Onlab Mentors

Seasoned professionals, with a wealth of experience and knowledge about the latest trends and technologies, are here to support you and your team, every step of the way.

  • Joichi Ito

    • Director, MIT Media Lab
    • Co-Founder and Board Member, Digital Garage

    Joichi Ito is an executive director of the MIT Media Lab, Japanese activist, entrepreneur, and venture capitalist. He is a co-founder and board member of Digital Garage. He is on the board of CCC and Tucows. He is on board of a number of non-profit organizations including The Mozilla Foundation, WITNESS and Global Voices. He has created numerous Internet companies including PSINet Japan, Digital Garage and Infoseek Japan and was an early stage investor in Twitter, Six Apart, Wikia, Technorati, Flickr, SocialText, Dopplr,, Rupture, Kongregate and other Internet companies.

    Joichi Ito
  • Kaoru Hayashi

    • Group CEO, Digital Garage
    • Chairman,
    • Chairman and President, Open Network Lab, Inc.

    Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer and President of Digital Garage since November 2004. Digital Garage is an Internet based incubation company. Chairman of Kakaku. com since June 2003 and Chairman and President of Open Network Lab, Inc. since 2012. Involved with incubation of Internet based business

    Kaoru Hayashi
  • Teruhide Sato

    • Founder, BEENOS Inc.

    Teruhide Sato participated in founding the Japanese subsidiary of US payment company Cyber Cash (now VeriTrans) while he was in Keio University SFC. In 2000, he takes the post of President CEO of netprice, Ltd. (currently BEENOS Inc). In 2008, the World Economic Forum elected Teruhide as a “Young Global Leader”. Currently, he supervises eleven subsidiary as Group CEO and leads the entrepreneurs in BEENOS portfolio companies in e-commerce/online-payment business.

    Teruhide Sato
  • Hiro Maeda

    • Venture capitalist

    Hiro Maeda is a partner at BEENEXT, an early stage venture capital firm investing in India, Southeast Asia, Japan, and the U.S. With a degree in computer science and economics from Bucknell University, he has been an early stage investor in over 100 companies, including Everlane, Instacart, and Anyperk. Previously, he led the investment division at BEENOS. In 2010, he launched Japan’s first startup accelerator, Open Network Lab, in partnership with Digital Garage and Hiro was selected as one of the 2016 Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 in the finance and venture capital category.
    Notable investments include Instacart, Kamcord, FundersClub, Everlane, Lob, Screenhero (acquired by Slack), Pixelapse (acquired by Dropbox), Fril, Anyperk, Qiita, and many more.

    Hiro Maeda
  • Shonosuke Hata

    • President,
    • Special Advisor, Open Network Lab, Inc.

    Born in 1974. After graduating from college and working at JT (Japan Tobacco), he joined in 2001. He was in charge of negotiating partnerships and alliances between advertising agencies, e-commerce players, and shopping malls. He also led the automobile insurance, broadband, telecommunications, and financial departments. He has been a Special Advisor to Open Network Lab since April 2015.

    Shonosuke Hata
  • Atsuhiro Murakami

    • Founder of Tabelog
    • Board member,
    • Special Advisor, Open Network Lab, Inc.

    Atsuhiro Murakami received a BA in Economics from Keio University in year 1997. Atsuhiro was in charge of corporate reformation and IT promotion for many large japanese corporations. In March of 2005, Atsuhiro founded “Tabelog,” which is now the largest gourmet site. Since April of 2009, Tabelog started subscription business for restaurants. Atsuhiro is still currently the director of Tabelog Division and continues to run the business. Since September 2011, he is also a Special Advisor to Open Network Lab, Inc.

    Atsuhiro Murakami
  • Shingo Yuki

    • Board member, Chief Director of Shopping Division,
    • Special Advisor, Open Network Lab, Inc.

    Born in 1975. After graduating from college, he entered Itochu Techno-Solutions Corporation. As a Systems Engineer, he participated in the construction of internet service infrastructure for mobile phone carriers. Entered in March 2004. From May 2006, he became the Head of Brand Marketing Division and was in charge of the large-scale renewal in October 2007. Currently, he is responsible for management of the site’s shopping contents. An expert in clean SEO, which does not harm usability, he also supports the site’s overall SEO. Since September 2011, he is also a Special Advisor to Open Network Lab, Inc.

