We help the best and most innovative startups in the US to enter the Japanese market with a leading technology and distribution partner.
The business development and investment group works with innovative startups to structure a commercial deal with NTT DOCOMO headquarters. To support a commercial deal, we provide strategic investment concurrently or for a future commercial collaboration. Our mission is to help startups enter or accelerate growth in the Japanese market. Our team of professionals will make relevant introductions and help structure the commercial deal, as well as the investment deal, if appropriate.
Neil leads the team responsible for investments and business development. Neil focuses on stage agnostic investments in mobile and e-commerce. Neil led Docomo’s investments in Cenrify, Muzy, Fab, Nextbit, Anfacto, Influitive and Nok Nok Labs. His current investments also include Couchbase.
Prior to Docomo, Neil spent 6 years building Bay Partners Software as a Service and digital media practices. As a General Partner he led the firm’s early investments in Eloqua which was acquired by Oracle after going public in 2012 and Cornerstone onDemand another IPO. Cornerstone (CSOD) is the leader and most valuable company in the talent management space. Neil served as a board director for Cornerstone onDemand, Like.com (acquired by Google), Eventful (acquired by CBS), LiveMedia and Hiplogic (acquired by Zynga).
Before venture capital, Neil spent 10 years as a product executive in technology companies of all sizes. Neil was part of the founding team of Afara Websystems which was acquired by Sun Microsystems. Afara's technology is the foundation of a multi-billion server product line at Oracle. Neil led product teams at Good Technology, RealNetworks and Sun Microsystems where he launched several new products. He began his career as a consultant with Accenture and IBM.
Neil has a BS in Systems Engineering from the University of Waterloo and an MBA from Stanford University.
Christina Ku is a venture capital professional investing in consumer internet, mobile, big data and cloud startups. She has evaluated, researched and assessed the viability of thousands of consumer internet businesses and new ventures for Intel, Vodafone and institutional capital firms. At her roles in investment research, corporate development and investment analysis, she has tracked public internet and mobile companies which provide her with a well-rounded perspective on emerging technologies (US, Europe), new markets, business models and financial diligence.
She started her career as an investment banker at Hambrecht & Quist, invested in emerging mobile companies such as Mobileway (sold to Sybase for $400 million) for Intel Capital and created new market development for Intel's Consumer Electronics Group. At Triplepoint Capital, she led the debt financing for 50 companies, primarily in the social networking space such as Facebook and Slide (sold to Google for $182 million). She also started one of the first online beauty social ecommerce startup at the Shimmer Group Inc.
Her most recent investments for Docomo were Netpulse, Elemental Technologies (acquired by Amazon) and Cyphort.
Christina received her MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship from Chicago Booth and BA in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley.
Christopher is a venture capital professional focused on investments in B2B, intelligent systems, big data, IoT and other related areas. He brings a mix of banking, venture capital, and operational experience working at several early-stage technology companies. Chris has spent his entire career in the venture capital ecosystem and has experience sourcing and evaluating investments in companies and funds, and in managing transactions and business development initiatives.
Chris started his career managing investments in venture capital and private equity for Limited Partners like CalPERS and Oak Hill, and worked as a placement agent and secondary market advisor at Probitas Partners (closed $340m in secondary transactions and raised several funds for top-tier VCs). Chris was later a Co-founder and CEO of an enterprise communication and intelligent systems startup, and worked for several VC-backed, Y-Combinator and TechStars companies in Business Development, Sales and Product Strategy. He also worked at Morgan Stanley and Xpert Financial, sourcing and evaluating numerous technology companies for investment.
Chris has a BA in Economics and International Relations for from the University of California, Davis and a certificate from the National University of Singapore in East Asian Economic Studies.
Shota Shiino has 9 years of experience in interconnectivity between mobile operator networks at NTT DOCOMO. Therefore he has knowledge of carrier networks including roaming networks and MVNO. Based on his experience, his strength is coordinating startups with corporations in international environments. His focus is Consumer Services, On-Demand Economy, Healthcare, and Roaming Solutions.
