Net Jacobsson, Co-Founder & Partner
Net Jacobsson is a Co-Founder & Partner at SparkLabs Global Ventures. He is a former Facebook executive, entrepreneur and investor with vast international experience from many pioneering companies.
Net started out in Sweden Ericsson Mobile Communications (now SonyEricsson) in 1998 with user interface design but then moved into different start-up product, business development and marketing roles. In Israel Net led international business for Icq/AOL and then joined Chinese browser company, Maxthon in 2005 as partner & SVP. Net put Maxthon on the world map and brought in CRV and Google as investors. Today, Maxthon has over 1 billion downloads.
In 2007 Net joined Facebook as the head of International business development with focus on new user acquisitions, new markets and early M&A opportunities. In addition Net was responsible for Facebook's mobile business and led a number of deals with mobile operators and handset manufacturers.
Since 2009 Net has been involved an advisor and investor in Crowdstar, OpenFeint (sold to GREE for $104M), Playhopper (Founder), PixOwl, P1 (Board of Directors), and Cellogic. During 2012, Net assumed the role as CEO for Ginger Software. Net is also a Partner at SparkLabs, a startup accelerator in Seoul, Korea.
Frank Meehan, Co-Founder & Partner
Frank is the Co-Founder & Partner at SparkLabs Global Ventures and a Partner at SparkLabs, Asia’s premier accelerator based in Seoul.
Frank is also the Co-Founder and CEO at SmartUp.io, a fast-growing Micro-Learning platform used by startups, business schools and corporates. SmartUp has been featured in “Best New Apps” by Apple UK and US in July and October 2015. Frank was selected as part of the 2012 Wired UK Top 100 in tech, and Vanity Fair’s The Next Establishment list 2010.
Previously Frank was with Horizons Ventures (HK), representing them on the boards of Spotify, Siri, Summly, Affectiva, Bitcasa, Fixmo, DoubleTwist, Ginger, Desti and Magisto.
Frank started with Ericsson in 1994 as a coder and troubleshooter, lived in Singapore and HK, and then joined Hutchison Whampoa in 2001 and was responsible for the technical integration of the first 3G(WCDMA) networks around the world, launched under the Three(3) brand in multiple countries in 2003. He then ran the Three Groups’ global handset business, and developed and launched a range of products (Skypephone and INQ1), which pioneered mobile and internet communications.
Bernard Moon, Co-Founder & Partner
Bernard Moon is a Co-founder & Partner at SparkLabs Global Ventures. He is also a Co-founder & Partner at SparkLabs, a startup accelerator in Korea. Previously, he was Co-founder & CEO of Vidquik, a web conferencing & sales solutions platform. Bernard was a Managing Director at the Lunsford Group, which is a private investment firm with holdings in real estate, healthcare and other industries. Bernard was Co-founder & VP of Business Development of GoingOn Networks, a social media platform for companies, and also led their product development where BusinessWeek recognized them in their "Best of the Web" list. Previously, Bernard was a Director at iRG, a leading boutique investment bank in Asia, where he focused on TMT companies.
Bernard co-founded a couple of other startups, raised over $50 million in venture capital, and enjoys helping other entrepreneurs as much as possible: He serves as a mentor to MuckerLab, a startup accelerator in LA, and SixThirty, a fintech accelerator in St. Louis.. He is a frequent guest writer to various technology journals, such as VentureBeat, Mashable, TechCrunch, and ReadWrite, and has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other publications.
Bernard has spoke and lectured about startups and entrepreneurship at Stanford University, Global Entrepreneurship Congress, American Chamber of Commerce in Korea and other organizations. He was selected as one of 8 global judges for EDF's innovation contest (EDF is the world's biggest electricity producer based in France)
He completed a post-graduate fellowship with the Coro Foundation. He received his MPA in Telecom and New Media Policy from Columbia University and a BA in English and Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Jimmy Kim, Co-Founder & Partner
Jimmy Kim is Co-founder & Partner at SparkLabs Global Ventures. He is also a Co-founder & Partner at SparkLabs, a startup accelerator in Korea. Jimmy is Co-founder and President of N3N, an IoT platform company and Cisco’s first global IoT investment. They service numerous Fortune 500 companies and governments, such as Samsung Electronics, POSCO, Port of Singapore, The North Face, and Hyundai Motors. He previously served as N3N’s CEO.