    Shingo Yuki
  • Phil Libin

    • Cofounder and CEO, All Turtles

    Phil is cofounder and CEO of All Turtles, a new AI startup studio working to use artificial intelligence to solve everyday problems. He is a cofounder of Evernote and is its former Chief Executive. Phil is a Senior Advisor at General Catalyst and board member of the companies he invested in while serving as Managing Director for the company. Previously, Phil founded and served as president of CoreStreet, which was acquired by ActivIdentity (now owned by HID Global) in 2009.

    Phil Libin
  • Hitoshi Hokamura

    • Chairman, Evernote Japan
    • General Partner, First Compass Group

    General Partner of First Compass Group where he is in charge of incubation and strategic consulting. In Spring of 2000, Hitoshi started an Internet streaming technology company along with an engineer from Apple, Inc. Hitoshi successfully raised $12M and sold the company. Hitoshi Hokamura is also an active board member of SVJEN, a networking group for Japanese who work in Silicon Valley.

    Hitoshi Hokamura
  • Nils Johnson

    • Co-founder, Beautylish

    Nils Johnson is an investor, entrepreneur, and a mentor for Y Combinator. He started his career at Bergdorf Goodman, selling for Calvin Klein. From the world of fashion, he went on to finance at Deutsche Bank. From there, he went on to found an international telecom company, Gorilla Mobile.

    Nils Johnson
  • Chris Palmieri

    • Co-founder & Managing Director, AQ

    Chris Palmieri is managing director at AQ, a Tokyo-based design studio, where he helps local cultural organizations, global brands and hungry startups create websites and apps that work. Chris moved to Tokyo in 2001 to begin his design practice after studying graphic design and Japanese language and aesthetics at the University of Illinois.

    Chris Palmieri
  • Janice Fraser

    • LUXr Co-founder

    Janice is a serial entrepreneur and UX designer. During her 15 years in Silicon Valley, she has raised capital, founded both successful and failed startups, consulted to both large enterprises and early stage firms. Janice was cofounder of design firm Adaptive Path and served as the company’s first CEO. During her tenure, Adaptive Path tripled in staff and revenues, developed and sold a product to Google.

    Janice Fraser
  • Shota Horii

    • Co-Founder and CEO, Fablic, Inc.

    Born in Kyoto, 1985. Began his career in VOYAGE GROUP, inc., where he experienced establishing multiple companies. After fulfilling the role as CEO of subsidiary companies, Zucks, Inc. and adingo, Inc, he co-founded Fablic, Inc. in April 2012.

    Shota Horii
  • Taichiro Motoe

    •, Inc. President, CEO
    • Authense Law Offices Lead Lawyer

    Graduated the Faculty of Law, Keio University of Law in 1998, and passed the judicial examination in 1999. He then registered as a lawyer (Daini Tokyo Bar Association) in 2001, and entered Anderson Mori & Tomotsune law office, where he practiced M&A and finance law, amongst other corporate law. In 2005, Mr. Motoe established his own private law firm, Authense Law Offices. In the same year, he established, Japan’s first legal aid portal website. He is also the author of several law-related books.

    Taichiro Motoe
  • Koichiro Yoshida

    • CrowdWorks Inc. President, CEO

    After graduating Tokyo Gakugei University, Mr. Yoshida worked at Pioneer and Reed Exhibitions, before becoming a corporate officer at Drecom, where he successfully conducted an IPO. In 2011, he established CrowdWorks, Japan’s first crowdsourcing service. By raising over one billion yen in funds from VCs, including Digital Garage, Crowdworks has currently become one of the most eminent startups in the Japan.

    Koichiro Yoshida
  • Pete Koomen

    • Co-founder & President, Optimizely

    Prior to co-founding Optimizely, Pete worked for Google where he was Product Manager for Google App Engine. While there, Pete helped launch and grow the App Engine platform to more than 150,000 developers in its first year. Before that, Pete earned an M.S. in Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and dual B.S.’s in Mathematics and Computer Science at Case Western Reserve University.

    Pete Koomen
  • Naofumi Tsuchiya

    • GoodPatch. Inc. CEO

    The founder of GoodPatch. Inc., a Tokyo-based UI design company. After his career as a web director, he flew to San Francisco, in 2011, to join btrax Inc, a web design, marketing and research branding a web consulting business, where he conducted events such as SF New Tech Japan Night, and also ran support for Japanese companies expanding into foreign markets. In the same year, he returned to Japan to start Goodpatch, a company specialized in UI planning and design. Soon after launch, he provided UI design to Gunosy, playing a big part in their successful business expansion. Since then, he has worked with new operations of large companies and startups, not just aiding in UI, but the product design, as well.

