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Dr. Wal Van Lierop : Building Commercialize Innovations For Resource Intensive Industries

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Since the beginning of time, humans and other living organisms have survived by utilizing natural resources. Today, as the population continues to escalate, so does the demand for these resources. But, the most important natural resources are finite and non-renewable. This irreversible cycle, therefore, necessitates the conservation of natural resources, which has been a hot topic for discussion in various industries for the last couple of years. Currently, many organizations are developing projects by leveraging state-of-the-art technologies to deliver sustainable solutions that can restore/maintain the balance of Earth’s ecosystem.

Founded in Vancouver, Canada in 2001, Chrysalix Venture Capital is acting as an innovation scout for those organizations, which serve resource-intensive industries like oil & gas, mining & metals, manufacturing, logistics, construction, transportation, chemicals & advanced materials, agriculture, utilities & electric power, and asset management. The global venture capital company invests in early-stage startups and helps them grow into large successful companies.

Acting as a Matchmaker for Creating Groundbreaking Solutions 

Chrysalix is a technology-focused venture capital company that builds, mentors, and connects high growth companies. By concentrating on where technology meets physical science, it has built its reputation on bringing disruptive innovation to the world’s largest industries. The company focuses on investing in intelligent systems, energy technology and resource productivity solutions that deliver outsized financial returns and environmental sustainability.

Last fall, Chrysalix set up a new fund, the Chrysalix RoboValley Fund. Through this fund, the company is focusing on sourcing and investing in early-stage companies across the globe. Some of its pioneering investments, from this fund and previous funds, are made in MineSense, GaN Systems, General Fusion and Feasible Inc.

A Visionary Leader Focusing on Making the Earth Greener

The leader behind the success of Chrysalix is the Founding Partner and Executive Chairman, Dr. Wal Van Lierop. Wal is an award-winning business leader and visionary in innovation, sustainability and cleantech. Currently, he is a member of the Board of Directors at Chrysalix’s portfolio companies: General Fusion, Inventys, Enbala and Axine Water Technologies. Prior to Chrysalix, he was the VP of Strategy at Westcoast Energy, one of Canada’s largest energy companies at the time.

As the Founder of a cutting-edge global venture capital company, Wal focuses on making large traditional industries greener and more innovative. Wal states that there are serious threats to Earth’s ecosystem with a brief period of time left to restore it. He further elaborates by saying, “We must challenge fear and hopelessness with optimism and decisions. But, how do we do this?” Wal suggests in seizing the enormous opportunities presented by the fields of nuclear fusion, digitalization, artificial intelligence and resource productivity solutions. By such investments, organizations can build solutions that could tackle real-world issues.

Wal and his team collaborate with leading industrial companies to define problems that matter and help the startups accelerate and scale by being potential customers or partners.

Valuable Investing Advice for Business Leaders

Being an expert venture capitalist, Wal shares his insights on what business leaders should do before investing. He states that large companies should carefully evaluate their organizations capabilities to work with startups as part of their innovation strategy. “Investing in startups is about building a long-term relationship of give & takes,” he shares. At the same time, having an understanding of the risk tolerance and comfort with uncertainty can help them to make better decisions. Furthermore, he recommends that keeping open-ended thinking and expecting failures will help them reach success.

Focusing on Creating a Competent Team

On building a competent team, Wal suggests, “I would focus more on people issues and team building. At the end, it is all about quality people and diverse top teams. A mediocre team working with a top technology will likely fail, whereas a top team working on just an OK technology stands a good chance to make money.” Hence, he considers people issues very important while investing in or helping any startups or other organizations.

Sustaining the Environment through Breakthrough Technologies

According to Wal, “We have just 12 years to reduce carbon emissions by 45% and until 2050 to hit ‘net zero’.” Therefore, budding tech leaders should focus on developing the breakthrough technologies that can help people tackle their infatuation with hydrocarbons. Large industrial companies that have been around for decades could gain prestige once again if they build ecosystems of startups to source breakthrough technologies. Commenting on this statement, he said, “However, for industrials to innovate like Silicon Valley and for startups to win over industrials, both need deeper awareness of each other’s mindsets.” The collaboration between startups and industrials is the first step for building a thriving ecosystem. This ecosystem can only work if these players are attentive towards each other’s differences as well as being ready to deal with them.

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