Cory Steffek joined Ara in 2018 as Managing Director, and is a member of the firm’s Investment Committee. He brings 25 years of experience launching new products and investing in the advanced materials and energy space. Cory has dedicated his career to working with talented entrepreneurs and executives who are focused on developing game-changing technologies that advance sustainability and lower carbon footprints. He currently serves on the board of directors for several Ara portfolio companies.
Prior to Ara, Cory was the founding Managing Director of Aramco Energy Ventures in North America. At Aramco Ventures, he led investments in companies involved in renewable energy, low carbon chemicals and fuels, advanced materials, and energy efficiency through digital automation and robotics. This included leading the investment and acquisition of Novomer Polyols, the first company to commercially develop a catalyst incorporating carbon dioxide into traditional hydrocarbons, dramatically lowering the carbon footprint for a variety of products.
Before joining Aramco Ventures, Cory was Director of Corporate Development and Strategy at First Solar, responsible for strategic investments and acquisitions, with an emphasis on new technologies and products. Preceding First Solar, he led sustainability investments in a broad range of energy technology companies at the Altira Group. In addition, he held several management roles in product development and engineering at PPG Industries, where he oversaw the launch of several new products and was responsible for 18 awarded patents.
Cory holds a PhD in materials chemistry from the University of Michigan and a Master of Business Administration from The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
In his free time, Cory enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters, particularly on family bicycle tours. He also loves going on long hikes with his dog, exploring rarely seen areas of the golf course to find his ball, and the endless pursuit of perfecting the small batch craft gin.