Shota took charge of the due diligence process for Docomo’s investment in Coinbase, Nok Nok Labs, Influitive, Cyphort and GlobeTouch.
Shota holds BS in Applied Mathematics from CSU EastBay.
Satoru has 8 years of experience in the Telecommunication and mobile smartphone ecosystem. He spent most of carrier to commercialize innovative technologies for Docomo smartphone with deep understand from both business and technical perspective. He introduced Microsoft PlayReady DRM for prime video streaming services and recently contributed to implementation of Netbit technology. Through his experience he has strengths in technical assessment for new solution, hardware and coordination with partners in international circumstance. He focuses on software that is related to devices, IoT, BaaS, Data analysis.
Satoru contributed in due diligence for Elemental Technologies, Nok Nok Labs, Cyphort.
Satoru holds an MA in Electronic Engineering from Kobe University and his research was related to Nanomaterial.
Toshiharu Kurisu has more than 10 years of experience in creating consumer application services for both smartphones and feature phones at NTT DOCOMO. The services which he was engaged in creating reached over 10 million users and his strength is evaluating services from the point of view of the value for the consumer. His focus is machine learning, voice agent service, maps, safety service, home control device.
Toshiharu holds MA in Information Technology from the graduate school of Keio University in Japan.
Miyuki has 5 years of experience in mobile communications. She spent most of her career planning and developing voice call services for consumer and her interest has always been developing the best user experiences for Japanese users.
She focuses on consumer services, messaging, and next communication style.
Miyuki holds MA in Applied Electronics from Tokyo University of Science.
We build core systems and services for next generation DOCOMO intelligent agents, such as natural-language understanding and knowledge-based systems. These systems use machine learning and possess flexibility and autonomy to support a wide range of user-specific needs and situations. We engage in all phases of systems development, from research to successful deployment.
We explore and develop in cloud environments while continually seeking opportunities to improve operational efficiency. The platforms and technologies we use include:
- AWS, Azure and Google Cloud
- Deep Learning and Reinforcement Learning, such as TensorFlow and OpenAI Gym
- Data Science and traditional Machine Learning approaches
- Large-scale data repositories and technologies, such as Hadoop and Spark
Through the Open Innovation approach, we actively pursue business development and partnership opportunities with companies, as well as collaboration with local universities.
We provide technology and product evaluations to the NTT DOCOMO Ventures team in the areas of AI and Cloud Computing.
Before joining DOCOMO Innovations, Pero led R&D and technology teams to deliver cutting-edge technologies at Justsystem, Cadence, Yahoo, and AOL Advertising.
He pioneered Fuzzy Semantic Typing approach for sentiment analysis and holds more than 10 patents in information management related to applications of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to CAD/CAE, Computational Linguistics and Information Retrieval. His teams delivered innovative, practical technology solutions leveraging large-scale distributed computing platforms with dramatic impact to key business metrics.
Pero holds an Ph.D. degree in Systems and Information Engineering from Yamagata University, Japan.
Trung currently directs the engineering team responsible for delivering the quality and performance of the Data Ninja services. Prior to joining Docomo Innovations, Trung has previously worked at Intel, Mercury Interactive, Rambus, and Broadcom, where he was an Associate Technical Director.
He received his B.S. and B.A. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, respectively, from Rice University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. His research interests span from hardware, such as processor performance modeling and simulation, to software, such as cloud computing technologies, and particularly on the meta layer in which hardware interacts with software.
Trung has been granted more than 10 patents covering the areas of branch prediction, multicore arbitration and scheduling, user-level threading, cache memory, memory wear-leveling, and memory encryption.
Hongfeng focuses on research and development of entity extraction, knowledge engine, semantic engine technologies and services with artificial intelligence, natural language processing and machine learning approaches. Previously, Hongfeng co-founded Yebol Corporation, which developed semantic search engine technologies and services.
