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We are Explorers Seeking Disruptors and Innovators

Meet Toyota Ventures

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Toyota Ventures is Toyota’s first standalone early-stage venture capital firm.

Through the Toyota Ventures Frontier Fund, we invest in artificial intelligence, autonomy, mobility, robotics, cloud technology, smart cities, digital health, fintech, energy, and materials. As part of Toyota’s ongoing efforts to accelerate carbon dioxide reduction, we also invest in startups that are creating scalable solutions for carbon neutrality, as part of the Toyota Ventures Climate Fund.

The Frontier Fund

Artificial Intelligence · Autonomy · Mobility Robotics · Cloud · Smart Cities · Digital Health · Fintech · Energy · Materials

The Climate Fund

Renewable Energy · Hydrogen Production, Storage and Transport · Carbon Capture and Storage

We are on a mission to explore what’s next by helping early-stage startups bring disruptive technologies and business models to market quickly. As we pursue this goal, we are committed to finding and funding the best entrepreneurs from around the world. We value different approaches and points of view, and believe diversity drives innovation. We invite you to learn more about our portfolio, team, and approach below.

Meet Our Portfolio

Elementary Robots Portfolio Link

Blackmore Portfolio Page Link

Metawave Portfolio Page Link

Embodied Portfolio Page Link

AutoBrains Portfolio Page Link

Bipi Portfolio Page Link

Carbice Portfolio Page Link

Agtonomy Portfolio Page Link

Nori Portfolio Page Link

eZinc Portfolio Page Link

Bumblebee Spaces Portfolio Page Link

ApexAI Portfolio Page Link

Parallel Portfolio Page Link

Intuition Robotics Portfolio Page Link

BoxBot Portfolio Page Link

Moodify Portfolio Page Link

Pickle Robot Portfolio Page Link

Xona Portfolio Page Link

AM Batteries Portfolio Page Link

Alora Portfolio Page Link

Joby Portfolio Page Link

Realtime Robotics Portfolio Page Link

Perceptive Automata Portfolio Page Link

Cobalt Robotics

Skip Scooters

Ziva Portfolio Page Link

Drishti Portfolio Page Link

Stoke Space Portfolio Page Link

Ecolectro Portfolio Page Link

Air Company Portfolio Page Link

Third Wave Portfolio Page Link

May Mobility Portfolio Page Link

Slamcore Portfolio Page Link

Freedom Robotics Portfolio Page Link

Revel Portfolio Page Link

SummerBio Portfolio Page Link

Common Sense Portfolio Page Link

Teller Portfolio Page Link

Brilliant Planet Portfolio Page Link

Kolors Portfolio Page Link

AGORUS Portfolio Page Link

Sea Machines Portfolio Page Link

Nauto Portfolio Page Link

Connected Signals Portfolio Page Link

Recogni Portfolio Page Link

YPC Technologies Portfolio Page Link

Universal Hydrogen Portfolio Page Link

Near Space Labs Portfolio Page Link

Burro Portfolio Page Link

Atomic Industries Portfolio Page Link

ION Portfolio Page Link

Learn more about the game-changing companies we’re partnering with.

View Our Portfolio

Who We Are

Chris Abshire Isay Acenas Jim Adler Hidehiko Banshoya Hannah Cho Lisa Coca Evan Cohen Marilyn Conlan Carlo Cruz Erin Keller Joan Lee Natalie Fonseca Licciardi Nihal Maunder Hiroshi Miyahara Maggie Mouat Rishi Raman Sahil Segal Darren Smith Ethan Sohn Kiana Washington Si Ian Xie

Investment Board

Jim Adler Kelly Kay Gill Pratt Bob Wolfe

Advisor Network

Terence Craig Jennifer Haroon Evan Kaplan Miki Kapoor Chris Shipley
READ: Toyota Ventures on Medium
Full-Stack, Digital Home Construction: Our Investment in AGORUS
Jim Adler June 30

How We Work

Mission-driven

Founder-first

Toyota Expertise

Global Reach

Leveraging the deep technical expertise and global resources of Toyota, our team offers Toyota Ventures portfolio companies strategic support and operational guidance in business development, product, fundraising, marketing, executive coaching, and other areas. We are also dedicated to embracing and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts within our portfolio and the larger VC industry through efforts like the Diversity VC Standard.

The entrepreneurs who partner with us receive much more than money. Their success is our success, and we support them at every step of their journey — while giving them the freedom and flexibility they need to experiment and grow their businesses. We look for both financial returns and strategic value, and firmly believe that financial returns must precede strategic value.

