OUR TEAM BLENDS LONG EXPERIENCE OF TECH REVOLUTIONS, MEDIA, RESEARCH AND ENTERTAINMENT WITH DEEP DOMAIN EXPERTISE IN BIO, PHARMA AND NEUROSCIENCES.
WE HAVE PARTNERS IN SAN FRANCISCO, SILICON VALLEY, NEW YORK, BOSTON, AUSTIN, RENO, AND TOKYO.
William Lohse is an industry pioneer, having begun his career in the days of pre-Apple hobbyist computers. After founding and selling TimeLine software company to Symantec, he became the turn-around publisher of PC Magazine and president of Ziff Davis Publishing. Lohse founded Ziff/SOFTBANK Forums. In 1990, he began Software Venture Partners, an angel fund which, among other unicorns, invested in the first round of Pinterest. Bill started venture investing in 2010, which led to the founding of the Social Starts fund in 2012.
Mike Edelhart is also the Managing Partner of Social Starts VC partnership. A pioneering media and startup executive, Mike was the original Executive Editor of PC Magazine and founding editor of other Ziff-Davis computer magazines, as well as the ZD Labs, and later was Executive Vice President at Ziff. Mike was CEO at many startups, including Olive Software, Inman News and Zinio. Mike was a partner at Redleaf, a VC fund. At SoftBank, Mike directed content for the Seybold, Interop and Comdex conferences and launched new businesses. Mike consulted to Bloomberg, Reuters and AARP and has authored more than 20 books.
Taku Nakahara is a bioinformatics geek, an entrepreneur and a new business developer for startups and large enterprises. Taku also serves on a board of a startup accelerator helping super-early technology startups all over Japan. Taku holds a Ph.D. in Bioinformatics from Hokkaido University, Japan and an MBA degree from Rutgers Business School, USA.
Toshi Eguchi is CEO of DMX Ventures, Inc., a subsidiary of a major Japanese consumer goods company, where he leads investments in US-based startups. Toshi has 20+ years of experience in manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and consumer goods. He began his career at Kawasaki Heavy Industries, where he led a successful turnaround effort for a major business group and built the task force that brought the bullet train to China. At Eli Lilly Japan, Toshi was responsible for finance and strategy for the manufacturing division. Prior to DMX, Toshi led strategic growth initiatives spanning 20+ countries at DMX’s parent company.
Chief Operating Officer
Kevin Dasch has 20 years of experience in tech companies in software, social media and gaming. With his leadership, both Mass Relevance (before merging with Spredfast) and IMVU grew to over 100 employees and tens of millions in revenue. Prior to moving into the startup world, Kevin ran the corporate strategy group at Dell Inc. Kevin holds a BA in History from Princeton University and an MBA in Finance and Accounting from The McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. Kevin is an avid reader of American history, a fan of the Texas Longhorns, and a very amateur golfer.
Andrew Nealon has been managing technology development in New York City for over a decade. Before Joyance, he was the principal of operations for the New York development firm Insert Culture, which he founded to serve band’s growing API and data development needs. He and his wife split time between Brooklyn and a 120-year-old farm in the Hudson Valley. He holds an MS in Media Management and Theory from the New School, and a BA in Speech and Rhetoric from Oregon State University.
Prior to Social Starts, Jon spent 7 years with the Advisory Board Company in internal strategy, operating, and consulting capacities. At the Advisory Board and Education Advisory Board, Jon guided teams on new product launches, proforma analysis, staffing optimization, market research and segmentation, and platform strategies in the healthcare provider and edtech realms while also working in operating capacities for the full suite of products offered. Jon holds a BSE in Operations Research and Financial Engineering from Princeton University and an MBA from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.
Brett G. Durrett has over 25 years of executive experience in Consumer Products, Online Social, Communication Platforms, Expressive Communication, Avatars, 3D, Virtual Worlds, and Games. He served as CEO at the IMVU, where he was previously Senior Vice President of Engineering and Operations. A startup entrepreneur that knows how to scale a company, Brett leads companies from the “six people in a garage” stage, growing them to to 150+ employee businesses. Brett was also founder and CEO of the game developer Asylum Entertainment. He and his family split their time between San Francisco and New Orleans, two-thirds of Tennessee Williams’s favorite American cities.
Chris is a Director of Product at Vimeo, where he oversees the OTT product suite. He is deeply passionate about building great products, teams, and companies. Prior to their acquisition by Vimeo, Chris worked with the VHX team to launch several video products. Before that, he managed new product development for Samsung’s NYC R&D lab, and helped build Shelby.tv, which was acquired by Samsung in 2014 to help build the future of TV. When he’s not working with startups or building products, you can find Chris teaching at Cornell Tech, playing a game of DOTA2, or writing riffs on his guitar. Chris lives in New York with his wife and son.
Nicole Staudinger has more than a decade of experience helping companies refine, streamline, and optimize their communications systems. Most recently, she consulted with the Journalism Accelerator, where she pioneered the organization’s social media program and facilitated community networking to encourage sustainability practices for journalists. Nicole implements change through innovative media strategy by contributing her time and expertise to a variety of nonprofits. She is also the Marketing Director for Social Starts VC Partnership.