D4V (Design for Ventures) is a new Japanese venture capital firm formed by IDEO and Genuine Startups. We enable Japanese ventures to create impact in the world through capital., insights., design., mentorship., connections.
To learn more about D4V, please read the official press release.
For more information, please e-mail info@d4v.jp or call 03-5797-7504.
Our Values
Our mission is to be a catalyst for Japanese start-ups and unlock their potential to succeed on a global scale.
Design
Great design creates great businesses. We see design as a powerful enabler and differentiator at all stages throughout a venture's lifecycle.
Experiments
Constructive experiments and rapid prototypes are powerful tools. In our experience "talking less and doing more" enables quality at speed.
Diversity
Our strengths lie in our differences, not similarities. We believe in bringing together a diverse group of talented and inspiring individuals from all backgrounds (beyond the business community) and geographies (beyond Japan).
What can D4V offer to startups?
We have the experience and committment to support Japanese ventures at all stages, from seed to exit.
Invest
We look to be the lead investor for your startup, no matter what round or phase of the venture lifecycle you are in.
Inspire
We bring together the latest insights, learnings, and emerging trends from all industries, all around the world, to help inform and inspire your venture.
Co-Design
We offer design reviews and design sprints from our resident designers to help kickstart or accelerate your venture.
Mentor
We mentor, coach, and train all different types of people on your team -- from the visionary leaders to the vital builders.
Connect
We connect your team to a global network of entrepreneurs, industry experts, investors and media to help you grow and scale your venture.
Tom Kelley
Founder & Chairman

Tom Kelley is the best-selling author of Creative Confidence, The Art of Innovation and The Ten Faces of Innovation as well as a partner at the renowned design and innovation consultancy IDEO. As a leading innovation speaker, Tom addresses scores of business audiences on how to foster a culture of innovation and tap into the creative potential of their organizations. Over the years, he has spoken in more than thirty countries and helped IDEO grow from 15 designers to a staff of more than 600, while leading diverse areas such as business development, marketing, human resources, and operations. Tom is an Executive Fellow at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and holds a similar role at the University of Tokyo.

Mak Takano
Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Makoto Takano is CEO of atomixmedia, inc., Editor-in-Chief of Forbes JAPAN. Prior to joining atomixmedia, inc., he was Managing Director and President of PIMCO Japan Ltd. Before joining PIMCO in 2001, he was head of marketing at Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Mr. Takano’s prior experience also includes work at Daiwa Securities where he was head of the strategists team at Daiwa Institute of Research. He serves as Managing Director and Founder of Genuine Startups Ltd., Director of Nippon Finance Association, International School of Asia Karuizawa (ISAK), Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation, Any times Inc., Editorial Board Member of Tokyo Financial Research Co., Ltd., Advisor of Japan Blue Energy Co., Ltd., as well as Board Member of Human Rights Watch.

Kengo Ito
Founder & Chief Operating Officer

Kengo Ito is the Managing Director and co-founder of Genuine Startups. He founded Genuine Startups Fund I in 2013 and invested more than 50 startups at seed stage. Prior to founding Genuine Startups, he served as Chief Accelerator at MOVIDA JAPAN. He established a Seed Acceleration Program and provided hands-on support with more than 300 startups. His prior experience also includes MetaCast, movie solution provider, as CEO for 3 years. He has a broad range of IT and electronics experiences covering from venture investment to business development at Mitsui Comtek Co. in the US. He also led venture investment and business developments in display and mobile at Mitsui & Co. He serves as committee members at NICT(National Institute of Information and Communications Technology) and NEDO(New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization). He holds masters and bachelors degrees in engineering from the University of Tokyo.

Mamoru Taniya
Founder

Mamoru Taniya has a broad range of investment experiences covering from fixed-income derivatives to private equities. His early career is illustrated by his successful years at Salomon Brothers he joined in 1987 where he became the youngest managing director in Asia. He then joined Tudor Capital (Japan) as one of the founding partners, and led an MBO to found Asuka Asset Management where he is CEO to date and has made it a leading independent hedge fund in Japan. As a venture capitalist, he initiated the launch of Lifenet Insurance Company, the first online insurance company, and invested in the development of "studio yoggy," a pioneering yoga studio, which contributed to popularize Yoga widely in Japan. He started another venture company, Campus for H Inc., a health care company that develops and markets innovative corporate wellness programs, and Money Design Inc. which is the first Robo Advisor company as a founder. He also serves as Representative founder of International School of Asia, Karuizawa (ISAK), the first international boarding school in Japan, since its establishment. Mr. Taniya received his B.A. in law from the University of Tokyo in 1987.

