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Phil Wickham

Executive Chairman, Kauffman Fellows

Phil Wickham

Having spent more than 5 years as both President and CEO of Kauffman Fellows, Phil now serves as Executive Chairman. The mission of the organization is to develop the next generation of leaders in venture capital–success, for Phil, means that entrepreneurs are building more enduring companies and investors are achieving superior returns. As Executive Chairman, he shares the mission and message of the organization, continues to evolve the mission, supports the program’s international expansion, and and connects Society members together in new ways. He also has a special passion for venture capital’s opportunities globally in helping to meet societal needs.

Phil is a veteran venture investor and startup entrepreneur. Early in his career Phil co-founded the publishing company Reference Media in Tokyo, Japan, grew it to scale and sold it to the Princeton Review, where he became VP of Sales for Japan and Korea. Later, Phil served as General Partner at JAFCO America Ventures, a billion-dollar fund backed by leading Japanese financial and technology players such as Hitachi, Mitsubishi, NEC, Itochu, Nomura, and Nippon Life Insurance. Phil went on to become a partner and run US operations for Copan, a European venture fund based in Munich, Germany, where Phil also served on the Board. He has shepherded more than 30 investments, including Ikanos, Web Methods, Com21, and Emergent. Phil currently serves on the board of S2 Technologies, Trilibis, and Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs (SVASE), and is an advisor to the Creandum fund in Stockholm.

Phil holds a BS from the Aerospace Mechanical Engineering School at the University of Arizona, and an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. When not working–or playing hockey–Phil can be found in Los Gatos with his wife and two daughters (13 and 15 years old).

A Charter Class member of the Kauffman Fellows Program, Phil served his fellowship at OneLiberty/Flagship Ventures in Boston with mentor Ed Kania, and was a Kauffman Fellows founding board member.