Akiko serves as a founder and CEO at Wantedly, Inc., which she started in her apartment. Following its official launch in February 2012, Wantedly grew to 1 million monthly active users and 15,000 corporates,becoming the leading professional social networking service in Tokyo.
Prior to Wantedly, she was a growth coordinator at Facebook Japan, and equity sales at Goldman Sachs.
Born on October 12th 1984 in Japan. She graduated from Kyoto University in 2008 with a B.A. in Economics.
President & COO, SoftBank Group Corp.
Nikesh Arora is the President and COO of SoftBank Group Corp. and CEO of SBGI. At the corporate level Nikesh works closely with SoftBank founder, Masayoshi Son as they create a truly global company. At SBGI Nikesh partners with the most ground-breaking growth-stage companies to turn ingenious ideas into impactful businesses. With large stakes in companies such as Yahoo Japan, Sprint, Alibaba, Snapdeal, SoFi and Coupang, he is responsible for the investing activities of SoftBank around the world.
Author, Hello Ruby
Linda Liukas is a computer programmer, children’s writer and programming instructor. In 2014, her Hello Ruby coding book for children raised $380,000 on Kickstarter becoming the platform’s most highly funded children’s book. Linda was selected as the 2013 Ruby Hero, the most notable prize within the Ruby programming community. She has also been awarded the title of Digital Champion of Finland, as appointed by EU commissioner Neelie Kroes. Other nominations include awards from the Finnish Institute for Children’s Literature and Fifty Most Inspiring Women in Technology in EU -award.
Comedian, SVP Global Operations at TerraSky Inc.
Jason Danielson, also know as Atsugiri Jason, is a two time consecutive top 9 finalist of the annual Japanese national individual comedian comedy tournament, the R-1 Grandprix (2015, 2016)
as well as the first and only ever foreign finalist. Author of the best-selling book “Nihon no Minasan ni Otsutaishitai 48 no WHY” (48 WHYs I want to convey to the Japanese people) with regular appearances on a wide range of TV and radio programs as well as with regular publications in several Japanese business magazines and newspapers.
Established and heads the US subsidiary for TerraSky co., Ltd., a Japanese market leader in enterprise cloud computing implementation and consulting.
Prior to TerraSky, Jason established and ran the Japanese entity for US based BigMachines (Cloud-based CPQ solution, acquired by Oracle) and worked as a software engineer for GE Healthcare.
Jason graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Michigan State University and Masters of Computer Science from the
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Chairman of Technology Steering Committee, Alibaba Group
Jian Wang has served as chairman of Alibaba Group’s technology steering committee since May 2015.
Jian was chief technology officer from August 2012 to April 2016 and served as the chief architect from the time he joined Alibaba Group in September 2008. He also served as president of Alibaba Cloud from its inception in September 2009 until September 2013.
Before joining Alibaba group, Jian was assistant managing director at Microsoft Research Asia, where he had served since 1999. Prior to that, he worked at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China as a professor and head of the psychology department.
Jian serves on the board of directors of Meizu Technology Corporation Limited. He received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a Ph.D in engineering from Hangzhou University.
Founder and Chairman of the Board, DeNA
Tomoko Namba is the founder and Chairman of the Board of DeNA (pronounced D-N-A), one of Japan’s most successful internet companies. Founded in 1999 as a small tech startup in Tokyo, DeNA currently employes over 2,000 people globally and operates a broad range of mobile and online services including games, e-commerce and other diversified offerings
Namba served as the CEO of DeNA for 12 years until she stepped down from the position in 2011 while remaining an active board member and key executive leader at the company. She became DeNA’s Chairman of the Board in June 2015. Namba is currently responsible for numerous facets of DeNA’s business including overseeing the company’s e-commerce business, healthcare business, recruiting and programming education initiatives. She is also the owner of the DeNA-owned Japanese professional baseball team, the Yokohama DeNA Baystars.
Prior to founding DeNA, Namba served as a Partner at McKinsey & Co. She received her Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School.
Namba authored a book in 2013 that chronicles her path leading up to the founding of DeNA as well as through the company’s challenges and success.