Prior to Yebol, Hongfeng was senior data scientist of Yahoo! data mining team for 5 years, where he developed behavioral targeting technologies and platforms with hundreds of millions in revenue. Hongfeng has a Ph.D. degree in computer science from Concordia University, Canada.
Dr. Mukherjee has worked at Bell Laboratories, Marvell Semiconductor Inc. and SpiderCloud Wireless Inc. Dr. Mukherjee has over eighty publications in journals and conferences, and has been awarded fourteen patents. He has been a Senior Member of the IEEE since 2005.
Dr. Mukherjee received his M.S. and Ph.D. from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY in 1994 and 1997 respectively for work on training artificial neural network models for estimation and prediction applications. Prior to joining the Data Mining group at DOCOMO Innovations, Inc., Dr. Mukherjee was in the Wireless Networking group, where he authored the book Analytical Modeling of Heterogeneous Cellular Networks: Geometry, Coverage, and Capacity.
Hsin-Tai is an algorithm researcher, software engineer and data scientist. He has previously taught undergraduate math and programming courses in Taiwan and US and likes to apply math to real world problems.
He has worked in depth in cryptography, GIS/GPS related algorithms/implementations, IOT, image recognition, data compression, text mining and machine learning in the past 15 years.
He co-founded two startups in the past.
Prior to joining Docomo Innovations, Hsin-Tai worked in Foxconn and TCL developing natural language understanding related technologies.
Hsin-Tai received his Ph.D. in mathematics from UCLA.
Yas Naoi has been working for DOCOMO Innovations and NTT for more than 20+ years in a variety of positions. His specialties include Cloud Computing, Systems Architecture Design, Agile Software Development, CI (Continuous Integration), Networking building Infrastructure, and Data Center.
For DOCOMO Innovations, Yas develops and integrates Cost Visualizer application for AWS cost analysis, the Data Ninja Services applications on the AWS marketplace, Amazon API Gateway, and Mashape platforms.
He leads DevOps for our Big Data analytics platform development and our cloud and IT infrastructure management. As an official developer, he has been granted committer privileges in the Drupal community. He holds 10 registered patents for mobile instant messenger and IoT systems. Yas Naoi graduated from Sophia University in Japan.
The next opportunity for the Japanese market, the next product, the next partner, the next strategy, the next innovation, the next technology… the Product Planning & Strategy Group is always looking for who or what is next.
DOCOMO Innovations’ Product Planning & Strategy Group (PPSG) is driving business focus innovation through smartphone and tablet products for NTT DOCOMO. We have three missions:
- Creation: creating software and products strategy for the Japanese market,
- Operation: operating day-to-day, innovative activities related to mobile products, and
- Innovation: to realize the strategy as products through operation and collaboration with a variety of partners in the U.S.
The group here at DOCOMO Innovations, Inc. in Palo Alto is working closely with NTT DOCOMO HQ in Tokyo, Japan. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you are interested in working with us!
The commoditization of products and the customer demand for individualized experiences will motivate a shift from product innovation to service innovation.
Service innovation must offer customers unique value propositions that differentiate with our competitors. Big data analytics will offer new possibilities for service innovation, and it will also revolutionize DOCOMO’s future. Big data analytics provides powerful methods and tools for analyzing and processing large amounts of data, enabling us to generate valuable insights by compiling and classifying our customers. These insights will support customer-oriented service innovation in a number of ways.
The Data Analytics Innovation Group consists not only of data scientists, but also of various members with expertise ranging from wireless communication to cloud architecture. By working together, we can easily face cross-cutting challenges, share various experiences, and learn from each other. This combination will lead to new service innovations.
Finally, we will continue to work closely with DOCOMO Japan, local universities, and local companies. We will maintain a strong track record of academic publications and participate in international standards, such as 3GPP and IEEE.