I have found a rather unusual home at Waseda University: I coach students in the Graduate School of Accountancy to develop their Business Communication, Professional Presentation, and International Negotiation skills. Why should accounting students develop communication skills? Because effective communication is critical for all business professionals, including accountants. I also conduct communication training seminars for the Ministry of Finance (MITI), the Japan Institute for Certified Public Accountants, and other organizations.
Michael Alfant is the Group Chairman and CEO of Fusions Systems Group, headquartered in Tokyo, with offices in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore and L.A. Fusion Systems is one of Asia's fastest growing leaders in Business Technology and Systems Consulting.
Michael Alfant started an IT solutions company named Fusion Systems Japan in 1992. After building it from a handful of dedicated entrepreneurs to a multinational with offices in Tokyo and Boston, he led it to a successful $60m acquisition in March 1999 by IMRglobal Corporation (NASDAQ: IMRS). Subsequent to that transaction, Mike has founded and exited 4 additional firms in IT, Marketing, Business Process Outsourcing, and Mobile Communications.
Mr. Alfant is the President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, a frequent speaker at US and Japanese Universities, and a member of the Board of Directors of listed firms in both America and Japan.
Mr. Alfant has also been involved in a wide range of technology issues. He has primarily focused on making key emerging technologies accessible to business people who rely on them to meet an evolving and dynamic competitive environment.
Mr. Alfant is a sought after advisor on business and technology in Asia and frequently provides briefings to U.S. Government delegates and business executives visiting the region.
Prior to Fusion Systems Japan, Mr. Alfant worked in various technology roles at AT&T Bell Labs, Bankers Trust, UBS, Security Pacific, Citibank, EF Hutton, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Mr.Alfant graduated from the City University of NY with a BS in Computer Science.
Tsuyoshi Ogawa is an Executive Director of Cool Japan Fund, a public-private fund. Cool Japan Fund's mission is to support "Cool" Japanese products and services to expand abroad. It also aims to accelerate inbound foreign tourism. Tsuyoshi focuses on Media & Content industries, including Japanese manga and anime, etc. Tsuyoshi has a diverse background as a venture capitalist, an entrepreneur, a strategy consultant, a business development general manager, and a securities analyst. Before joining Cool Japan Fund, he was a Partner at ITOCHU Technology Ventures (ITV). Prior thereto, he was founder & CEO of 3Di, Inc., and also worked at Dream Incubator Inc., INTEC Inc., and Nippon Life Insurance Company. Tsuyoshi majored in economics at Kyushu University.
David is an entrepreneur, creating and running several companies in the United States and Japan since coming to Japan at age 19. Currently, Mr. Halton is CEO of BodyPlus International, KK., a Sendai based sports nutrition venture that aims to support the development of mental and physical health through applied exercise and nutrition. Mr. Halton is also President of HALEO WorldWide, Inc., a global sports nutrition brand based in San Diego, CA. Mr. Halton has never had a real job and is a graduate with honors of the School of Hard Knocks.
Keio University, Faculty of Business and Commerce, Professor Emeritus
Author, What Do You Want To Create Today, BenBella Books 2014
Jim Maricondo focuses on tech business development linking Silicon Valley and Japan. Receiving BS and MS degrees in CS from Stanford, Jim worked as the first employee of Recourse Technologies (which was later acquired by Symantec.) Later, Jim spent 9 years working in the tech world in Tokyo, learning to read and speak fluent Japanese.
Returning to San Francisco in 2011, Jim is currently VP of Strategic Alliances at ISI-Dentsu of America's San Francisco branch office. He extends an offer to help connect people and tech companies between the US and Japan.
Carl Kay is founder and president of experiential tour company Tokyo Way KK. He has been a founder, CEO, director and consultant at numerous venture companies in Japan and North America since 1982. He was formerly a board member at J-Seed Ventures. His largest company was sold in 1998 to a company that went public on US NASDAQ in 1999. Carl co-authored a book about services entrepreneurship in Japan. He is the volunteer President of Harvard University's largest alumni organization in Asia.
Board Advisor and Mentor at CHH; a Barcelona and Singapore based hands on independent digital company building boutique for disruptive South East Asian based early stage Startups. As former Rakuten Board Member, he helps entrepreneurs learn the laws on the web. He has a generational footprint in South East Asia and Europe and supports startups on all commerce phases.
Cinemacraft Pte Ltd
Sandeep started his career at General Motors in Detroit as Systems Engineer and was part of a pioneering team that developed Virtual Reality technologies for automotive design & automotive crash analysis. He then joined Industrial Light+Magic as Manager of System group. After ILM, he was chief architect for Sekani (acquired by Corbis Images). He then joined Fuji Xerox Palo Alto Lab in Silicon Valley as Research Scientist. He was sent by FXPAL to Japan to work with Fuji Xerox and FujiFilm as an interface between research and business groups. He holds two patents in the area of Digtial media, 5 Research awards from Fuji Xerox Palo Alto Lab, and an award for innovation from General Motors. Sandeep is based in Tokyo and is a angel investor focused on media technologies. He is Founder, CEO of Cinemacraft Pte., Ltd. He is also co-founder & Board of Director of TiE Japan.
Worked in a number of countries in the Asia Pacific region covering a wide range of business ,including ERP Systems, Industrial Control & Shut-Down Systems, Foreign Exchange Trading, Futures OTC Market Trading, REIT Markets and Woodworking Industries. Working capability coverage ranges from business planning to tax planning, new business establishments ,financial reporting & controls and budgeting.