Partner, Founders Fund
Geoff Lewis is a Partner at Founders Fund. He is focused on backing the founders of transformative companies across a wide range of emerging sectors. Geoff was an early lead investor in the now-mainstream on-demand services, food tech, fin tech, and mobile commerce sectors. He is also known for leading the first venture capital investment in the legal cannabis space. He was an early and sizable investor in three “unicorns” including Lyft, now valued at $5.5B (where he lead the first investment round) and Wish, now valued at $3.5B (where he lead the Series C). Most recently, Geoff led Founders Fund’s investment in Nubank. Prior to joining Founders Fund in 2012, Geoff was a founder himself. As Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Topguest, he created a loyalty software platform that counted United Airlines, Hilton Worldwide, and Standard Hotels as clients. Topguest was then acquired in an eight figure transaction less than two years after Geoff founded the company. Earlier in his career, Geoff served as a Vice President at a global macro hedge fund, a management consultant, and a Brand Manager at Procter & Gamble. Geoff is a regular expert commentator on entrepreneurship and technology for BLOOMBERG, CNBC, and FOX BUSINESS. He is also a frequent speaker at events such as SXSW and DISRPUPT. Born and raised in Canada, Geoff received his Bachelor of Commerce degree with First Class Honors from Queen’s University at Kingston.
CEO, Material Wrld
Rie is the co-founder of Material Wrld, a fashion trade-in service that helps women evolve their closet seamlessly by trading in old fashions to earn credit on their Fashion Trade-In Card and shop new at their favorite retailers. Powered by Discover, the Fashion Trade-In Card is loaded real time with shopping funds each time you trade in, so you can enjoy instant shopping without experiencing the hassle of standard resale services.
Based in New York, Material Wrld partners with luxury retailers such as Saks, Bloomingdale’s, Intermix, Steven Alan, and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Refinery29, Women’s Wear Daily, Huffington Post, Glamour, TechCrunch, Fox News. Rie leads Acquisition, Product, Partnerships and PR. Prior to Material Wrld, Rie was a Manager in Digital Marketing at Coach, where she managed digital content production and launched the flash sale site for Coach. Prior to Coach, she co-founded Street Canvas, an online crowd-sourced apparel brand startup based in Tokyo to promote Japan…
Head of Japan ,500 Startups
James is the head of 500 Startups’ $30m fund for Japan. Prior to 500 Startups, James covered early stage international investments for DeNA’s venture arm, focusing on Silicon Valley and select countries in Asia. His investments have raised from Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Impact (Vinod Khosla), Innovation Endeavors (Eric Schmidt), Global Founders Capital (Rocket Internet), and Biz Stone (co-founder of Twitter). Before DeNA, he was the founding CEO of STORYS.JP, the “Medium.com Japan”. The site is the birthplace of the Amazon #1 bestseller, “The Invincible Blonde Gal,” which sold over 300,000 copies in the first 3 months. The motion picture went on to gross about $23 million at the box office. In another life, he worked at J.P. Morgan in New York and Tokyo.
CEO, Mistletoe, Inc.
Taizo Son is an experienced entrepreneur with extensive experience in investing and incubating IT-related venture companies in Asia. He was the Chairman of GungHo and is a board member of Supercell which are the world leading smartphone gaming companies.
Senior Advisor, UNICEF Global Innovations
Tanya Accone manages an investable portfolio of innovations that deliver exponential change for millions of children and youth. “Doing good is good business and there is good business in doing good.” A vibrant startup ecosystem is essential to delivering both profit and social return on investment, including from opportunities as social entrepreneurs, impact investors and venture philanthropists.
Tanya leads the scale up of proven innovations across 143 countries in her role as the Senior Adviser on Innovation for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). UNICEF’s innovation pipeline covers emerging future technologies, seed investment into startups for social good through a venture fund, and exit pathways including into the scale-up focused Global Innovation Centre.
Some of Tanya’s professional nine lives include launching internet-mobile-satellite companies throughout sub-Saharan Africa, covering technology as a journalist, and helping to take The Washington Post Company online. Tanya was born in South Africa, is a Fulbright Fellow, and tweets at @accone
Head of AI Lab, Recruit
Alon Halevy is the Executive Director of the Recruit Institute of Technology. From 2005 to 2015 he headed the Structured Data Management Research group at Google. Prior to that, he was a professor of Computer Science at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he founded the Database Group. In 1999, Dr. Halevy co-founded Nimble Technology, one of the first companies in the Enterprise Information Integration space, and in 2004, Dr. Halevy founded Transformic, a company that created search engines for the deep web, and was acquired by Google. Dr. Halevy is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2000, and was a Sloan Fellow (1999-2000). Halevy is the author of the book “The Infinite Emotions of Coffee”, published in 2011, and serves on the board of the Alliance of Coffee Excellence. He is also a co-author of the book “Principles of Data Integration”, published in 2012. Dr. Halevy received his Ph.D in Computer Science from Stanford University in 1993 and his Bachelors from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.