Corporate Venture Capital Insights with Comcast Ventures and Estée Lauder New Incubation Ventures

Venture Capital is a dynamic and ever-evolving landscape, constantly influenced by market trends, tech advancements, and economic fluctuations. This industry has seen significant shifts, prompting both founders and VCs to adapt their strategies and approaches. 

In this discussion, Comcast Ventures SVP Allison Goldberg, and Executive Director at Estée Lauder New Incubation Ventures, Ryan Piela, share advice for founders seeking investment and VCs aiming to excel in their roles. We discuss what can go into crafting a winning pitch, how investment decisions are not static, and the importance of strengthening VC-Founder relationships.

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Here’s What We Discussed

  • [00:37] Our Panelists Share Their Background 
  • [06:12] Exploring Untapped VC Opportunities and Collaborating with Founders
  • [11:36] Corporate VC vs. Traditional VC; Exploring Differences and Commonalities
  • [20:23] Exploring Changes in Startup Evaluation and Selection 
  • [32:20] Advice for Founders Engaging the Right Investors – Tailoring Your Pitch to Corporate VCs & Harnessing External Insights
  • [37:57] Advice for VCs & How to Create Lasting Value for Their Investments

How Corporate Venture Capitalist Align Strategy With Consumer Evolution

Navigating the crowded beauty market is no easy feat, but Estée Lauder New Incubation Ventures are up to the challenge. With extensive experience and a focus on strategic alignment, they sift through thousands of beauty brands to identify the true innovators. By assessing unmet customer needs, untapped geographies, and emerging trends, they uncover unique opportunities. Their expertise in the beauty industry allows them to differentiate genuine innovation from duplication. Committed to identifying newness and serving evolving consumer demands, they are propelled as leaders in beauty investment, shaping the industry’s future.

Advice For Founders Pitching To Venture Capitalists

Crafting a successful pitch requires more than just a captivating presentation. As an entrepreneur seeking investment, it is crucial to delve deeper and understand your potential investors. Whether it’s a corporate venture capitalist or a traditional VC firm, researching their priorities and previous investments can provide valuable insights. Emphasize your team’s capabilities, market potential, and key milestones and approach valuation cautiously while demonstrating a clear plan for capital utilization. By implementing these strategies, entrepreneurs can enhance their pitch and increase their chances of securing funding.

Why Founders Must Gain Insights Beyond Their Startup Bubble

Ryan’s advice for founders is to look beyond what they’re building as business owners and emphasizes the need to explore external insights. It’s very common for founders to neglect to survey their customers, understand competitors, and assess the broader market. Focusing solely on internal needs and being too in love with your vision can lead to missed opportunities.

Navigating The Shifting Landscape Of Venture Captial

How are investors adapting to the changing investment landscape amidst uncertain times? Are they pulling back or continuing to invest in new opportunities? This question is at the forefront as industry dynamics and fundamental evaluation criteria undergo shifts.

Learn About Our Speakers

With a wealth of experience in venture capital, incubation, and mentorship, Ryan J. Piela currently serves as the Executive Director of New Incubation Ventures at Estée Lauder Companies, where he drives innovation and fosters the development of new ventures.

In addition to his role at Estée Lauder Companies, Ryan is an active board observer at Haeckels, a company focused on sustainable skincare. He provides valuable insights and guidance to support their growth and strategic initiatives. He also mentors startups at WEVE Acceleration. Additionally, Ryan is an Entrepreneur in Residence at Starta Ventures, leveraging his expertise to guide early-stage ventures. With a passion for innovation and mentorship, Ryan contributes to the growth and success of emerging companies in the startup ecosystem.

Allison Goldberg is an accomplished SVP & Managing Partner at Comcast Ventures and Startup Engagement, where she leads the management of Comcast Ventures, Lift Labs, and Comcast NBCU SportsTech. With a diverse background in finance, media, and digital industries, Allison has excelled as an investor and strategist, consistently delivering strategic value and driving impressive financial returns. Previously, she served as Group Managing Director & Senior Vice President of Time Warner Investments, overseeing investments of up to $25MM in private companies to generate strategic value and financial returns for Time Warner Inc. 

Allison has held numerous board and board observer roles, including companies such as Adify, AdMeld, BDG Media, Bluefin Labs, Discord, Dynamic Signal, Everyday Health, Fanduel, FirstMark Horizon Acquisition Corporation, Fuse Media, Hive, Mashable, Players’ Lounge, Proletariat Inc., SambaTV, Simulmedia,, Visible World, Vostok Emerging Finance, and


“Where are those white spaces or those edge cases that we wanna play into? Where’s the market going? Consumers are becoming more educated, they’re changing, evolving, and they’re at different levels of the journey. And so we see a lot of people that are creating in a space that others already own or others already exist in.” – Ryan J. Piela 

“We want to do everything that a traditional VC does, plus bring a little bit more to the table to the extent we can with the portfolio company.” – Allison Goldberg 

“If you look back in time, lots of great companies were started when the venture markets weren’t, you know, amazing” – Allison Goldberg

“When talking to any investor, know who you’re talking to, know who that investor is, understand if they’re a corporate VC, what their priorities might be, and some of the companies that they’ve invested in before.” – Allison Goldberg

“I don’t think you can time the market, and I’m always surprised when people think they can. I think now’s a great time. Its value for VC is right, as well as just an opportunity to support some great people.” –  Ryan J. Piela

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