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Expert Voices: Corporate venture veteran Barbara Burger

Alan Neuhauser
May 20, 2022
Photo illustration of Barbara Burger.
Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Courtesy of Barbara Burger

We're talking with Barbara Burger, who last month "graduated" from her role leading Chevron Technology Ventures.

Why she matters: Ask around for an expert in corporate venture capital, and investors will regularly point to Burger as the longtime leader.

  • Burger spent 34 years at Chevron, most recently as vice president of innovation and president of the energy giant's VC arm.
  • She just joined Emerald Technology Venture's advisory council — with more announcements on the way, she tells Axios.

What's been the week's big story?

The number of announcements of collaboration between incumbents continues to grow — this week, bp and Linde on a carbon capture and storage project in the U.S. Gulf Coast, and a number of other projects on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

What would you add to the narrative?

When the data points come from the middle of the country — as opposed to the Northeast or the West Coast — and from established players, we have momentum. No longer niche or outlier, but mainstream and at a point where economics and the environment are pulling in the same direction.  

What do you feel is being under-covered or under-noticed?

The scaling of the supply chains that will be needed for the future energy system, from core elements to materials for gas separation to basic equipment for infrastructure — pumps, compressors, etc. 

In three (or so) words, what one change would you make to accelerate investment in sustainable energy/climate tech?

Incentives for first-of-a-kind infrastructure investment. 

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