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, LOS ANGELES, BOSTON, PORTLAND, OREGON, AUSTIN, RENO, AND TOKYO. OUR TEAM HAILS FROM THE US, JAPAN AND CHINA.
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.
Paolo has 13 years of experience in the technology industry, with expertise in product development and strategy, international business development, and enterprise sales. He most recently ran Cisco’s Data Center Networking business development team for the region of Asia Pacific. He is an Angel investor and serves in various startup advisory roles, including mentoring at Virgin Startups and TechItalia Lab. Paolo holds an MBA from London Business School where he was recognized for excellence in asset management, and a Cum Laude MS Engineering degree from Politecnico di Torino. He loves hiking, climbing, skiing, and mountains in general. Talk to him about meditation, nutrition, training, and wellbeing if you want to see his eyes light up. Paolo speaks English, Italian, French and Spanish.
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.
Prior to Joyance Partners, Jon spent 7 years with the Advisory Board Company in internal strategy, operating, and consulting capacities. At the 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. He is also a Principal for Social Starts.
Holly is an Investment Partner working in both the US and EU. Her focus is on companies in new food, consumer packaged goods, sexual wellness, femtech, farmtech, and earth-positive manufacturing methods. Holly spent her career growing startups through early stage Sales and PR, most recently as the Chief Revenue Officer at Citia, a global content creation, storage and distribution platform servicing Fortune 500 brands including GE (global), Mastercard (US), Viacom (global), and P&G (global). Holly was raised on a farm in California where she became the first graduate of Stanford University’s online high school (EPGY OHS) and an Academic All American Volleyball Player. She later studied bioengineering at UC Berkeley and French at Georgetown University where she played DI Volleyball. When Holly isn’t investing or helping companies scale, you can find her backpacking the Sierra Nevadas or the Appalachian Trail with her dog Smoky (@smokythebeardog).
Jun has over a decade of experience in biomedical research and over four years of investment experience in venture capital. Prior to Joyance, Jun led biotech and medtech investment endeavors in venture capital firms. Jun is an entrepreneur herself, and is passionate about education and innovation. At Joyance, she focuses on biotech investment and leads the “lab projects.” Jun enjoys identifying innovative technologists and entrepreneurs and helping them build dreams from scratch. Jun received her PhD from UCLA. She is also a venture partner at Social Starts and an investor at HealthTech Capital.
Shu Tsukui previously was in charge of structuring financial products at an investment bank. He has expertise in driving corporate innovation for a large FMCG brand and is well versed in the European startup scene, with experience in early-stage company work/research across Europe. He re-entered graduate school to pursue his passion in science, earning a Ph.D. from Kyoto University in Structural Biology, with additional studies at Oxford University. Shu is a sneaker freak - ask him about sneakers and luxury brand strategy, and you'll be able to talk for hours.
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.