Working to develop the future of climate technology requires both the passion for sustainability and the drive to innovate. As the VP of Venture Create at ENGIE Factory, Michelle works with passionate founders to develop and help bring new green tech solutions to the world.
Her work in ENGIE revolves around equipping aspiring founders with the necessary expertise and corporate assets to transform their decarbonization ideas into reality.
To help these startups overcome the high barrier of entry, she leads her team to empower founders with the tools, support, and venture capital necessary to launch with confidence.
Over the last three years, Michelle and her team helped nine ventures launch successfully, including a female founder with her goal of accelerating decarbonization in office buildings.
While Michelle had experience working with startups, she joined the company with minimal background in the energy and sustainability sector.
Thanks to the incredible support of the Managing Directors and ENGIE colleagues throughout the company, I got to learn a lot about the industry.
She credits this culture of open-sharing in ENGIE as the driving force behind her skill acquisition and the growth in her scope of work.
As she leads a tight-knit team, celebrating milestones is essential to keep the motivation up. These include helping founders get funded, getting their first paid customer, and seeing the impact made.
Michelle believes sustainability is about balancing the environmental needs with the economical and social factors which are equally important.
“I believe we can be green and profitable while ensuring future generations have a fair chance to live in a world without fighting for natural resources.”
In her role, Michelle is a problem solver, and helping startups succeed in their green ambitions helps the world take one step forward in sustainability. To accomplish this, she helps founders focus on fulfilling a customer need first before swiftly bringing their solutions to market in today’s time-sensitive business environment.
To Michelle, gender equality begins with removing the stereotypes of how women and men work. Both men and women bring different perspectives and abilities to the table.
“It should be more about the output and contributions an individual can bring regardless of their gender,” Michelle highlights.
When asked about gender stereotypes in society today, Michelle hopes that companies and communities can embrace the act that gender roles have evolved.
Female employees looking to have a family should not have a shelf-life as family dynamics are different today, with spouses stepping up together.
Michelle cheerfully mentions how ENGIE has women leadership across the group, from the consulting to financial teams.
The ENGIE Fifty-Fifty project that aims to achieve managerial parity inspires her as well as discussions and initiatives to encourage more women founders to join ENGIE Factory’s Venture Build Program.
“It’s heartening to see ENGIE encourage women leadership throughout Asia-Pacific through initiatives that include women empowerment groups and events,” shares Michelle.