Previously, Jimmy was CEO of Nexonova, a game development studio of Nexon Corp that specializes in Social Network Games. Prior to Nexonova, Jimmy served as Executive Vice President of Nexon Corp, and Head of Nexon’s Portal (www.nexon.com, market cap: $5 billion) and Web Services. Nexon is one of the most successful online gaming providers, with games such as Maple Story, Dungeon and Fighter, Combat Arms, and Kart Rider. Nexon services over 20 games across 60 countries to an audience of 300 million.
Jimmy was the founding investor and active deal adviser of Studio Ex, an online gaming studio that was acquired by Disney in 2012. Jimmy is sought-after speaker on online gaming and technology and has spoken at various conference such as LeWeb, Ad:Tech, and Web 2.0 Expo.
Jimmy received his B.S. in Bio-medical Engineering from Northwestern University, and also a M.S. in Bio-medical Engineering from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). Jimmy also completed the Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business’s Executive Management Program.
John Lee, Co-Founder & Partner
John Lee is Co-founder & Partner at SparkLabs Global Ventures. He is also a Co-founder & Partner at SparkLabs, a startup accelerator in Korea. John is a co- founder & EVP of Corporate Development and Strategy of Hostway. He serves additional responsibilities as CEO of Hostway India. John and his fellow co- founders bootstrapped Hostway into a top 5 web hosting company in the world with over 700 employees.
Hostway is a multinational web hosting company headquartered in Chicago, and serves more than 600,000 customers worldwide. He is currently responsible for overall corporate strategy, strategic alliances, and mergers and acquisitions. Previously, he has held positions in every department of the company, including leading global marketing and sales and overall P&L for North America.
Mr. Lee was born and raised in Korea and immigrated to the United States at age 13. He holds a BA in Biology from the University of Chicago.
Jay McCarthy, Co-Founder & Partner
Jay McCarthy is a Co-founder & Partner at SparkLabs Global Ventures. He is also a Partner at SparkLabs, a startup accelerator in Korea. Jay has more than 22 years’ experience in Asia. Currently, as a Managing Partner of Pacific Advisers, he has advised, financed and invested in a range of deals in Asia across industries, principally mining & energy, technology, luxury consumer and property. In recent years, Jay has focused on originating investment mandates for PA to invest its own capital in both publicly listed and private companies. Such origination leads to co-investment opportunities selectively with the hedge fund and institutional investor communities. Jay has significant experience with structuring deals and working with the relevant investor, industry and service (legal and advisory) counterparts.
Previously, Jay served as an Executive Director in the Equity Division at Morgan Stanley and worked in the Tokyo, HK, Beijing and Singapore offices over a 16- year period. Within this time, Jay served 2 years as Morgan Stanley’s “secondee” to China International Capital Corporation, their JV Chinese Investment Bank, as the Dealing Director in charge of the Equity Division in Hong Kong and Beijing. Prior to that, Jay worked at Coopers & Lybrand in New York (USA). Jay graduated from Boston College in Newton, MA, USA and has basic speaking skills in Japanese.
Eugene Kim, Partner
Eugene is currently a Partner of SparkLabs and manages the day –to-day operations of the SparkLabs accelerator program. Eugene previously served as a Director
of Global Business Development at Tencent Korea. He was responsible for the sourcing of Korean game titles to China and Tencent’s global publishing network,
headed the global sales of Tencent game titles, and he managed relationships with Tencent’s global publishing partners. Prior to Tencent, Eugene was Director of
Business Development and Marketing at Podotree, an online educational app developer in Korea. He was responsible for their marketing and launch effort into the
U.S. Previously, he was with Vertigo Games as the Group Manager of the Overseas Business Group. Eugene led all overseas sales efforts and service support,
and all business development and game engine licensing activities.
Eugene was a Manager and Group Head of the Quality Assurance and Localization Group for NHN USA. He previously served as Project Manager of the Publishing
Group at NHN USA and Assistant Manager of Global Strategy & Marketing Development at NHN Corporation. He began his career at The Contents Company, an SK company, in business development and played a key role in launching Korea’s first pilot IP TV service with overseas partners. He earned his BA in Economics and
Philosophy from the University of Michigan.
Rob DeMillo, Venture Partner
Rob DeMillo is a Venture Partner at SparkLabs Global Ventures. Previously, he was CTO of StudioNow, a video production marketplace. Prior to StudioNow, Rob was the CTO of Discovery Digital Networks which he came through via Discovery's acquisition of Revision3. DeMillo is also the Co-Founder of VidQuik, a customer relationship management company. In 2013, DeMillo was named to Econtent’s “Fabulous 15: The Top Digital Media Influencers” along with Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg. DeMillo was the Chief Technology Officer & Co-founder of Transpera, where he was responsible for the technology and operational aspects of the company and serves as the technical liaison to mobile operators, video content providers and ad agencies globally. Prior to Transpera, DeMillo was the CTO for Third Screen Media, a mobile advertising company that was acquired by AOL in 2007. DeMillo also served as SVP of Mobile Technology at VeriSign, following the acquisition by Verisign of m-Qube where DeMillo was Senior Vice President of Engineering and managed over 1,000 engineers.
