Shigeki “Tommy” Saitoh
CO-FOUNDER AND MANAGING PARTNER
Shigeki “Tommy” Saitoh is a leading venture capitalist in Japan with over 15 years of investment experience, specializing in technology investments and cross-border business development for portfolio companies. Most recently, Tommy has been the CEO of SIP, Inc., originally founded in 1996 by Tommy’s father, Atsushi Saitoh, who was the co-founder of JAFCO, the first, institutional VC fund in Japan. Tommy also served as the head of the global business division of the JVCA (Japan Venture Capital Association) through 2016-2019.
Tommy started his career at NTT, where he worked for 10 years and specialized in strategy and government relations for enterprise clients. Encountering the Internet, he changed a career direction. After studying venture management at his MIT MBA , Tommy joined Netscape Communications Corporation, where he helped develop the company’s internet portal business in Japan. He later joined Digital Garage Inc. as COO, where he leveraged his experience in IT and business development to lead the company to a successful IPO (TYO: 4819; US$2B market cap), then became Representative Director. During his tenure at Digital Garage, he also developed a new method of business incubation called “sponsored incubation,” which led to the development of several Japanese and the US companies, including Kakakucom Inc.(TYO: 2371: US$6B market cap).
Tommy was a Professor at the Graduate School of Digital Hollywood University from 2004-2011 and has published two books on the venture capital industry, including “Shocks in Digital Convergence,” and “Innovation Ecosystem and New Growth Strategy.”
Tommy received a BA in Economics from the University of Tokyo, and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management in High-tech Venture Management.