It's dangerous to go alone, you need
An empathetic partner
What We do
There are many technology start-ups in the US whose main potential customers and partners are in Japan. Nonetheless, Japan is one of the most difficult countries to enter for these companies. Our founding managing directors at ZenShin are two native Japanese Silicon Valley residents who frequently travel to Japan. We provide deep experience and an extensive network in Japan that creates significant opportunities for our portfolio companies. Unlike most other venture capitalists with Japanese expertise,
we think and act from the portfolio company's perspective.
WHO WE ARE
TK Mori has been our managing director since our inception in January 2005. TK led many of ZenShin Capital’s successful investments including Infinera (IPO on Nasdaq) and Gamepot (IPO in Japan.)
He was a co-founder of Nozomi Photonics, an optical component start-up with over 40 patents. He served as an advisor to the venture capital operation of Tudor Capital Japan, and a Vice President at OnFiber Communications Inc (acquired by Qwest). Prior to joining OnFiber, he served as a Senior Engineering Manager at Hitachi where he was responsible for designing various types of communications systems.
TK received his MS in Management from Stanford Business School, and his BS in Engineering from the University of Tokyo.
Yoji has been our managing director since the inception of ZenShin. He worked closely with the management team of Dash Navigation (acquired by RIM) and served as a board of Blueroads (acquired by CSG Openline).
He was a founding CEO of a company in Silicon Valley focused on bridging Japan and US startups.
Previously, as a Senior Manager of NTT Advanced Technology, U.S. office, he successfully launched its operation in Silicon Valley. As a chief engineer, he developed and successfully deployed the software system that operates NTT’s long-distance transmission network. He played a key role in Internet networking projects.
Yoji received his MBA from Stanford Business School, and his MS and BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tokyo.
Emiko helped found Wasserstein Perella, a significant M&A investment bank based in New York. After becoming a successful tech M&A banker, Davidi Gilo and Emiko launched Gilo Ventures in Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv. She invested in and served on the board of companies such as Stentor Software and Zen Research (London Stock Exchange).
Emiko started her career at McKinsey & Co. in Tokyo, moved to Lehman Brothers, and then became a managing director in charge of global technology M&A business at Merrill Lynch. She is a founder of Tomon Partners LLC. She currently serves on the board of KLA-Tencor (NASDAQ) and Zeptor (private).
Emiko earned her MBA from Harvard Business School, and BA from International Christian University in Tokyo.
Mr. Suga founded MVC Corporation, venture arm of Mitsui, one of the largest Japanese trading companies. At MVC as its President/CEO, he achieved 5 IPOs and 2 trade-sales. His successful investments include Tully's Coffee Japan, Ltd, which achieved one of the fastest IPOs by any food business company and Microcosm Communications.
Since 2006, Mr. Suga has been teaching entrepreneurship as a visiting professor at Akita International University, Kyoto University, and Keio Business School. He received the Minister of Small Business Agency Award for his contributions and track record.
Mr. Suga received his MBA degree from Harvard Business School and his BA in political science from Waseda University.
Clancey Stahr is a ZenShin principal and a student at Stanford currently studying Management Science and Engineering. He is a part of Stanford's business association for entrepreneurial students (BASES.) He was the first employee at Scriba Technologies, a voice recognition company, and made and realized an angel investment in the company.
Clancey lead ZenShin’s latest investments in Iotera and Simple Emotion, the ZenShin Technology Fund’s first investments.
He consults for Iotera and sits on Simple Emotion's board with TK.
Nori Yoshida currently co-founder and CEO of Reputology. Previously, he was cofounder at Curebit, a YCombinator, 500Startups backed company. As founder and CEO of Kenlet, he led the creation of a community voting platform called CrispyNews and CrispyIdeas. The company was acquired by Salesforce.com in 2007 and subsequently became the Salesforce Ideas product. He was also cofounder of Devhood, a developer community built and focused around microsoft's .NET language which was sold to Microsoft in 2002. He is also an angel investor in several companies.
Nori received an undergraduate and graduate degree in Computer Science from MIT in 2002.
A-Z, click on logos to jump to a site
Aeria Games Entertainment
A leading online game operator in US
Advanced audio solutions and acoustics optimization
Life Sciences and distribution
Sales channel management SaaS
Acquired by CSG
Referral platform for e-commerce
Portable car navigation
Acquired by RIM (NASDAQ)
A leading Japanese online game operator
Next generation optical transport systems
IPO (Nasdaq, INFN)
Online solution for programmers seeking jobs
Acquired by Access (JASDAQ 4700)
Jasper Design Automation
Advanced formal verification
Japanese startup accelerator
Conference calls on Blackberry and PDA platforms
Mobile optimized site builder
Sports discovery service
Embeded system simulator
Acquired by Synopsys (SNPS)
WR Hambrecht & Co
Auction IPO and M&A advice
Secure cloud connectivity
What They Say About Us
Yoji and TK provided more support than I ever imagined. Not only did they help us talk to potential Japanese partners, they identified the exact right people inside the large Japanese automobile companies who were in charge of car navigation systems for the US market. Their business insights are deep and they really spent time with us. I am very happy to have ZenShin as an investor.
Paul Lego, CEO, Dash Navigations
It has been a pleasure working with ZenShin, TK and Clancey have been invaluable in helping us refine our business plan and connect with potential partners in Japan. They have spent a significant amount of their own time helping us close deals and develop the business. The value they bring to a startup is incredible.
Ben Wild, CEO, Iotera
TK and Yoji have always been there for me when I needed advice during the toughest times. Their insights based on experience and knowledge of Silicon Valley have helped me make very important decisions regarding the direction of my company.
Taku Harada, CEO, PeaTiX
ZenShin & its partners have been hugely instrumental in helping us build the business. I've never seen any investor do sales & close deals on behalf of us. ZenShin has done that multiple times for us including a big enterprise deal. They're a really founder friendly investor which is the most important part of all.
Vivek Ravisankar, CEO, InterviewStreet
Iotera in MIT Tech Review, click to jump!
We will respond ASAP
db (at) zenshincp.com
Suite 280, 535 Middlefield Road
View larger map