This year's venture capital panel will cover a number of topics, including current venture investing trends in Asia as well as the influence of the global economic crisis on entrepreneurship and venture capital in Asia.
Founding Partner, The Chinese Founders Fund
Dr. Jovan Hsu is the founder of Chinbid.com (1999), merged with Eachnet.com - later acquired by eBay (2003). He also founded The Chinese Founders Fund, a Green & T.M.T. - focused VC firm and Jovan Ventures, a T.M.T.-dedicated angel investment firm. Jovan’s investments include some of the early startups in the areas of DNS, C-C auction, online payment, search engine, digital publishing, and mobile services in China as well as e-commerce in Taiwan, green technology in Vietnam & Romania, and high-technology companies in the US. In Jovan’s book, entrepreneurs are the future of this world. Jovan chairs and serves on the boards of several companies in Asia and holds a Doctorate degree in Business Administration, sharing and exchanging information as a guest speaker in several universities in Asia. Up to date, there are 21 entrepreneurships invested by Jovan.
Head of Venture Capital, Hikari Tsushin
Mr. Hiro Mashita is Head of Venture Capital, Business Development, and Internet Businesses at Hikari Tsushin Inc., listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, First Section. Hikari Tsushin is one of Japan's leading IT/Mobile companies. Mr. Mashita is also CEO of Hikari Asset Management and Chairman of Hikari Private Equity, both fully-owned subsidiaries of Hikari Tsushin. In these roles, he has experienced hundreds of venture capital deals in Japan/Asia and in the US over the last eight years. He is also CEO of e-machi town Inc., listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Mothers Section. E-machi is Hikari Tsushin's internet business subsidiary. From 2000 to 2001, he restructured Hikari Tsushin Group as the firm's CFO. Before joining Hikari Tsushin in 1999, Mr. Mashita worked in the Investment Banking Department of Nomura Securities NYC with responsibility for Securitization and Private Equity. He currently serves on the board of directors of several Hikari Tsushin and Hikari Private Equity portfolio companies, including FishingVision, Sonia Partners, Beauty Holding, and Orimo in Japan, as well as Yicha Online, Imotion, and 56.com in China. He received an MBA from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business and a BA from Keio University in Japan.
Senior Vice President, The Venture Group at Citi Smith Barney
Eric Thurber is a Senior Vice President and managing member of The Venture Group at Citi Smith Barney in Menlo Park, California. The Venture Group provides comprehensive wealth management solutions to ultra high net worth families. Eric advises clients on estate planning, intergenerational wealth transfer, philanthropic mission development and strategy implementation, trust management, risk management, liability and investment management. Eric has well over a decade of experience with investment due diligence, portfolio construction, and alternative investment analysis. He founded The Venture Group with his partner, Fred Molfino, in 1999. The Venture Group also provides institutional liquidity management for Venture Capital Funds. This includes negotiated block trading, hedging and in-kind stock distributions. The Venture Group has been active working with China venture capitalists on liquidity strategies in the US public markets. Eric started his career at Montgomery Securities in San Francisco as a private wealth advisor in the Private Client Department.
Eric holds a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School and a B.S. in Economics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He holds Series 7 and 63 NASD licenses, and a California Life Insurance license. He received the Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) designation from Wharton Business School. He is an associate member of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR,) and a active member of the Asia America MultiTechnology Association (AAMA.)
Daniel Isenberg (Moderator)
Senior Lecturer of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
Daniel Isenberg is Senior Lecturer of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School in the Entrepreneurial Management Unit. Between 1981-1987 Dan taught Organizational Behavior, and rejoined the HBS faculty in January 2005.
In the interim 17 years Dan lived in Israel where he was founding CEO of Triangle Technologies (www.triangletech.com), a boutique advisory firm which executed over 100 transactions between Israeli, French, American technology ventures and Japanese partners. During that period Dan also helped establish two venture capital funds in Israel and served as general partner in one of them. From 1987-1989 he created a course at the Technion called Technology-Based Entrepreneurship, co-directed the Tefen Entrepreneurs Program established by Stef Wertheimer, and directed the Technion Entrepreneurial Associates established by Professor Ed Roberts from MIT. Dan has served on boards of directors of several private and NASDAQ-listed companies, currently serves on the board of Given Imaging Japan K.K. (www.givenimaging.com), which he helped establish.
Dan has written two dozen cases on global entrepreneurial ventures and speaks frequently on the topic of entrepreneurship. Dan’s current research interests focus on understanding the growing phenomenon of "born global" ventures and how to help entrepreneurs identify, create, and exploit global opportunities. Dan has also been a leader in HBS’s new Immersion Experience Program, leading student programs in India and Israel, and conducted an HBS faculty immersion program in 2006 to study entrepreneurship in China.
In 1981 Dan received the Ph.D. degree in Social Psychology from Harvard University under the mentorship of Robert Freed Bales.