We look for innovators who have the courage, humility, and tenacity to tackle important challenges we have yet to solve. It’s the same spirit of innovation that inspired Toyota founder Kiichiro Toyoda and his team to devote themselves to transforming Toyota from a loom maker to an automotive manufacturer in the 1930’s. And it is this same vision that continues to drive Toyota today.

If you are the founder of an early-stage company developing solutions in other areas we invest in and you’re looking for funding, you are also invited to complete our online pitch form. For those who are seeking growth-stage capital, we encourage you to visit our colleagues at Woven Capital, the growth-stage investment fund of Woven Planet.

With the new capital infusion into the Frontier Fund comes an expansion of Toyota Ventures’ core thesis…”

[Toyota] is beefing up its four-year-old investment arm…with the addition of the $150 million Frontier Fund and the $150 million Climate Fund…”

Toyota Ventures is on the lookout for promising, small startups with technology that could eventually be both lucrative and potentially benefit the automaker’s global operations.”

Bob Wolfe

Board Member

Bob Wolfe has more than 30 years of experience in investment banking, finance, and investment management. Since 2008, he has been the principal of Windy Point, LLC, a private investment and strategic consulting firm. He is currently chairman of Red Lion Hotels Corporation, and a board member of Symetra, Inc.

From 2002 to 2008, he was a partner at Northwest Venture Associates (NWVA), a venture capital fund that invested exclusively in companies based in the Pacific Northwest. Prior to his time at NWVA, Bob was president and chief operating officer of Toronto-based GT Group Telecom, which was Canada’s largest independent local exchange carrier.

He received a bachelor’s degree from Washington State University and a master’s degree in business administration from Pacific Lutheran University.

Gill Pratt

Board Member

Dr. Gill Pratt is the chief executive officer of Toyota Research Institute, a research and development enterprise designed to bridge the gap between fundamental research and product development. He also serves as the executive technical advisor to Toyota Motor Corporation.

Dr. Pratt joined Toyota from the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) where he served as a program manager in the Defense Sciences Office. Prior to that, he was a professor and the associate dean of faculty affairs and research at Franklin W. Olin College.

He holds a doctorate in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was an associate professor and director of the Leg Lab.

Jim Adler

Founding Managing Director and Board Member

Jim Adler is the founding managing director of Toyota Ventures, and an executive advisor at Toyota Research Institute (TRI). He also serves on the Investment Committee of JetBlue Technology Ventures, and he is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Toyota Financial Savings Bank and the Department of Homeland Security Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee.

Jim joined Toyota Ventures from TRI, where he served as vice president of data and business development. Prior to that, Jim was vice president of products and marketing at Metanautix, a big data analytics startup funded by Sequoia Capital and Workday that was acquired by Microsoft.

Previously, Jim was the vice president of data systems and chief privacy officer at Intelius, which was acquired by H.I.G. Capital. In addition, he founded VoteHere, a pioneer in cryptographic secure and secret online voting for public elections that was funded by Cisco and HP, among others. Jim started his career as a rocket engineer for Lockheed Martin.

He received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering with high honors from the University of Florida, and a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of California, San Diego.

Kelly Kay

Board Member

Kelly Kay is the chief finance officer at Toyota Research Institute (TRI), responsible for finance, human resources, IT, legal/compliance, facilities, and overall operations. Kelly joined TRI in February 2017 and formerly served as the chief operating officer.

Prior to TRI, Kelly served as the vice president of business operations at Lyft, Inc., where she built and led the teams responsible for regulatory compliance, audit & reporting, payments & fraud, and airport operations. She also served as the chief operating officer and president of YapStone, Inc. Prior to serving as an operational leader, she was an attorney for more than 19 years, working at companies such as MasterCard, eBay, PayPal and J.P. Morgan (previously Banc One).

She attended The Ohio State University and Capital University Law School where she graduated summa cum laude.

Natalie Fonseca Licciardi

Managing Partner

Natalie Fonseca Licciardi is a managing partner at Toyota Ventures, responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations, including portfolio support, diversity and inclusion initiatives, marketing and communications, and business management. She is a key member of the executive team, helping to define and refine the firm’s strategy.

