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Inside BP’s venturing arm: Chad’s story

"I am focused on seeing sweat turn into a successful strategy. It’s really fun going from the first stage of meeting someone who has an idea, to seeing that idea come to fruition."

Chad has always been passionate about entrepreneurship. From lawn-mowing to selling candy – he focused on starting his own businesses at a young age and has been able to bring this commercial spirit to BP. As he says, “I am focused on seeing sweat turn into a successful strategy. It’s really fun going from the first stage of meeting someone who has an idea, to seeing that
idea come to fruition.”

 

Chad joined BP Ventures in 2011. The team explores lots of different investments, in a broad range of sectors. What Chad likes most is that his work has the power to bring innovation. “We are here to be entrepreneurs,and I get to support BP in incubating new technology developments”, he says.

 

Venturing at BP?

 

As Venture Principle, Chad currently focuses on sourcing Upstream investments. He has largely made investments in carbon and clean tech, in tandem with BP’s focus on the energy  transition. Day to day, he looks at how BP Ventures can build new energy value chains in order to shape future global energy systems and support BP’s transition to a lower carbon future.

 

As Chad says: “Seeing technology develop is fun. It’s great to see a product move from paper to commercial reality and the best outcomes are when our investments deliver value to our customers.” There is also a side to his work that is about incubating and testing technologies for the benefit of the whole industry. “The whole customer-facing side of our downstream business is changing rapidly due to knowing what our customers want – cleaner energy and power on demand.”

 

BP Ventures’ investment in FreeWire, a mobile electric vehicle charging company, is a great example of this. “It was an investment about how to try and scale hardware and infrastructure to support our changing energy demands”, he says. BP is committed to shaping the future of global energy and for Chad, being a part of this transition “gives you something exciting to get up for in the morning.”

 

Working in a global team

 

 

BP’s culture is also a key part of what makes Chad’s work exciting. “We have a courageous leadership team and a courageous strategy.” Venturing is all about courage and BP often invests in early stage companies when banks and private equity firms aren’t willing to take the risk. At BP, this is all part of the process.

 

As Chad says: “At Ventures, you’re able to take bets and you learn a lot from companies that fail, too. Thanks to BP, a lot of new technologies see the light of day.” When he first joined the team, Chad was impressed by BP’s global strength and focus on inclusion: “I talk to people both internally and externally across multiple locations every day, on any given investment.”

 

These relationships are crucial to the work he does: “I had other jobs where you’d only talk to a few people on a certain project.” BP is noticeably different and Chad is proud to be part of a world class team.