    Naofumi Tsuchiya
  • Masi Oka

    • Actor
    • Digital effects artist

    Actor and digital effects artist based in the United States. Oka’s first job after graduation was at Industrial Light & Magic, a motion picture visual special effects company started by film director, George Lucas. He was cast for the role of Hiro Nakamura in Heroes, which earned him a Golden Globe Award nomination in the “Best Supporting Actor on a TV Series” category in 2006, and an Emmy Award nomination for “Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series” in 2007.

    Masi Oka
  • Matthew Romaine

    • Founder, Gengo

    Born in Boston, with an American father and Japanese mother. Lived in North America, London, and Tokyo. Returned to Tokyo after graduating from Stanford University, and founded the translation platform Gengo, to further his ambition of supporting the globalization of Japan. He sometimes tweets at「@quanza」.

    Matthew Romaine
  • Sahil Jain

    • AdStage, Inc. Founder

    Dropping out once from high school at 17 to join Yahoo! Mobile, then again from UC Berkeley at 19 to join AOL to work on M&A. Afterwords, he co-founded Y Combinator and SV Angel backed, Since leaving Trigger, he is currently working on his new startup, AdStage, an all-in-one advertising platform. Sahil is also a mentor for 500 Startups, Inc., where he shares his expertise in the gaming industry as well as the mobile web and app distribution

    Sahil Jain
  • Andrew Johns

    • Director of Growth & Revenue, Wealthfront

    Andrew Johns is currently Director of Growth & Revenue at Wealthfront. One of the original members on both Facebook and Twitters’ user growth and engagement teams, Andrew later moved to Quora, where he was product manager of user growth, working on such projects as logged out conversion rate testing, email, onsite merchandizing, new user experience, contact importing and invite systems, and other projects focusing on active user growth. Andrew have also spent a few years as a Consultant or Advisor for startups like,, Altius Education, and several others.

    Andrew Johns
  • Brandon Berry Edwards

    • frog Shanghai
    • Executive Creative Director

    In 2007, he co-founded frog’s Shanghai studio and since then has successfully helped grow the business across the Asia-Pacific region. Widely known as a thought leader for his experience in Asia and emerging markets, today Brandon focuses on creating new offerings, collaboration models and solutions to solve the problems of the 21st century. He contributes at the World Economic Forum, speaks at major conferences, mentors at corporations & universities, and funds start-ups.

    Brandon Berry Edwards
  • Choon Yan Tan (CY)

    • Braintree_Dev
    • Startup Advocate – Asia Pacific

    Choon Yan (CY) leads the PayPal and Braintree effort for working with Startups, Accelerators/Incubators and Venture Capitalists across Asia Pacific. CY started his career in Banking under various Banks’ Technology groups but soon moved out. He previously led the supply chain integration team and did data analysis work for Google in California, working on Google Android and Chrome products. Before Google, CY worked as Product Manager and iOS Developer for a Pittsburgh-based startup, Comvibe.

    Choon Yan Tan (CY)
  • Shuji Honjo

    • Managing Director,
    • Honjo International

    Dr. Shuji Honjo provides business consulting to Japanese and international companies, focusing on new business development, marketing, technology and innovation. He advises large corporations and investors as well as entrepreneurial companies. He is active in entrepreneurial education and community development, as a mentor with 500 Startups, Founders Institute, Net Service Ventures, Docomo Innovation Village, Fukuoka Prefecture etc.
    Dr. Honjo is Visiting Professor at Tama Graduate School of Business. He is also a member of the editorial committee for Japan Marketing Association.

    Shuji Honjo
  • Shoji MiyataShoji Miyata

    • Chief Executive Officer
    • KUFU, Inc.

    Founder and CEO of KUFU, Inc., which operates SmartHR. Winner of TechCrunch Tokyo 2015 and B Dash Camp 2016. After being diagnosed with a disease that affects 1 in 100,000 people, Shoji was able to receive treatment and become fully cured because of the social insurance system in Japan. The appreciation felt during that time of need has led him to create SmartHR, a service centered around solving social insurance issues, three years afterwards during Open Network Lab’s 10th Batch Seed Accelerator Program.

    Shoji Miyata
  • Mutsumi OtaMutsumi Ota

    • Chief Executive Officer
    • giftee Inc.

    After graduating from Keio University, Mutsumi joined Accenture to work on government projects as a system engineer. In August 2010, he founded giftee, a casual gifting service.

    Mutsumi Ota