Saint-Gobain NOVA, the external ventures arm of one of the world’s largest building materials companies and manufacturer of innovative material solutions, has named Sven Harmsen as Director of External Ventures.
In this role, Harmsen will help drive Saint-Gobain NOVA’s broader growth strategy as well as the company’s strategy around engagement and investment in startups and their relationships with Saint-Gobain businesses.
With more than 15 years of experience in business development and investment in venture capital backed start-ups and large corporations, Harmsen’s expertise will help Saint-Gobain NOVA enhance its partnership activities with like-minded startups and grow the company’s investment portfolio.
He will also be actively involved in ensuring the success of the InNOVAte 2019 Challenge, an accelerator program developed in partnership with CertainTeed, Saint-Gobain’s leading building and construction brand, and Greentown Labs, the largest cleantech incubator in the U.S., with the goal of developing innovative technologies to disrupt the built environment value chain.
“Sven’s experience leading global investment teams and developing strategic plans for portfolio companies will be valuable to our team as we work to expand our portfolio,” said Minas Apelian, Vice President of R&D, Quality and External Ventures at Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed. “The diversity of Sven’s background as well as his deep knowledge of business development and strategic investment will help to enhance our overarching strategy to ensure we create an optimized, efficient plan for our path forward.”
Prior to joining Saint-Gobain NOVA, Harmsen served as Investment Director at M Ventures, the global corporate venture arm of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. From M Ventures’ office in Cambridge, Mass., he established and led a global investment team focusing on strategic investments in the field of performance materials and built an international portfolio of strategic investments.
He also previously worked for BASF Venture Capital (BVC) and started its first investment office on the East Coast of the U.S. During his time in strategic venture units, he actively served on various Boards of portfolio start-ups as director or observer and generated strong deal flow covering diverse technical fields being of interest for BASF Venture Capital and later on for M Ventures.
For more information about Saint-Gobain NOVA: www.nova-saint-gobain.com.