Prior to joining Toyota Ventures, Natalie consulted with the Toyota Research Institute on data policy and governance. She was also founder and CEO of SageScape, a boutique events and marketing agency specializing in the technology industry, and co-founder and executive producer of Tech Policy Summit and Privacy Identity Innovation. She has worked with several tech startups and media companies, including Vox Media where she served as head of conference development and marketing, and Recode where she led marketing and audience development.

She received a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Chris Abshire

Senior Associate, Frontier Fund

Chris Abshire is a senior associate at Toyota Ventures, responsible for sourcing startups, evaluating opportunities, negotiating, and closing investments.

Prior to joining Toyota Ventures, Chris was on the investment team at Fenox Venture Capital, where he led the U.S. due diligence process and market research activities. He also was executive director of the firm’s Startup World Cup event, a platform that created innovation opportunities for startup ecosystems around the world.

He received a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Kansas, where he received the CPE Outstanding Academic Achievement Award for graduating at the top of his class.

Darren Smith

Senior Finance Manager

Darren is the senior finance manager at Toyota Ventures, responsible for management of funds, portfolio valuation, and other business operations.

Darren joins Toyota Ventures from a finance and accounting consulting role at The Siegfried Group, where he assisted clients with financial due diligence for a variety of acquisitions. He also led merger and acquisition integration work and provided divestiture support, reporting to the management team. Previously, he held roles in Deloitte’s M&A Transaction Services group, and PwC’s Audit and Assurance group.

He received a bachelor’s degree in commerce from the University of Alberta and holds his Chartered Accountant and Chartered Professional Accountant designations.

Marilyn Conlan

Executive Assistant

Marilyn Conlan is executive assistant to Jim Adler, and is responsible for managing scheduling and ensuring that Toyota Ventures runs smoothly on a daily basis.

Previously, Marilyn worked at a private equity firm in San Francisco, and at a hedge fund and asset management fund in New York City. Prior to working in finance, she held several roles in the non-profit sector, including as an executive director with Habitat for Humanity and a community organizer with Catholic Charities. Several of the programs she helped to establish and fund are still serving communities in New York and Washington.

She received a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from The George Washington University, and a master’s degree in communication from Washington State University.

Anton Molodetskiy

Communications Manager

Anton Molodetskiy is the communications manager for Toyota Ventures, responsible for developing content and driving brand awareness and media outreach for the firm.

Anton joins Toyota Ventures with eight years of experience in the public relations industry, having worked for several high tech PR agencies in Silicon Valley. He has crafted communications programs for technology companies of all sizes, helping them tell their stories in relevant and interesting ways.

Most recently, he was a senior account supervisor at Lumina Communications, working with companies in the virtual reality (VR), intent-based networking, and martech industries. Prior to that, he was an account manager at Bhava Communications, where he supported VR, augmented reality, and open-source startups. Anton also helped create PR plans for software, telecommunications, and semiconductor clients while at LEWIS PR San Francisco and the Hoffman Agency.

He received a bachelor’s degree in public relations from San Jose State University.

Erin Keller

Senior Associate, Frontier Fund

Erin Keller is a senior associate at Toyota Ventures, responsible for sourcing startups, evaluating opportunities, and working with portfolio companies post-investment.

Prior to joining Toyota Ventures, Erin was on the investment team at Yamaha Motor Ventures, where she led diligence efforts in the urban mobility, medtech, and agtech sectors. She also spent four years in the startup space before transitioning into venture capital.

Erin received a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology with a minor in engineering and management.

Joan Lee

Director of Marketing & Events

Joan Lee is director of marketing and events at Toyota Ventures, responsible for managing campaigns, content development, and events.

Prior to joining Toyota Ventures, Joan was the head of partnerships marketing for tech entrepreneurs at Indiegogo. She has also held marketing roles at a variety of media and publishing companies, including the Walt Disney Company, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Penguin.

Joan received a bachelor’s degree in English and mass communications at the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Oxford, Saïd Business School.

Sahil Segal

Portfolio Engagement Director, Frontier Fund

Sahil Segal is a portfolio engagement director at Toyota Ventures, responsible for working with startups in the Frontier Fund and developing and implementing programs that add value to portfolio companies.

Prior to joining Toyota Ventures, Sahil led startup scouting for Deloitte Consulting’s mobility practice. He has held roles at The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and served on an advisory committee of the World Economic Forum, focusing on the role of cybersecurity within startups. Sahil also co-founded TrekConnect, a platform that connected travelers to locals for hyper-customized vacations.

