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As the venture capital arm of CSAA Insurance Group, we're empowering startups to bring fresh ideas forward.



Avanta Ventures’ Rising Stars: David Li and Neda Blocho

We’re thrilled to share that David Li and Neda Blocho have been named two of this year’s Global Corporate Venturing Top 50 Rising Stars!
Published on Jan 21, 2021
Avanta Ventures Rising Stars

We’re thrilled to share that our very own David Li and Neda Blocho have been named two of this year’s Global Corporate Venturing Top 50 Rising StarsGlobal Corporate Venturing, the leading media publication and data provider serving the corporate venture capital industry, selected this year’s winners from almost 20,000 industry professionals nominated by the heads of units and their peers.

David Li, Principal

This is David Li’s second time receiving this impressive award. David is a Principal at Avanta Ventures, where he leads investment in mobility startups ranging from autonomous vehicles to smart cities. He’s passionate about working with great entrepreneurs who are leveraging technology and unique insights to drive meaningful change across large industries.

David has added value above and beyond his level to Avanta Ventures’ investments in startups across Mobility, Insurtech and Fintech, leveraging prior institutional venture investing skills developed at Longitude Capital, product management responsibility at Pivotal Software, and deep financial experience from positions at KKRLazard, and Merrill Lynch.

David Li

David has added value above and beyond his level to Avanta Ventures’ investments in startups across mobility, Insurtech, and Fintech.

From instilling rigor in our investment theses to sourcing quality companies in the mobility space, David has become an integral part of Avanta Ventures’ investment team. In addition, David helps CSAA Insurance Group leverage disruptive startup innovation. With his startup and emerging technology insight, David is often called upon by our corporate parent to work on key projects mapping out strategy for future product directions, validating the strategic value of Avanta Ventures’ corporate venture function and driving grow for CSAA Insurance Group. David has been tireless in adding value to our portfolio companies as a board observer or informal advisor by engaging them in partnership discussions, advising them on financing strategy and cap table construction, and introducing them to other venture capitalists. Within Avanta Ventures, David is our go-to resource for any challenge.

Neda Blocho, Principal & Head of Studios

Neda Blocho is a Principal Investor and Head of Avanta Studios, a program focused on investing and helping early stage startups grow in the Insurtech and Mobility space. Neda is dedicated to offering a customized approach to helping entrepreneurs reach their milestones via a mentorship approach.

Neda draws from accelerator management skills honed from her experiences with the Stanford Venture Studio programStartXPear Ventures, and WeWork Labs. Neda is also passionate about volunteer work with the non-profit Moms Against Poverty, whose mission is to nurture and educate underprivileged children to their fullest potential, so that one day, they can contribute and lead within their own communities to break the cycle of poverty.

Neda Blocho

Since joining Avanta Ventures earlier this year, Neda has built a successful accelerator program from the ground up.

Since joining Avanta Ventures earlier this year, Neda has built a successful accelerator program from the ground up. She has leveraged her previous accelerator experience to refine our Studios strategy, recruit relevant quality startups, assemble an engaged set of value-add mentors, and provide structure and guidance to program participants. Neda rapidly and successfully pivoted the program from an in-person onsite approach to a virtual program at the onset of COVID-19. Neda brings a move fast, get-it-done-now attitude that yields results quickly. Avanta Ventures is lucky to have her on board.

Congratulations, David and Neda! Thank you for representing Avanta Ventures and CSAA Insurance Group.

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We remain eager to explore new opportunities, partnerships and collaborations with promising start-ups. If you have an idea or proposal that aligns with our mission, we encourage you to reach out to us.

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