Ginger Rothrock & Meghan Hunt: HG Ventures

If you’re a company in the industrial sector, you’re going to have a lot of waste. Industrial processes are massively resource-intensive, whether it’s water or other raw materials, and what you get out the other side is not just the finished product itself, but literally tons of waste byproduct that needs somewhere to go.

What is becoming increasingly clear is that in and around that waste, is a lot of money. Anyone who comes up with technology that can effectively help large industrials reduce the amount of waste they produce, maximise the yield they can get from their inputs, and extract useful things from their waste, will find financial reward.

I’m joined today by Ginger Rothrock and Meghan Hunt of HG Ventures, the corporate VC unit of The Heritage Group, one of the largest privately-owned companies in the US, specialising in various areas of heavy industry.

Rothrock, a chemist by training, is senior director at the unit, and came into corporate venturing after a stint as vice president of technology and commercialisation at RTI International, where she sat across a billion-dollar R&D portfolio. Hunt who has a background in marketing, currently has a role at HG Ventures which is increasingly important in the CVC world, which is that of platform manager, carrying out the crucial task of forging and nurturing connections between the portfolio companies and the mothership itself.

In our conversation, we talk about the increasingly important role that the circular economy and sustainability have in the industrial space, and how critical it is, from an investment perspective, to couple those objectives with other things that are important to a company so that they stick.

We also talk about the myriad benefits that come to the CVC, the startups, and the corporate from focusing on platform and fostering the links between them all, as well as why the water sector has been so overlooked as an investment class relative to its importance to the world and our species, and why we should care about making sure our roads are high-tech in the future.

Quick reminder that we are breaking for the holidays after next week’s episode, but we will be back in the new year, with a great line-up of guests.

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