DeMillo was also Founder and CEO of MediaRush, an early market leader for media distribution within the home, and held technology leadership positions at ATG, a personalization and eCommerce leader, and SynaPix, a computer graphics and video effects company. Before he became a serial entrepreneur, DeMillo was a research scientist/engineer at Lincoln Laboratories, and Jet Propulsion Laboratories before that, applying technology to study and understand topics as diverse as planetary cratering and effects of microbursts on aircraft.
Peter Chang, Venture Partner
Peter Chang is a Venture Partner and technical adviser at SparkLabs Global Ventures. Peter Chang is co-founder and CTO of N3N, an interactive software company that mixes passion, creativity and technology to create new interactive user experience and innovative presentation solutions. He is currently leading the product development of INNOWATCH which is a C4 level command and control center solution. Existing customers include G20 Summit Seoul, Nuclear Summit Seoul, Samsung, Hyundai, Posco, and LG.
Peter has broad experiences in business planning and technology development in telecommunication, IT, CATV, physical security and automobile industries. Previously, he was co-founder and CTO of HeyAnita Korea, an interactive voice portal service backed by Softbank. Peter was also co-founder and CTO of ViewPlus, an video-on-demand system for cable and satellite services.
Peter received his masters and bachelor degrees in computer and electrical engineering from POSTECH and Brown University respectively.
William Chu, Venture Partner
William Chu is a Venture Partner at SparkLabs Global Ventures and the Managing Partner for SparkLabs FinTech in Hong Kong. He was Director of Lawman Group International, an apparel company with business in Greater China and the US. In 2014, William joined Zheng He Capital, a Hong Kong based private equity firm with a focus on fintech and healthcare, where he served as Executive Director.
During this time, he spearheaded the firm’s lead investor role in the US$500MM A Round financing of Ping An Good Doctor, a Ping An Insurance subsidiary tasked with building an online health ecosystem in China. He was also actively involved in Zheng He’s role as lead investor in the US$500MM A Round and the subsequent US$1.2BN B Round of Lufax, another Ping An Insurance subsidiary that has become the world’s largest online financial asset exchange.
Prior to Zheng He, William was President of Lawman Group where he ran the US and China Operations. In addition to the eponymous Lawman brand, William launched the apparel lines Petrol and Heart of Stone in the North American market, and built distribution across the US and Canada.
William graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in East Asian Studies from Harvard University.
Christine Aum, Senior Associate
Christine is a Senior Associate at SparkLabs and her role mainly focuses on managing SparkLabs’s seed stage fund.
Christine was previously an equity analyst at Mirae Asset Securities and has experience of analyzing Korea's two biggest industries, IT and Automobile sectors. She was responsible for forecasting the market trend and share prices of the companies that are listed in Korea’s stock market. She also published analyst reports, which involves analyzing the fundamentals and data of the relevant industries and companies. The size of the companies she covered varies from small IT/Auto parts companies that recently went IPO to Global Brands such as Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motor. Christine also managed relationships between the IR teams of public companies in Korea and investors in Seoul, Hong Kong, New York and London. Christine earned her BA in Economics and Chinese Language from the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor.
In 2016, Forbes named Christine as “30 Under 30 Asia in Finance and Venture Capital Sector."
Sophia Choi, Senior Associate
Sophia is currently a Senior Associate at SparkLabs Global Ventures. Sophia was previously a global business development manager at Tencent, where she was responsible for not only the business development between Korea and China, but also between Tencent and its global publishing network, including countries like Vietnam, Philippines, Russia, Taiwan and Singapore. Sophia managed the global sales of Tencent game titles, and also managed relationship with Tencent’s global affiliates. Prior to joining Tencent’s global business team, Sophia led corporate communication and marketing at Tencent Korea, where she built PR strategies for the Korean game media. Sophia also has work experience at various Government organizations such as Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and KOTRA Sydney Office. She earned her BA in Business Management / Government and International Studies at the University of Sydney, Australia.
Brian Behlendorf, Advisor
Executive Director of Hyperledger at the Linux Foundation
Brian is a Managing Director at Mithril Capital Management. He has had stints in startups, government, and international organizations, focusing the positive impact that open technologies can have on society. He was a primary developer of the Apache Web server, the most popular web server software on the Internet, and started the Apache Software Foundation. Brian also launched CollabNet, which pioneered open source tools and development methods to transform how organizations write software.
