Tom “TK” KueglerCo-founder and general partner of Wasabi Ventures
Tom “TK” Kuegler
Tom “TK” Kuegler is the co-founder and general partner of Wasabi Ventures. Wasabi Ventures is an venture capital, incubator, and consulting firm that specializes in building and advising early stage technology companies. In the last 10 years, Wasabi Ventures has built, financed, and advised over 200 start-ups including some wildly successful ventures like Right Now Technologies, PBworks, Ustream, and Etherpad.
In the 1990s, TK was the co-founder of two successful Internet startups, SNT and SpinBox.
TK is the author of all three editions of the highly acclaimed book Web Advertising and Marketing. He has authored dozens of articles about the Internet and been published in leading publications like inc.com and ClickZ. TK spends a great deal of time lecturing at colleges, seminars, companies, and conferences about the corporate benefits of utilizing interactive technologies. He currently sits on the Board of Sponsors of Sellinger School of Business at Loyola University Maryland. He has presented at hundreds of events on a wide array of topics about economics, entrepreneurism, technology, and management.
Chris YehCo-founder and general partner of Wasabi Ventures
Chris Yeh was on the founding team of pioneering Internet companies such as United Online Services (Nasdaq: UNTD) and Merrill Lynch’s Intelligent Technologies Group. He has founded, advised, or invested in dozens of startups, including Ustream and PBworks.
Chris is a much-quoted thought leader in the field of marketing and entrepreneurship; his research and publications have been incorporated into the Harvard Business School curriculum, while his projects have received press coverage in Fortune, the Financial Times, and the New York Times. He writes a popular blog on entrepreneurship and venture capital, Adventures in Capitalism and contributes to blogs such as TechCrunch and VentureBeat. Chris holds two degrees from Stanford University, and earned his MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was named a Baker Scholar (High Distinction).
Ken MiyanagiSenior Analyst
Ken Miyanagi joined Wasabi Ventures as a senior analyst in June 2013, where he sources deals and builds relationships with other angels, angel groups, and VC firms.
He also works hard to build better ties with the Japanese community in Silicon Valley with hopes of making the Japanese economy more entrepreneurial in the long run.
He has seven years of commodity trading, business development, and investment business experiences at Mitsui & Co., Japan's biggest investment/trading firm. He managed $200M of global trading, where he achieved record results, and lead eight sales teams successfully. He also led a $70M merger and merger integration. He also analyzed more than 300 companies' financial statements and contracts.
Ken holds a BS in Civil Engineering from Kansai University, and an MS in Informatics from Kyoto University. He also completed the first year of the MBA program at Tuck as part of an exchange program with Dartmouth University.
His dream is to create an ecosystem where every researcher at Universities, Colleges, and any other learning institutes can start a company, taking advantage of his/her technology, and contribute to making the world a better place.
Entrepreneurs in Residence (EiR)
Brandon F. StauberTechnology Firestarter and Startup Enthusiast
Brandon F. Stauber
Brandon Stauber brings 20 years of business and entrepreneurial experience with an emphasis in the Internet, start-up and technology operations. Most recently, Stauber founded the highly successful flash-retail wine website The Wine Spies in 2007 (having sold his interest in the business in late 2012).
Mr. Stauber began his career in economic development in the Los Angeles area after receiving a Masters of Public Policy from the University of Southern California with an emphasis in international relations. While working towards his Masters, Stauber worked in commercial real estate and was a licensed agent in California. His early economic development career focused on facilitating the growth of technology businesses by providing an array of services, consulting and financial assistance to displaced aerospace and defense industry engineers during the post Cold War realignment of the early 1990s.
Stauber later transitioned into the budding Internet field having been recruited by the third Internet company in Los Angeles and then spending a few years in Silicon Valley at the hay-day of the Internet bubble in the custom e-commerce development arena and eventually returning to Los Angeles in 1999 to found iNetEvents, an software-as-a-service (or application service provider) company that provided event, conference and seminar management services via the Internet which was merged/sold in 2004.
