NAJAS/KKC Business Speaker Series
Cooking is not a pleasure only granted to professional chefs, nor is it enjoyed only by their patrons. People cook for their communities, friends, families and even themselves, creating some of their greatest memories. Similarly, in much the same way as how a prepared meal can bring people together, technology has developed the power to entertain and unite us.
In the digitization of everything, entertainment is transformed with unprecedented access to create, distribute and monetize. Great content and interactions drive memorable experiences, which fuel people’s emotional connection in gaming, music, media, and sports.
People are inspired and driven by their communities, which are no longer bound by physical borders. Who, what and where is your community… your friends? Creators of all levels and brands of all types are finding new ways to engage their fans and vice versa. How is entertainment changing and why is gaming leading the charge? What are some key ingredients needed to make great recipes, and the skills to create these emotional interactions? Please join us to hear Sony Innovation Fund and GFR Fund discuss these fast-moving ecosystems and emerging flavors.
Date and Time:
US: Thursday, March 31st, 2022 at 4:00-5:00 P.M. (PDT)
Japan: Friday, April 1st, 2022 at 8:00-9:00 A.M. (Japan Time)
Agenda (Pacific Time):
4:00-4:05pm Opening Remarks, Peter Kelley | President, National Association of Japan-America Societies
4:05-4:45pm Presentation, Joseph Tou | Managing Director — U.S., Sony Ventures and Vice President, Corporate Development at Sony Corporation of America & Ludovic Copéré | Senior Investment Director, Sony Ventures & Teppei Tsutsui | Founder & Managing Partner, GFR Fund
4:45-5:00pm Q&A Session, Moderator Teppei Tsutsui
5:00-5:05pm Closing Remarks, Takahide Akiyama | President, Japan Society of Northern California
Ludovic Copéré | Senior Investment Director, Sony Ventures
Ludovic brings 17 years of experience in venture capital, new business creation and strategic partnerships at Sony. Based in Silicon Valley as a core member of Sony Innovation Fund (SIF) since its inception, Ludovic leads startup scouting, due diligence, venture investment execution as well as portfolio management in many core SIF focus areas such as Mobility, FinTech, InsurTech, PropTech, Drones, FoodTech, AgTech and Environment.
Ludovic was previously at Sony’s global headquarters in Tokyo, where he ran strategic assessments, mid & long-term technology perspectives and financial valuations to foster Sony’s Intellectual Property. Before that, he spent several years as Corporate Strategist in London, New-York and Paris, spanning the entire spectrum of Sony’s Electronics, Gaming, Content, Financial Services, Telecommunications & B2B activities.
A French native, Ludovic holds a MSc in Information & Communication Technology from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Sweden, and a MSc in Industrial Engineering & Management from the École Centrale in France.
Joseph Tou | Managing Director — U.S., Sony Ventures and Vice President, Corporate Development at Sony Corporation of America
Joe is Managing Director, Sony Ventures and Vice President, Corporate Development at Sony Corporation of America where he primarily leads U.S. technology venture and M&A investment activity. At Sony Ventures, Joe co-heads the U.S. and globally leads investments in the Entertainment sector.
Prior to Sony, Joe was a senior investment professional in PE/VC at Bertram Capital and Mavent Partners and semiconductor equity research analyst at Pacific Crest Securities. Joe is heavily influenced by his technology development, product and operational roots at companies such as Intel, Solectron, and Ford.
Joe holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and M.S. in Operations Research from Northwestern University. He also received a B.S. in Computer Engineering from the University of Michigan.
Teppei Tsutsui | Founder & Managing Partner, GFR Fund
Teppei is a founder and managing partner at GFR Fund, an early-stage venture capital fund focusing on games, web3, and consumer tech. Before GFR, Teppei spearheaded the strategic investment team at GREE and led 10+ investments and acquisitions, such as OpenFeint (US, $104M acquisition), Funzio (US, $210M acquisition), and Pokelabo (Japan, $130M acquisition). Before joining GREE, he co-founded a subscription e-commerce company in Tokyo and led the team as CFO.
Prior to that, Teppei was at Morgan Stanley and worked on multiple cross-border M&A deals in the technology sector. He was also a business development manager at Mitsubishi Corporation where he helped many Japanese companies build businesses in the US and Asia.
Teppei was born and raised in Tokyo but attended a high school in the US. He obtained his BA in international relations at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo and then obtained his MBA at the University of Chicago.
A special thank you to our sponsors: