Corporate Development, Strategic Partnerships, Mobile Payments, Emerging Payments, Entrepreneurship, Education, Venture Capital, Marketing
Words of Wisdom
“It cannot be done. I told Wilbur that and I told Orville that and now I am telling you that.”
Head of Citi Ventures
Chief Innovation Officer, Citi
“We are constantly on the lookout for new ideas and approaches that will transform banking.”
Vanessa Colella is the Head of Citi Ventures and Citi’s Chief Innovation Officer, focused on driving growth and innovation across the company. Deeply integrated with Citi’s businesses, Citi Ventures champions bold exploration through venture investing, innovation and lab networks, strategic partnerships, and lean startup-based initiatives.
Before assuming the role of CIO, Vanessa led venture investing and strategic growth initiatives for Citi Ventures, and previously ran marketing for Citi’s North American Consumer Bank. She joined Citibank in 2010 from U.S. Venture Partners (USVP), where she was an entrepreneur-in-residence. Prior to USVP, Vanessa was Head of NA Marketing and then SVP of Insights at Yahoo, where she was responsible for developing and executing the company’s consumer data strategy. She was previously a Partner at McKinsey & Company.
She was recognized as a Global Corporate Venturing Rising Star in 2016 (#3) and was named to Institutional Investor’s Fintech Finance 35 list in both 2015 and 2016. Her work conceiving and launching CitiBike led Citi to win Advertising Age’s 2013 Creativity Award and the Gold Pencil in 2014.
Vanessa received her masters’ degrees from Columbia University and M.I.T. as well as a Ph.D. from M.I.T.’s Media Lab. A charter member of Teach for America, she is a published author and lecturer, taught courses at the Santa Fe Institute, and previously served as a research fellow at Rockefeller University. She holds an S.B. degree in molecular biology from M.I.T. and currently serves as a member of the Corporation’s Visiting Committee for the Media Lab. She resides in San Francisco with her husband and son.