Sahil received a dual degree in finance and Spanish from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in business administration from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

Nihal Maunder

Analyst, Frontier Fund

Nihal Maunder is an analyst on the investment team, responsible for sourcing startups, evaluating opportunities, and working on internal technical projects.

Prior to joining Toyota Ventures, Nihal worked at Johnson Controls’ innovation lab alongside the artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning team, where he built full-stack solutions. He also co-founded an startup in the talent acquisition space and participated in the FreeVentures and SkyDeck startup accelerator programs at the University of California, Berkeley.

Nihal received a bachelor’s degree in data science from UC Berkeley.

Carlo Cruz

Portfolio Engagement Manager, Frontier Fund

Carlo Cruz is a portfolio engagement manager at Toyota Ventures, responsible for supporting startups and assisting with the development of programs that add value to the portfolio.

Prior to joining Toyota Ventures, Carlo led the Future Factory team at Toyota Motor North America’s (TMNA) TILT Lab, an internal makerspace that identifies key strategic problems and evaluates emerging technologies in manufacturing. He originally joined TMNA production engineering in 2012 as a paint shop engineer working across various manufacturing centers. Carlo’s responsibilities included construction project management and multiple collaborations with early-stage startups and large enterprises to advance the development of future factories.

Carlo received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Cincinnati, where he was also a Darwin T. Turner diversity scholar.

Si Ian Xie

Fund Accountant

Si Ian is the fund accountant at Toyota Ventures, responsible for supporting the finance group with the management of funds, portfolio valuation, and other business operations.

Prior to joining Toyota Ventures, she was a fund accountant at HC Global Fund Services, LLC. Before that, she was a staff accountant at Navolio & Tallman, LLP.

Si Ian received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Boston University and a master’s degree in accountancy from Golden Gate University.

Hidehiko Banshoya

Senior Coordinator, Frontier Fund

Hidehiko Banshoya serves as a senior coordinator at Toyota Ventures. His responsibilities include facilitating strategic relationships between our portfolio companies and Toyota, as well as providing ongoing support to portfolio companies.

Prior to joining Toyota Ventures, Hidehiko worked as a powertrain design engineer at Toyota Motor Corporation, where he was responsible for the design and development of industry-leading hybrid transmissions, automatic transmissions, and turbocharged engines. In addition to planning and designing state-of-the-art powertrains, he has held key roles supporting North American suppliers in developing localized components, as well as providing engineering support for racing applications.

Hidehiko has a bachelor’s degree in engineering and a master’s degree in science, both from the University of Tokyo.

Terence Craig

Advisor

Terence Craig is a hands-on early-stage investor, serial entrepreneur, and advisor to venture funds with expertise in deep technology/AI, femtech, SaaS, digital health, B2B, medical devices, and big data. In addition, he specializes in investing in and supporting diverse founders and emerging fund managers. His investingthesis is straightforward: Given the consistent research on the higher returns from diverse managers and teams, diversity is not just a social good; it is a fiduciary responsibility.

An experienced technologist, speaker and author, Terence has founded multiple companies and has served as the chief technology officer at multiple venture-backed companies, including the Mayfield-funded Consensys Software and several pioneering enterprise and big data software companies.

Terence was one of the earliest Black CEOs and founders to raise venture capital, and he uses that experience and expertise to improve the startup ecosystem. His goal has been to support other “non-traditional” founders in navigating the startup landscape. His efforts to increase inclusion in the startup ecosystem led Terence to join the executive team at Astia Angels, where he ran a pilot investment program to support women of color.

Jennifer Haroon

Advisor

Jennifer Haroon is an experienced operator, executive and board member. She is currently thechief financial officer atStandard Cognition. Previously she wasan executive-in-residence at Greylock Partners and prior to that, the chief operating officer and interim chief financial officer at Nauto, responsible for teams as diverse as finance, data analytics, business operations, people and talent, customer support & installation, international sales, business development, and PR and communications.

Before Nauto, Jennifer was the head of business operations for the Google Self-driving Car Project (now Waymo), focusing on strategy and business development. She also spent six years at Google, working on CSquared, a wholesale metro fiber optic network business in Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as many of Google’s early health-related initiatives.

Prior to Google, Jennifer was a project leader at Boston Consulting Group and an equity research associate at Thomas Weisel Partners. She received her bachelor of science degree from Duke University and her master’s in business administration from Haas School of Business at University of California, Berkeley.