After 8 years leading CollabNet as its CTO, Brian left to work on the 2008 Obama campaign as a technology advisor, and then at the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House, developing strategies for open access to data and APIs. Later he advised the Department of Health and Human Services on the launch of two Open Source software projects designed to accelerate the adoption of standards for the exchange of electronic health records.
In 2011 he moved to Geneva to start a 20-month stint as CTO at the World Economic Forum, where he rebooted a 30 year old legacy environment with open software and open thinking. Brian is now back in San Francisco with Mithril Capital, and remains an advisor to the WEF. Brian is on the Boards of Director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Mozilla Foundation, Benetech, and CollabNet. Now he’s on the hunt for great young companies tackling hard problems and disrupting industries.
Greg Badros, Advisor
Founder at Prepared Mind Innovations
Greg Badros earned bachelors degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science from Duke University. After founding the engineering team at a successful startup, he started graduate school and earned his masters and doctoral degrees in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Washington in Seattle. Starting from age 14, Greg has accumulated over twenty research and trade publications and has spoken at numerous conferences internationally. His research interests include software engineering, declarative representations and constraint satisfaction, distributed systems, programming language design and implementation, and mechanism design for online advertising auctions. His Ph.D. work on the Cassowary Constraint Solving algorithm is now an integral part of Apple’s OS X (starting with 10.7 Lion) and iOS.
Since then, he worked at Google for over six years where he was a Sr. Director of Engineering, having led AdSense from 2004-2007 and then the Gmail+ and Google Apps teams from 2007-2009. From mid 2009 to October 2013, Greg worked at Facebook where he was VP Engineering & Products and led numerous teams including Ads, Search, Photos, Messages, Growth, Data Infrastructure and Data Science. After his nearly 4.5 years at Facebook, he founded Prepared Mind Innovations and now acts as an advisor to several startup companies and builds prototypes himself. In his free time, he enjoys tennis, skiing, and home automation.
Jonathan Teo, Advisor
Founder & Managing Director at Binary
Jonathan is co-founder and managing partner of Binary Capital, an early stage consumer technology investment firm with over $300 million under management, based in San Francisco. Previously, Jonathan was managing director at General Catalyst and a Principal at Benchmark, where he led investments in Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and Chloe and Isabel. In 2016, Forbes Magazine named Jonathan to its prestigious Midas Brink List.
Before working in venture, Jonathan was an early engineering leader at Google, where he oversaw the company’s global infrastructure expansion and R&D efforts. He holds a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Sydney and masters degrees in management science and electrical engineering from Stanford. Born and raised in Singapore, Jonathan is an active advisor to Stanford’s school of medicine and a guest lecturer in its school of engineering.
John Pleasants, Advisor
EVP, Media Solutions of America at Samsung Electronics
John Pleasants is a dynamic, high-tech internet executive that has led public and private companies to implicit market capitalization and investor gains of more than $5 billion over the past 15 years. As a CEO and President, Pleasants has built and run start-ups as well as divisions of worldwide media and Internet conglomerates. In these consumer-facing businesses, some with enterprise customers, he has scaled business models in ecommerce transactions, subscriptions, advertising, content / service purchases and in-app transactions. Pleasants has overseen the acquisitions, mergers and integrations of 34 companies totaling ~$1.5 billion across gaming, ticketing, online dating, local services and consumer-driven healthcare.
From 2010 through 2013, Pleasants served as Co-President of Disney Interactive. In this role, he lead the overall strategy for Disney Interactive’s ~$1 billion multi-faceted digital games business, which includes games and virtual worlds across console, social, mobile and online platforms. He also oversaw Disney Interactive’s global network of game development studios and mobile content services.
Previously, Pleasants served as CEO of Playdom, a leading social gaming company, which was founded in February 2008 and acquired by Disney in August 2010.
Before leading Playdom, Pleasants served as President of Publishing and COO of Electronic Arts (EA), the world’s leading game publisher, where he oversaw global operations for the company and drove EA's digital agenda. Prior to joining EA, he served as President and CEO of the consumer driven healthcare start-up, Revolution Heath, which ultimately merged with Everyday Health.
From 1996-2005, Pleasants served in various capacities at Ticketmaster and parent company Interactive Corp (IAC). He served as CEO of Ticketmaster from 2000-2005 (NASDAQ: TMCS for 14 quarters before going private). During his tenure as President of Information and Services at IAC, Pleasants oversaw leading online entities including Match.com, CitySearch.com, Evite.com, Entertainment Publishing and ReserveAmerica.com.
