Schulich School of Business.

Daniel Franke
M Ventures

Daniel is a Senior Associate at M Ventures and responsible for display & semiconductor investments out of M Ventures’ €400 million Science & Technology fund. M Ventures is the strategic, corporate venture capital arm of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and focuses on investments in Biopharmaceuticals and broader Science & Technology areas (Life Science Tools, Display & Semiconductors, Deep Tech and Sustainability).

Daniel joined M Ventures as Associate in 2019, after supporting the team as an Analyst during the M Ventures Fellowship starting in 2018. At Merck, KGaA , Darmstadt, Germany, Daniel also co-founded the Quantum Computing Task Force. Daniel obtained his Bachelor’s and Master’s in Chemistry at RWTH Aachen University before moving on to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for his Ph.D. studies. At MIT, Daniel developed quantum materials for display technologies and advanced biomedical imaging applications, leading to a novel biomedical imaging platform on basis of shortwave infrared light.

Vera Schroeder
Safar Partners
Vera Schroeder is an early stage tech investor at Safar Partners. As an associate at Safar, Vera evaluates and mentors entrepreneurs, conducts diligence, and supports portfolio companies. In addition to her work at Safar, Vera is an officer at MIT’s Social Entrepreneurship Alumni Group and mentor with the Junior Achievement of Northern New England. She also mentors MIT and Harvard students interested in entrepreneurship and acts as a judge and panelist for local startup and VC events. Vera earned a PhD in chemistry from MIT specializing in nanoscience and materials science.


12:00 – 01:30 Panel discussion and Q/A

Submit questions to panel during the event
Ask questions of panel during the event
01:30 Program ends

CVC Program Chair
Elias Reyes

During registration you have the opportunity to provide questions you would like our panelists to answer.

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Host: John Park, Partner, Morgan Lewis

Morgan Lewis At Morgan Lewis, we work in collaboration. We work around the clock and around the world—always ready, always on—to respond to the needs of our clients and craft powerful solutions for them. From our 30 offices* in North America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, we work with clients ranging from established, global Fortune 100 companies to enterprising startups.