Stauber has a certain Joie de vivre, having recently relocated to New Hampshire in 2010 in search of a real quality of life. Both civically, intellectually and physically active Stauber is a world traveler, cook, foodie and wineaux. Making Exeter his home, you can often find him in town participating in town meetings, mingling at local establishments, traversing the woods on his mountain bike or even travelling the four corners of the world.
Joel RobinsonEntrepreneur in Residence
Originally joining Wasabi Ventures as a junior analyst in 2012, Joel is now an Entrepreneur-in-Residence. Joel has been involved with a number of small startups and is currently exploring the group-buying space. Joel’s interests include eco-friendly architecture, hip-hop music, and statistics. A member of Lehigh University’s class of 2014, Joel has a concentration in analytical finance.
You can reach Joel by e-mail at email@example.com
Drew WagnerEntrepreneur in Residence
Originally joining Wasabi Ventures during his senior year of high school as part of experiential learning program in Baltimore County, Drew is now an Entrepreneur-in-Residence. Drew is an active member of the ed-tech space in his local community. His startup, SwitchNote, will help students collaborate outside of the classroom. Drew is an undergraduate at Loyola University Maryland majoring in finance.
You can reach Drew at firstname.lastname@example.org
Entrepreneurs in Residence (EiR) Emeritus
Bobby TouranEntrepreneur in Residence
Bobby is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence. Previously, he was a Venture Partner with Wasabi Ventures – specializing in consumer internet startups. Bobby graduated from McGill University in 2008, where he studied Economics and Management. In his spare time, he enjoys tennis and skiing. His startup, ApplyKit, intends to disrupt the college readiness market. Reach out to Bobby: email@example.com
Alex HollisEntrepreneur in Residence
As a Teach For America alum with experience at a successful, Boston-based e-commerce company, Alex has a strong passion for education reform coupled with a background in business management. Alex started his Wasabi Ventures career as the EduTech Venture Partner where he performed outreach, in the EduTech start-up communities on a global basis to bring prospective edutech portfolio companies into the WV process.
Alex has since become the CEO of Wasabi portfolio company, TestSoup, which builds mobile and online test prep for niche exams and certifications.
Alex is a Massachusetts native and graduated Loyola University Maryland with a concentration in Finance.
You can reach Alex by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Venture Team Members
Nick DaleyVenture Partner West Coast
Recently moving into the venture capital industry, Nick will focus on consulting and business development in the San Francisco Bay area. Nick’s role at WV is to identify prospective portfolio companies, opportunities, and entrepreneurs to bring into the WV incubation process. Once identified, Nick will then manage, coach, and support the team utilizing the resources of WV to achieve sustainability and success.
Nick graduated from the University of Alabama, where he studied Finance with a concentration in Investment Management.
He is an avid sports fan and enjoys snowboarding and golf in his spare time.
Ashton BraunVenture Partner
Ashton began his entrepreneurial career while studying at the National University of Singapore, where he worked to create a physical commodity trading firm headquartered in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He has international experience working with entrepreneurs, foreign officials and international organizations. Ashton has experience working with technology startups, having helped accelerate early stage startups in the Silicon Valley, Vancouver and the greater Boston area. Ashton’s role at Wasabi Ventures is to identify early stage ventures & promising talent and to assist our investments in business development, team building and management. He has worked for the United States Senate and holds a BA from the University of British Columbia, where he concentrated his studies in International Relations and Globalized Political Economy.
You can reach Ashton by e-mail at email@example.com
Jeka KiselyovDirector of Engineering
Evgeniy "Jeka" Kiselyov studied at the Intelligent System Software Department at Donetsk State Institute of Artificial Intelligence. As the Director of Engineering, Jeka oversees all engineering efforts for portfolio companies at Wasabi Ventures.
