Masanori Yamato
Team

Masanori Yamato

Principal
Silicon Valley

Masa invests in startup companies in such spaces as mobility, climate/sustainability and industrial innovation and automation, which are a key to improving human quality of life and society in a sustainable manner. He also supports in growing the value of innovative technology and business of startups as well as for investors.

Before joining Translink, Masa was a Senior Advisor to Toyota Ventures, Toyota’s first corporate venture capital firm with total asset under management having grown to $500M+ since the inception in 2017. He was instrumental in establishing the firm and raising all the funds including the Climate Fund and the Frontier Fund. He led investment deals for Blackmore Sensors (ACQ: Aurora) and Realtime Robotics among others. Post investment, he leverage his network both internally and externally to have portfolio companies offering adopted by Toyota and Toyota group companiesConcurrently, he was a Senior Advisor to Toyota Research Institute where he gave strategic guidance to AI-accelerated materials discovery and AI-assisted cognition research teams. Prior to those recent assignments in Silicon Valley for 7 years, Masa had broad and deep experiences in automotive business operations at Toyota HQs ranging from engineering, production planning, HR to corporate strategy, where he led the strategic partnerships with BMW. 

He holds an MBA from Kellogg School of Management and Master of Engineering Management from McCormick School of Engineering, Northwestern University. He also earned a Master of Science in Chemistry from Osaka University after acquiring a B. S. in Chemistry from Michigan State University. Masa enjoys playing and watching basketball, hiking, visiting wine countries and reading.

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