Tom Moss is a serial entrepreneur and active investor. Currently, Tom is co-founder and CEO of Nextbit Inc., a mobile start-up based in San Francisco, and is also a founding Board Member for Cyanogen Inc. Prior to Nextbit, Tom was at Accel Partners, a top Silicon Valley venture fund, as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence. Previously, Tom was co-founder and CEO of Three Laws Mobility Inc. (3LM), a start-up focused on providing enterprise security and device management for mobile devices. 3LM was acquired by Motorola Mobility Inc., which was later acquired by Google Inc.
Prior to 3LM, Tom was an executive on the Android team at Google. At Google, Tom served as the Worldwide Head of Business Development and Partnerships for Android, and also served as General Manager of Android for the Japan and Asia-Pacific Region. While at Google, Tom was the recipient of a Founders Award, the highest employee award at Google, given for extraordinary entrepreneurial achievement by a team at Google (in this case, the Android team). Prior to Google, Tom was an attorney specializing in intellectual property transactions, and represented a diverse set of clients including LinkedIn, SAP, Intuit, ICANN, SunPower, Hitachi, Sequoia Capital, AT&T, Walt Disney and JP Morgan.
Work experiences at Fuji Xerox and Zeirishihoujin HOP. Currently Partner at Nagamine Mishima Accounting Office. In charge of New Business Development for foreign affiliated enterprises and Customer Relationship at Nagamine Mishima Accounting Office. Offering assistance for business startups from accounting and tax perspective for foreign companies. Also assisting companies for tax audits. Graduate of Hitotsubashi University.
Investing with hand-on support for the ventures which aims at cross-boarder transaction in Asian Pacific area as CEO of Strategic Investment Partners, Inc after the experiences at NTT, MIT, Netscape, and Digital Garage. Attention areas are new innovative markets, such as high-tech, media, clean-tech, agriculture, and robotics. Director of Japan Venture Capital Associations.
One of Nikkei’s “100 Most Influential People for Japan,” Saito began software programming in elementary school. Later, he incorporated his own business, was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 1998, and was widely recognized as an authority on encryption, biometric authentication and cyber security. In 2004 he sold his company to Microsoft, moved to Tokyo, and founded InTecur, a VC that identifies innovative technologies and helps entrepreneurs maximize their potential.
In 2011, Saito was named CTO of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission. In 2012, he was appointed to a council on national strategy which reported directly to the Prime Minister. He is active in the World Economic Forum and consults for several national governments. In Japan, he has advised METI, MIC, MEXT, and MLIT and is currently the Special Advisor to the Cabinet Office for the Government of Japan.
A popular university lecturer and respected TV commentator, widely read newspaper columnist and is also a prolific author. His best-selling The Team (Nikkei BP) appeared in 2012, and his autobiography, An Unprogrammed Life: Adventures of an Incurable Entrepreneur, in 2011 (Wiley).
Robert N. Eberhart is an Assistant Professor of Management at Santa Clara University and a Fellow at Stanford University where he directs the Santa Clara / Stanford Project on Japanese Entrepreneurship. He is also a visiting professor at Kobe University and research associate at Columbia University. His research interests focuses on theories of institutional change and role of institutions on new venture performance. He also studies comparative corporate governance of growth companies. Professor Eberhart's academic publications include topics such as new theoretical constructs on how institutional change has complex effects on new firms and entrepreneurs. Professor Eberhart won awards for the BPS Outstanding Dissertation Award in 2014 from the Academy of Management, Best Paper Proceeding of the 2012 Academy of Management, and from the Fondation France-Japon de l'EHESS. He has been quoted in the New York Times, Forbes, the Nikkei Weekly, and the Nihon Keizai Shimbun. Dr. Eberhart is also an academic advisor to the American Chamber of Commerce's Task Force on New Growth Strategies as well as the Japan Innovation Network. He is a member of the Academy of Management, the Institute of New Economic Theory, the International Society for New Institutional Economics, and an advisor to Japan's Board of Director's Training Institute. He lectures in classes on Japanese business and entrepreneurship at Stanford University, New York University, University of Tokyo, and Kobe University. Professor Eberhart earned his Ph.D. in Management Science from Stanford University after graduating from the University of Michigan (MA Economics) and Michigan State University (BA Finance).
Taketo Sugawara is an assistant professor of The University of Tokyo, Science Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development (SEED), Division of University Corporate Relations (DUCR).
At the University of Tokyo, his responsibilities include 1) Consulting for the University researchers and students for their start-up initiatives, 2) Management of incubation facilities for university start-ups, 3) Management of entrepreneur education program and business plan competition for the entire University.
His missions are commercializing the results of university's research and supporting university start-ups.
Prior to The University of Tokyo, he worked at IBM business Consulting services as an IT Consultant (2004-2009).
Entrepreneur and investor. Co-founded Oversee.net in 2000, drove the company's growth until 2008 prior to selling most of the interest to Oak Hill Capital upon $150 million investment. Ernst & Yong Entrepreneur of the Year 2007 from Los Angelest program in technology category. Graduate of the University of Southern California (USC).
BATTLE VENTURES PTE LTD
Jeffrey Paine is the founding partner of Golden Gate Ventures, an early stage technology venture capital fund based in Singapore investing in Southeast Asia. Jeff started and manages the Founder Institute in Singapore where he is currently overseeing its expansion in Southeast Asia, and Japan. Since 2010 the Founder Institute in Singapore has graduated over 70 companies. He is a recipient of the Founder Institute Director Award 2012 for "Greatest Ecosystem Impact" Worldwide (Singapore).
He is currently an investor/advisor to Redmart, Nitrous.io, Tradegecko, Coda Payments, Ayannah, PopApp, Waygo, Noonswoon, Lenddo, Carousell, Spotnews, 99.co, Vibease, PT Bilna, Angellist, monoco.jp, TheBridge.jp, Darma, Sydney Seed Fund, China Axlr8r, and Startup Chile.
He is a Singapore native and graduated with a Bachelors of Business Administration (Information Systems) from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.