EVCA Leadership
July 4, 2023

Leadership Spotlight: Mobility Vertical Co-Lead, Brian Wei of BMW i Ventures

Isaac Snitkoff
EVCA Fellow

The EVCA leadership is dedicated to building community across and empowering the next generation of venture capitalists through an array of activities—from hosting events, knowledge sharing, and connecting others. This EVCA Leadership Spotlight Series is intended to help the broader community get to know what's going on behind the scenes at the EVCA, as well as highlight the valuable contributions of those individuals who make the EVCA possible. Accordingly, it's a great privilege for us to announce this EVCA Leadership Spotlight on our very own EVCA Mobility Vertical Co-Lead, Brian Wei of BMW i Ventures.

Brian Wei is an Associate at BMW i Ventures, where he focuses on early- to growth-stage investments in B2B application and infrastructure software, industrial automation, mobility, and sustainability. Prior to BMW i Ventures, Brian was a strategy consultant at KPMG Strategy, where he provided growth strategy and M&A due diligence for clients across cloud computing, fintech, and telecommunications. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Harvard with a concentration in statistics. Originally from Brooklyn, he enjoys playing basketball, tennis, and video games..

EVCA: Could you explain more about what you do in your role as a Mobility Vertical Lead at EVCA?

Brian: As a co-lead for the Mobility vertical at EVCA, I am responsible for building a community of young investors who are interested in digging deeper into companies supporting the movement of people. As such, I organize events including dinners and virtual panels with GPs to learn from their experiences. In addition, I support undergraduate fellows at EVCA by mentoring them on thesis projects.

EVCA: What made you interested in taking a leadership role at EVCA?

Brian: Understanding that venture capital is often conducted via an apprenticeship model, I want to foster a forum and community where investors can learn from one another from across funds. I believe that facilitating conversations and engagement with other investors who are interested in topics such as EV charging, autonomous vehicles, and mobility marketplaces, will allow us to ask better questions, discover real pain points in the industry, and identify emerging solutions.

EVCA: What is your most contrarian view on an existing or emerging technology trend?

Brian: I am skeptical about the value of carbon accounting software, which aims to automate the collection of raw emissions data and calculation of indirect emissions while connecting companies to decarbonization solutions including carbon-removal projects and clean energy.

First, there is no universal standard and system for tracking and reporting on carbon emissions and climate impact, resulting in opaque comparisons among companies using different platforms for their reporting. Although the Greenhouse Gas Protocol published a corporate emissions accounting standard in the early 2000s, startups can vary in the ways they interpret and incorporate the methodologies for their platforms. Second, a software platform would need to provide continuous access to energy generation data. In other words, one would need to connect to settlement-grade devices at the point of energy consumption and register each device with a digital ID to collect the relevant metadata. Lastly, oftentimes, I come across players who are deploying software with a consulting-style approach, raising doubts about the scalability of some of these solutions.

Despite my doubts, I do agree that we need to be able to trace emissions in an automated and standardized manner. To do so, you would need an immutable ledger to measure energy supplies at their source and cover it with the grid emissions profile. This information allows companies to generate a report that shows how the carbon free energy a customer is purchasing matches up with their net total carbon footprint.

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