Emerald welcomes Ikkei Matsuda and Masaru Sakamoto as Advisory Council members

We are happy to welcome Ikkei Matsuda and Masaru (Mas) Sakamoto to the Emerald advisory board. Japan holds a great deal of promise in the open innovation ecosystem and we are looking forward to working with our first-ever Japanese advisors. “Ikkei and Mas both represent different facets of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Japan – Ikkei from his base in Kyoto and Mas from Silicon Valley,” said Emerald partner Markus Moor. “Their experience with Emerald’s key sectors will help us forge new partnerships in this vital market.”

Ikkei is considered one of the pioneers in the incubation of university spin-offs in Japan, having played a role in more than 50 start-ups. He is the founder of Hokkaido VC – the first regional and independent venture capital firm in Japan – startup incubator SARR LLC, and blockchain startups Soramitsu and Digital Platformer. He also serves as a director at health-tech firm Melody International, runs Kyoto-based startup accelerator Kizki, and supports Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) in its Technology Commercialization Program. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Keio University, an MBA from France’s INSEAD, and a PhD in medicine from Hokkaido University.

Mas has over 30 years of experience in business strategy, venture capital investment, business incubation, cross border M&A and partnerships in the Pacific Rim. During his tenure at Japanese IT giant NEC, he held various senior executive positions and established the company’s corporate venture capital program, one of the first of its kind in the US for a Japanese firm. A trusted adviser to various venture funds, he is an active board member across several organizations, including Niteo Partners, The Open Group, The Enterprise Network, Vidient Systems, Sustainable Silicon Valley and the Harvard Business School Association of Northern California. He also serves as a member of NEDO’s Technology Commercialization Program and is a graduate of Keio University and Harvard Business School.