You can reach Jeka by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Evgeniy CherkasovDirector of Design/UI
Evgeniy "Che" Cherkasov graduated from Donetsk State Institute of Artificial Intelligence for specialty "Intelligent System Software". He also studied web design at the Donetsk Computer Academy.
In his spare time, Che is an avid football fan, both playing and watching.
You can reach Che by email at: email@example.com
In addition to the management team and our extensive list of advising partners, Wasabi Ventures has assembled a complete team that can be dedicated to any startup’s operations consisting of 40+ professionals. Our capabilities include:
- Financial Analysts and Researchers
- Project and Product Management
- Multiple Teams of Engineers
- UI and Design Experts
- Sales Management
- Marketing and PR Specialists
Advisors & Friends
Ben Casnocha, Author and Entrepreneur
Ben is the author of the bestselling business book My Start-Up Life: What a (Very) Young CEO Learned on His Journey Through Silicon Valley, which the New York Times called “precocious, informative, and entertaining.” He is founder of Comcate, Inc., the leading e-government software company for small cities and counties in the U.S. Ben’s work has been featured in dozens of international media including CNN, USA Today, CNBC, and ABC’s 20/20. PoliticsOnline named him one of the “25 most influential people in the world of internet and politics.” BusinessWeek named Ben “one of America’s top young entrepreneurs.” He writes prolifically on his blog, which the San Jose Business Journal called one of the “Top 25 Blogs in Silicon Valley.” He’s a commentator for public radio’s “Marketplace.”
Ben has given 50 paid keynote addresses on business and has traveled to more than 25 countries. He also co-runs the Silicon Valley Junto, an intellectual discussion society for business and technology executives. In his free time Ben enjoys playing chess, ping-pong, reading, and writing.
Chris Wu, Vice President of Mobile Products, Snapfish
Chris runs all wireless products and solutions at Snapfish, a leading digital photography company. Prior to joining Snapfish, he was the Director of Yahoo! Mobile and built Yahoo!’s wireless business from the ground up. He is a well-known expert and speaker in the wireless space. Chris is also a former management consultant from AT Kearney and Mercer Management Consulting. He has helped companies such as Handspring, Earthlink, and Tellme to plan their wireless strategies. Chris has a BA from Harvard University where he graduated magna cum laude and an MBA from Harvard Business School where he graduated with High Distinction as a Baker Scholar.
Frans Johansson, Author, Speaker, and Consultant
Frans’ latest book, The Medici Effect, has been hailed by innovation-guru Clay Christensen as, “one of the most insightful books about managing innovation I have ever read.” He is a founder and former CEO of Inka.net, a Boston-based enterprise software company and a founder and VP of Business Development for Dola Health Systems, a health-care company in Baltimore and Sweden. He earned a BS from Brown University, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Dr. Francis Chen, Entrepreneur
Francis has been a private investor, co-founder and/or Board member of a number of high-tech companies, such as Supertek (acquired by Cray Research), EcoSystems (acquired by Compuware), Keystone Laboratories (acquired by BioScience International), Navius (acquired by Endosonics), Digital Market (acquired by Agile Software), and E-Color (acquired by Lightsurf). He was co-founder and Chairman of EastNet — an ISP in Beijing. He has more than twenty years of senior management experience in the healthcare industry (Becton-Dickingson, Baxter Healthcare, Hygeia Sciences/Tambrands). Francis graduated from Tufts University and received a doctoral degree from Harvard University.
Don Yates, Organizational Expert
Don envisions an optimal organization that is characterized by freedom, equality, community, and individual fulfillment and also delivers unparalleled customer service and exceptional results. However, we can build such an extraordinary organization only if we start with a set of beliefs that are radically different from those underlying the current hierarchical “command and control” model used in virtually all organizations today. His ideas are not just idealistic fantasy but come from ten years in the engineering/construction business and over twenty-five years of organizational consulting with startups to Fortune 100 companies. That work is itself built on an educational foundation including a Stanford BSCE, a Harvard Business School MBA, and a UCLA Graduate School of Management Ph.D. in Behavioral Science.