Kanako Inoue
Founding Member & Vice President

Kanako Inoue started her career preparing documentation of memorandums for directors' meetings and shareholders' meetings, being responsible for 20+ clients, as Corporate Paralegal at Anderson Mori & Tomotsune. She led negotiations and acted as the lead advisor in cross-border deals, liaised with overseas contacts at investment banks and professional firms on a daily basis to exchange information about potential M&A opportunities, as M&A advisor at GCA Savvian. She then advised mainly industrial goods/automotive clients on various strategy projects, such as M&A/product development/mid-term/new business development strategy, as a consultant at The Boston Consulting Group. Kanako holds a Bachelor in Laws from Keio University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.

Masahisa Kido
Founding Member & Vice President

As a global manufacturing engineer at Daikin, Masahisa Kido re-/designed and established HVAC production lines in Japan, India, the Czech Republic and the US. His experience also includes product development and quality control. He also conducted business due diligence and business development at a VC in the US. As a management consultant at PwC PRTM and PwC Strategy &(formerly Booz & Company), he conducted business strategy development, M&A due diligence and business intelligence research. He also implemented product development management and supply chain management on clients’ sites. His focus industries are manufacturing, energy, healthcare and IT. Masahisa holds a Bachelor and Master in Engineering from Osaka Prefecture University, and an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Kenichi Nonomura
Founding Member & Director

Kenichi is the Director of Business Design and Development at IDEO Tokyo. His focus is to bridge creativity with business, and using the combination to generate successful change and innovation. Currently, Kenichi’s focus is around growing and developing IDEO Tokyo’s business. Kenichi meets organizations every year to explore various ways that IDEO may collaborate with them to create greater impact. With a passion in venture design, Kenichi is also helping create new offerings to help startups and entrepreneurs in Japan. Prior to joining IDEO, Kenichi worked as a Country Manager at Toyota Motor Corporation’s headquarters in Japan where he was in charge of Toyota’s product portfolio, pricing, supply and demand, and public relations in multiple Latin American countries. Kenichi holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, US, and a BA in Policy Management from Keio University, Japan. A globe trotter, Kenichi has lived in London, New York, Boston, and Singapore.

Mike Peng
Founding Member

Mike Peng is a co-managing director and co-founder of IDEO Tokyo. In his role, Mike works with colleagues to set the strategic direction of the business in Japan, mentor designers, create new offerings, and lead client relationships and projects in Asia. Prior to Tokyo, Mike helped start-up IDEO’s New York office and lead its design research discipline. Mike has taught at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID). Mike graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a degree in cognitive science and an emphasis in neuroscience.

Davide Agnelli
Founding Member

Davide Agnelli is managing director of IDEO, Japan. He works with clients to drive business growth, tackle systemic challenges, design new offerings and launch new ventures. With a background in computer science and interaction design, Davide also works across the Asia region to develop IDEO’s digital design capabilities. Davide holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Pavia, Italy and a Master’s degree in Interaction Design from the Interaction Design Institute, Ivrea. He is regularly engaged with both corporate and educational institutions as mentor and design educator. On weekends, you can find him cooking for friends, exploring and photographing Tokyo’s backstreets on his bicycle.

Nobuyuki Idei
Advisor

Mr. Idei was a member of top management of Sony Corporation from 1995 for more than a decade, first as president and COO and then chairman and CEO. From 2007 to 2012, he served as chairman of Sony’s advisory board. During his tenure, Mr. Idei moved the company into the digital age by creating a vision where audio, visual, computer and telecommunication technologies would be seamlessly merged and connected with software content and services, much like the Internet world we know today. As CEO of Sony, he supported the launch of Monex Inc., DeNA and M3. Since 2006, Mr. Idei is Founder and CEO of Quantum Leaps Corporation. He holds a B.S. degree in economics and politics from Waseda University.

