10X13 Ep. 8: Colleen Calhoun, Sr Exec. Dir for Energy Ventures at GE, on Themes+Partnerships

The aim of GE Ventures is to scale great ideas in software, healthcare, energy, advanced manufacturing and financial & digital services.  It is rare in the corporate venturing world in that it unites many efforts across the company in different technical domains, helps link external ventures better with internal innovation, and is led by a senior executive team.

In this interview, Colleen Calhoun, Senior Executive Director for Energy Ventures on the GE Ventures team describes her group’s focus areas of distributed power, advanced technology for oil and gas, and big data.

Colleen also provides three pieces of advice for technology companies approaching GE about potential partnerships: to be specific about how they want to partner with GE and where; to be pushy about how the technology company can continue to move quickly on its path for development and commercialization; and to be bold by not hesitating to ask for what they need to make the partnership a success.

Lastly, Colleen explains two themes that are driving forces behind the focus of Energy Ventures based on GE’s customers’ needs: water scarcity, especially for power generation and manufacturing, and the need for more resilient infrastructure in the face of natural disasters.