Koichiro Nakamura is a founding partner at Sozo Ventures, a cross-border venture fund focused on helping startups achieve global expansion. Sozo Ventures focuses on helping US technology companies go to the Japanese market.
Koichiro started his career as a serial entrepreneur; starting his first successful company during college and spending a decade working on a multitude of start-ups. At Mitsubishi Corporation he created relationships with large Japanese conglomerates, providing the credibility needed for portfolio start-ups to find alpha and beta customers. Prior to that, Koichiro launched the Innovation Kitchen, a Mitsubishi Corporation subsidiary, which incubated seed-stage ventures in Japan and leveraged cross-border collaboration to yield sustainable advantage for portfolio companies.
At Mitsubishi, Koichiro worked in the telecommunications division and led multiple startup companies. He created Japan’s first Application Service Provider (ASP), Datastations (acquired by ValueCommerce). Before Mitsubishi, he worked on many startups including being a founding member of Yahoo! Japan. He has also been a commercial reviewer for the National Science Foundation’s SBIR grant program from 2007.
Education, Personal, and Fellowship
Mr. Nakamura received an MBA from the University of Chicago, GraduateSchool of Business and also graduated from Waseda University, holding a Bachelor of Law.
Koichiro is a member of Kauffman Fellows Class 12. He is the recipient of the Jeff Timmons Memorial Award, which recognizes his outstanding contributions to the program. He has been a mentor to Yuki Iwashita (Class 17), Martin Garcia (Class 19), and Yoshihiko Karita (Class 20).