Masayori "Masi" Oka
Advisor

Emmy and Golden Globe nominated actor Masi Oka burst onto the scene starring in NBC’s drama series “Heroes”, a role for which he received his nominations. Oka can now be seen in the role of the eccentric Coroner on the hit series “Hawaii 5-0”, a Coroner whose piano playing in the autopsy room helps him figure out how the people on his table died. No stranger to television, Oka has had recurring roles on NBC’s “Scrubs” and Fox’s “Luis” and has also guest starred on “Without a Trace,” “Joey,” “Reba,” “Still Standing,” “Will & Grace,” “Yes, Dear” and “The Gilmore Girls.” In addition to his very public roles, Oka works behind the scenes as an advisor to JETRO and a cultural envoy to the US Embassy, bringing the gaps between Japan and Hollywood in the arts and business. After graduating Brown University with degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science and a Theatre Arts minor, Oka pursued an acting career while taking his first job at George Lucas’ Oscar-winning special effects house Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) providing technology for groundbreaking effects for more than 30 films.

Fujiyo Ishiguro
Advisor

After working at Brother Industries and Swarovski Japan, Ms. Ishiguro founded a high-tech specialty consulting firm in Silicon Valley and advised clients such as Yahoo!, Netscape, Panasonic, and Sony on US-Japan alliances and technology transfers. She is a founding member of Netyear Group in US and Japan, devising comprehensive digital marketing solutions for corporate clients that resolve fundamental business issues as CEO. The company was listed on the Mothers section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2008. Ms. Ishiguro graduated the School of Economics at Nagoya University and received an MBA from Stanford University. She had been a member of Government committee for the past several years, such as Cabinet Office “The future to choose” Committee, METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) “IoT” Committee, and so on.

The D4V Team
D4V is a joint venture between Japanese venture capital firm Genuine Startups and world-renowned global design company IDEO. Both firms are represented on D4V’s managing board and take active part in all aspects of the fund.
Tom Kelley
Founder & Chairman
Makoto Takano
Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Kengo Ito
Founder & Chief Operating Officer

Mamoru Taniya
Founder
Kanako Inoue
Founding Member & Vice President
Masahisa Kido
Founding Member & Vice President
Kenichi Nonomura
Founding Member & Director
Mike Peng
Founding Member
Davide Agnelli
Founding Member
Nobuyuki Idei
Advisor
Masayori "Masi" Oka
Advisor
Fujiyo Ishiguro
Advisor


Genuine Startups contributes a vast experience in bridging between traditional large Japanese companies and startups, and can offer extensive support through a venture’s lifecycle though the wide range of background and skills of its team (from M&A to factory engineering).


With over 600 designers globally, IDEO is known as a pioneer of human-centered design and contributes 30 years of product and service innovation in a wide range of industries. IDEO’s designers in Japan will actively lend their experience and skills to D4V’s portfolio of companies.
FAQs
Our mission is to be a catalyst for Japanese start-ups and unlock their potential to succeed on a global scale.

What is D4V?
D4V (Design for Ventures) is a newly formed Japanese venture capital firm. D4V will mostly do seed and early-stage investments in Japanese startups.
What does D4V stand for and what makes it a unique venture capital firm?
D4V stands for Design for Ventures. We believe great design creates great businesses. We see design as a powerful enabler and differentiator at all stages throughout a venture’s lifecycle. Our designers will be at the ventures’ service at critical moments along their growth.
What does D4V offer to its portfolio startups?
D4V aims to provide capital, mentorship, design, and networks to startups looking to make impact in both local and international markets.
How big will D4V’s fund be and which kind of investments is D4V going to make?
D4V’s first fund will be in the US$30-50M range. The size of each investment will depend on the stage and the specific venture, but D4V will mainly focus on seed and early stage investments. D4V will help startups thrive from the very early days, leveraging a long and proven track record of supporting early stage startups.
Which kind of startups is D4V going to invest in?
At the moment D4V remains industry agnostic, and will solely focus on the quality and experience of the startups founders. We expect initial investment in the technology sector, but we remain open.
Contact Us
For more information
please e-mail info@d4v.jp or call 03-5797-7504.