Masa ISHII is founder and a Managing Director of AZCA, Inc., a management consulting firm specializing in US-Japan corporate development for high technology companies. To date, AZCA has helped numerous companies in Japan and US in developing their new business across the Pacific Ocean. Masa is also a Managing Director of AZCA Venture Partners, a venture capital firm whose most recent fund specializes in the domain where IT/Electronics and Life science converge. Formerly, Masa worked at McKinsey & Company, Inc. and at IBM. Masa is a frequent speaker and writer on issues involving international business development in the high technology industry.He is a visiting professor at Waseda University Business School and at Graduate School of Engineering, Shizuoka University. Masa holds a Bachelor of Engineering in mathematical engineering and instrumentation physics from the University of Tokyo and a Master of Science in computer science from Stanford University.
It was in early 1970s that Japanese companies first started interacting with Silicon Valley. As Silicon Valley grew, many Japanese companies started trying to work with high-tech start-ups in Silicon Valley with the purpose of innovating and developing new businesses. More recently, start-up companies and SMEs from Japan have started taking root in Silicon Valley by fully taking advantage of its high technology infrastructure. In doing so, however, many Japanese companies failed to achieve their strategic goals. These hard-learned lessons over time are bound to be forgotten as the new generation of Japanese companies attempt to enter the Silicon Valley’s ecosystem unless they are recorded and the memory is institutionalized. Having lived and worked between Japan and Silicon Valley over the past 30 years, the speaker will share an insider's view of large firms, start-ups and entrepreneurs since the 1970s and his direct experience and reminiscence in dealing with companies in Japan and Silicon Valley, so that the long-built up experience of firms entering this region for the last 40 years can prove to be of benefit to others in the future.