On July 1st, we celebrated Touchdown’s 9th anniversary. As we enter the last year of our first decade and take stock of what our firm has accomplished so far, we feel truly grateful to have been able to grow every year. From three founders in 2014, our team has now reached nearly 60 extraordinary people.

One of our original goals was to make Touchdown a destination for the next generation of VCs. This focus was driven by our love of teaching and developing talent. By implementing internal training curriculum, hosting MBA internships, offering micro-internships providing real venture capital experience, serving as adjunct faculty at top business schools, and launching new undergraduate offerings like Touchdown Ventures College, we have been able to expand our team to keep pace with demand for our “corporate venture capital as a service” model.

This summer we onboarded our largest cohort of summer interns. Eileen Wixted helps lead training at Touchdown and noted,

“I love being the first touchpoint for new hires, introducing our team to Touchdown’s unique culture and guiding them through their onboarding experience.

Starting a new job or internship can be stressful. Part of my role is to support the ‘whole person’ who joins our team, hopefully creating the conditions that help everyone thrive.

My goal is to be the friendly, go-to teammate. The joy I feel being that trusted team member is what I love most about my job.”

As we launch new CVC arms like Braskem’s Oxygea fund ($100 million) and Agthia Ventures ($54 million), we continue to hire at all levels. 

Please contact us with any opportunities you think would make sense, especially recruiting referrals.
Agthia Ventures is a $54 million corporate venture capital fund established to fuel innovation in the food & beverage industry. Funded by UAE-based Agthia and its parent company ADQ, the fund is stage agnostic with a focus on better-for-you food and beverage brands, value chain technology, and ingredient technology.

As one of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s leading food and beverage companies, Agthia manages a mix of brands in four key verticals: water and food, agri-business, protein and frozen, and snacking. The fund represents an opportunity to encourage global translation of ethnic and regional food tastes, developing greater awareness and understanding of different cultures. Agthia Ventures is Touchdown’s first CVC business relationship in the MENA region.

The fund targets investments in global startups developing healthier snacks, functional and premium beverages, food ingredient technology, and value chain technology, from manufacturing through distribution.
Braskem, a global leader in the production of thermoplastic resins and biopolymers, has launched Oxygea, a $100 million corporate venture capital fund, to support high-growth startups scaling innovative businesses to help reduce plastic waste and CO₂ emissions in the petrochemical industry.

The fund will work with seed, early, and growth stage companies focused on sustainability and clean technology. Investment focus areas include circular economy in plastics, advanced biochemicals and materials, carbon neutrality, and advanced manufacturing solutions. 

Oxygea will help its portfolio companies and startup partners by sharing technical expertise and industry relationships, and by providing commercial support. Read more here.
New Hires
Prior to joining Touchdown Raj Aiyer worked at Silicon Valley Bank on enterprise software, consumer internet, fintech, artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, and more. He also worked as a financial analyst for Satya Nutrition, a Baltimore-based nonprofit addressing malnourishment and malnutrition in the Indian subcontinent. Raj holds a B.S. from Tulane University, where he co-majored in finance and marketing.
Imane Ait Mbiriq began her career at Magma Technology, a Paris-based startup that provides supply chain visibility for corporations. She later worked for Phoenix Tailings, a Boston-based startup in clean mining and metals production. Imane earned a B.S. and M.S. in Industrial Engineering from Arts et Métiers ParisTech in France before pursuing a Master of Engineering in Advanced Manufacturing and Design at MIT. 
Before Touchdown Michael Beer worked at Metaprop VC where he sourced early and growth stage deals, performed due diligence, and supported portfolio companies. He started his career as a management consultant at the Boston Consulting Group, working on cases ranging from supply chain optimization to large-scale transformation & restructurings. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Columbia University. 
Kunal Desai's prior experience includes healthcare venture capital at Revere Partners and consulting for pension funds and hedge funds. He earned a bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Detroit Mercy and also gained technical experience in research labs.
Shand Stephens joined Touchdown full-time after being a member of the inaugural cohort of Touchdown Ventures College. He holds a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame in economics and philosophy.
Prior to Touchdown, Christina Tsai cofounded Creative People, a New York-based recruitment startup that specialized in building teams for VC-backed startups. Her experience in growing startups is what sparked her interest in corporate innovation and venture capital. Christina holds a BA in Communication from the University of California, Santa Barbara and an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management.
Dr. Peter Ulrich brings a wealth of experience in strategy consulting, digital technologies, sustainability, M&A, and venture capital. Having served in senior roles at BCG, EY and IBM, Peter works with leading companies to shape their company’s strategies, drive innovation, and transform their businesses. Peter holds a PhD in economics from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and a degree in business from the University of Cologne. 
Welcome Summer Interns
In September we will open applications for our second cohort of Touchdown Ventures College, an internship program for undergraduate students interested in venture capital.

Our first cohort consisted of 15 undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds.The program is both educational and experiential.

Please fill out this interest form to be notified when applications open in September.
Touchdown Originals
Our blog on best practices for corporate innovation, venture capital, and entrepreneurship lives on Medium, and some of our team members also contribute to Forbes, TechCrunch, NACD, and the VC Journal.

Here are a few of our recent articles:
Linking investment transaction tactics to the CEO's overall strategy for the corporation may be the key to longevity for CVC programs
"The Biggest Bluff" by poker champion Maria Konnikova inspired our team to explore the differences between investing and gambling
Our head of operations, Jane Simons, sat down with Mike Devlin to discuss what it takes to succeed as a Senior Associate at Touchdown Ventures
The Blitz
Here's some of our latest news, which we also share on Twitter & LinkedIn:
Our team participated in Super Bowl champion Rodney McLeod's Youth Summit career fair, sharing information about venture capital and Touchdown
Touchdown CEO David Horowitz was interviewed about the role of corporate venture capital on the "Welcome to the Arena Podcast"
Touchdown President Scott Lenet participated in KPMG's "LinkedIn Live" discussion on how CVCs can collaborate with startups effectively
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Unless otherwise indicated, commentary herein reflects the personal opinions, viewpoints and analyses of the authors and should not be regarded as a description of services provided by Touchdown or its affiliates. The opinions expressed here are for general informational purposes only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual on any security or advisory service. It is only intended to provide education about the financial industry. The views reflected in the commentary are subject to change at any time without notice. While all information presented, including from independent sources, is believed to be accurate, we make no representation or warranty as to accuracy or completeness. We reserve the right to change any part of these materials without notice and assume no obligation to provide updates. Nothing herein constitutes investment advice, performance data or a recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. Investing involves the risk of loss of some or all of an investment. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.