Pleasants has served on the board of two public companies: Expedia (NASDAQ: EXPE) and Ticketmaster (NASDAQ: TMCS); and twelve private companies / associations: Playdom, Revolution Health, Ticketmaster-Online Citysearch, Active.com (now NASDAQ: ACTV), Fastclick (sold to NASDAQ: VCLK), The Artists Den, The Happy Cloud, Peloton, Extend Benefits, Saatchi Online, Score Big and Show the Love LLC. He also actively invests in consumer facing start-ups.
Pleasants holds a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University and is a graduate of Harvard Business School.
He currently resides in Portola Valley, CA and is married to wonderful wife Jen, with children Jack (14), James (11) and Josie (7).
Maurice Werdegars, Advisor
President and CEO at Western Technology Investment
Maurice Werdegar joined WTI in 2001 and is currently President and CEO at the oldest & largest venture debt firm in the U.S. He led investments in companies including Facebook, Palantir, Youku, Quantcast, Invensense, 3PAR, IronPort, CV Ingenuity, PEAK Surgical, Merced Systems, Oscar Health, StitchFix, PlayStudios, and Volcano Technologies.
His background includes positions as a Venture Partner at Outlook Ventures, an early stage venture firm, and Chief Investment Officer at MetaMarkets, an online mutual fund company. Mr. Werdegar also founded and served as CEO of Left at Albuquerque, a venture-backed chain of restaurants. Prior to business school, Mr. Werdegar worked in corporate finance at Robertson Stephens. Mr. Werdegar holds both a BA and MBA from Stanford University.
Yoky Matsuoka, Advisor
Chief Technology Officer at Nest
Yoky Matsuoka joined Google [x] as one of the three founding members before taking her position as Chief Technology Officer at Nest.
Yoky grew up assuming she would become a professional tennis player.
One thing led to another, and she ended up with a B.S. from UC Berkeley and a Ph.D. from MIT in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science in the fields of Artificial Intelligence and Computational Neuroscience.
Subsequently, she became a professor at Carnegie Mellon University and later at the University of Washington developing robotic devices for rehabilitating and assisting the human body and brain. This work led her to the MacArthur Award and being named one of “The Brilliant Ten” by Popular Science Magazine and one of the “Top 10 Women to Watch in 2010” by Barbie.
Recent (2015) honors include "The Next List" by Wired Magazine and The Excellence in Achievement Award from UC Berkeley.
She is happy to have four children under age 10 and most of all enjoys cheering them on from the sidelines of their extracurricular activities.
Seong K. Ohm, Advisor
Sr. Vice President, Merchandise Business Services at Sam`s Club
Seong assumed the responsibility of leading Merchandise Business Services for Sam’s Club in February 2013. Her primary focus will be to develop merchandise service solutions for the 2nd largest warehouse club in the US which includes Financial Services and Fuel. Seong brings 25 years of experience from both retail and suppliers where 10 years have been with Walmart Stores Inc. Seong is also the Chair for the Asian Pacific Officer Caucus.
Prior to this assignment, Seong was responsible for leading the Entertainment SBU for Walmart US, which includes CE, Media and Wireless and Photo businesses. She led the team to gain market share in all categories and was awarded the Retailer of the Year for excelling in TVs, Content and Digital. Prior to this assignment, Seong was the SVP of Global Merchandising Center for Home/Hardlines/Entertainment/Toys/Seasonals businesses where she was responsible for leading our sourcing, packaging and technical areas.
Seong spent 20 months in Japan as the SVP/GMM of General Merchandise and Consumables business at Walmart Japan/ Seiyu for its 386 stores. Seong focused on transforming their General Merchandise business during her tenure while implementing EDLP. Before Japan, she spent 5 ½ years with Sam’s Club as the Sr. VP/GMM of Electronics and Office Products and DMM of Electronics. Under her leadership, Sam’s Club expanded national branded products and increased quality of products. Seong also worked at AT&T and Lucent Technologies in product management, sales operations, market intelligence and marketing. She also spent 8 years with General Electric and Thomson Consumer Electronics in various functions in Marketing.
Seong was named 15 Top Innovative Women in Business by Pink Magazine and also top 100 MBAs by the Diversity Magazine. She has a BS in Neuroscience and a MBA in Finance and Marketing from University of Rochester, and she was the alumni scholar for University of Rochester. Seong was born in South Korea and is married to Mr. Michael Ohm. They have two children, Jessica and Nicholas.