As auto journalists, we spend a lot of time writing about fundraising announcements and investment decisions. Heck, we even have a section in our weekly Mobility Report newsletter just for deals.
But we rarely examine the relationship between investors and budding startups. Carmakers use venture capital to bolster their technology portfolios, establish early relationships with startups and, sometimes, grab headlines by throwing around big money. The people behind these decisions hold a lot of power.
In “How to Make a Million Dollars,” the sixth episode of Season 3 of “Futurismo,” we chat with Jim Adler, managing director of Toyota AI Ventures, the Japanese carmaker’s venture capital arm.
He has invested in companies ranging from lidar sensor developers to low-level autonomous shuttle providers. We talk to Adler about how he found his way to venture capital, what a startup needs to do to impress him and why corporate investors — such as himself — can sometimes “smother” startups. Go to your favorite podcast source to hear the full episode or check it out above.