NEW YORK– Pilot Lite Ventures, an international leader in venture management, has appointed David A. Behringer, an award-winning innovator and R&D executive, as CEO of Pilot Lite Ventures USA.
With headquarters in London and offices in Shanghai, New Delhi and New York City, Pilot Lite Ventures helps corporate clients identify, validate and launch stranded intellectual property and new ventures. Since pioneering the venture management discipline in 2008, the firm has established a successful track record helping companies around the globe de-risk and accelerate innovations into the marketplace.
“Hiring Dave is key to supporting our growth in North America,” said Mike Anstey, CEO of Pilot Lite Ventures. “His experience both as a corporate intrapreneur and with a startup food tech company as well as his depth of knowledge in strategy, IP and innovation will be invaluable to our clients looking to capitalize on existing assets and to launch new ventures in food and beverage, healthcare and pharmaceuticals.”
Behringer spent more than two decades at Kraft Foods, most recently as the Kraft Fellow for discovery, incubation and adoption of enterprise-wide disruptive innovation. He was part of the development and commercialization of multiple market opportunities at Kraft, including fat-free salad dressings and South Beach Diet entrees and snacks, as well as the acquisition of the Back to Nature brand and its expansion into multiple categories. During his tenure as head of global packaging innovation, Kraft commercialized value-added formats such as snack-and-seal, which allows cookie and snack packages to be easily opened and re-sealed, and the stick pack, a flexible on-the-go pouch for powdered drink mixes.
Most recently, Behringer served as chief technology officer for the technology startup 915 Labs, which manufactures and sells microwave food processing systems that offer a healthier alternative to conventional food processing.
“Pilot Lite Ventures provides me an outstanding opportunity to leverage my experience commercializing innovation in large corporates and start-ups to help our clients accelerate new ventures into the marketplace,” Behringer said. “I personally understand the daily challenges companies and start-ups must manage to commercialize innovations and look forward to being part the team that helps our clients successfully navigate the path to market.”
A certified professional chef, Behringer holds a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from Pennsylvania State University and a certificate in Change Leadership and Innovation from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. He is a longtime member of the Kellogg Innovation Network (KIN), a platform for ongoing collaboration between Kellogg School of Management faculty, corporate innovation leaders, nonprofit organizations and government.
Pilot Lite Ventures pioneered the discipline of venture management and has developed a worldwide presence and global capacity to serve clients in the consumer goods, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. In 2016, GE Healthcare Partners took a 20 percent stake in the global venture management company to harness the market for unexploited R&D, orphaned IP and early-stage technology.