Evan Kaplan

Advisor

Evan Kaplan is a passionate entrepreneur and technology leader with more than 20 years of experience in the CEO role. He currently serves as CEO at InfluxData. Evan’s career spans from creating startups in his own garage to leading NASDAQ-listed companies generating nearly $200M in annual revenue.

Prior to InfluxData, Evan served as executive-in-residence at Trinity Ventures. He was also president and CEO at global Wi-Fi connectivity leader iPass Corporation, and the founder, Chairman, and CEO at Aventail Corporation, a pioneer of SSL VPNs (now part of Dell Corporation).

Miki Kapoor

Advisor

Miki Kapoor is a healthcare executive with a history of scaling companies at strategic inflection points, serving as CEO, president, co-founder, and board member for several healthcare companies that have been acquired and gone public while he has been at the helm. He is currently an operating partner at Linden Capital Partners.

Previously, Miki co-founded and served as the president and CEO of Verana Health, a healthcare technology company that has assembled the largest clinical databases in medicine. Prior to Verana Health, he was CEO of Tea Leaves Health, a software-as-a-service healthcare data company that was acquired by Welltok. Miki also served as president of Everyday Health, which was acquired by J2 Global.

Prior to Everyday Health, Miki served as the head of the global payer and provider division for IMS Health. He has also served as executive vice president for the Clinton Foundation while living in Africa and India, and has in-depth experience advising healthcare executives for approximately a decade at McKinsey & Company and on Wall Street.

Miki attended graduate school at Yale University, where he received both a master’s degree in business administration iand of public health. He is a graduate of Washington University in Saint Louis, where he received a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences. A Fulbright Fellow and formerly a visiting professor at two universities, he serves on the boards of several healthcare organizations.

Chris Shipley

Advisor

A leading technology analyst for more than 30 years, Chris Shipley is passionate about entrepreneurship as the driver of innovation, economic growth, and restorative sustainability. She has built a career identifying innovative startups that create markets and drive positive and disruptive change. As the executive producer of the DEMO conference from 1996 to 2009, Chris helped more than 1,500 companies make their market debut. If those companies were a portfolio, they would have a combined market value of more than $300 billion.

Chris began her career at Ziff-Davis, where she worked as a writer and editor for 12 years before joining International Data Group to lead DEMO. Chris co-founded two companies, including the startup media and consulting firm Guidewire Labs. She is currently a partner at CR Strategy Consulting, collaborating with corporate and venture capital clients to innovate at startup speed.

Her work has won numerous citations, including the prestigious SVForum Visionary Award in 2010. Chris sits on the governing and advisory boards of a number of high-impact early-stage companies. She holds bachelor’s degrees in literature and communication arts from Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania.

Lisa Coca

Partner, Climate Fund

Lisa Coca is a partner for Toyota Ventures where she leads the firm’s Climate Fund, which focuses on investing in innovative solutions for carbon neutrality.

Prior to Toyota, Lisa served as a managing director and entrepreneur-in-residence with Intel’s emerging growth and incubations division where she led teams creating disruptive new businesses. Lisa was also a founding member of GE Ventures, responsible for launching and leading the enterprise software investment practice, as well as the EDGE program, a platform for portfolio companies to leverage the global scale, expertise, and resources of GE.

Previously, Lisa developed her passion for climate as the global sustainability and Ecomagination leader for GE real estate where she launched a program to leverage technology and operating best practices to reduce the environmental impact of its assets and improve financial performance. She has also held multiple roles focused on strategy, innovation and new businesses. Lisa started her career as a financial analyst on Wall Street.

She serves on the boards of BizWorld and the Girls Middle School. She is also an independent board director for Broadscale Acquisition Corporation. Lisa graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with Honors, and earned an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Isay Acenas

Analyst, Climate Fund

Isay Acenas is an analyst on the Toyota Ventures Climate Fund investment team, responsible for sourcing startups and evaluating opportunities in carbon neutrality.

Prior to joining Toyota Ventures, Isay worked in venture capital at Tamar Capital, a family-owned office in San Francisco. Along with researching climate tech investments, she developed content for Tamar Capital’s Le Studio startup program.

As an undergraduate student, Isay served as a visiting researcher for climate modeling at the Center for Global Sea Level Change in Abu Dhabi, where she was a U.S. delegate to the United Nations Climate Meeting. She has led research and innovation projects across Australia, Southeast Asia, and the United Arab Emirates involving agriculture technology, sea level rise modeling, and marine instrumentation.

Isay received a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from New York University, graduating with honors.

Hiroshi Miyahara

Senior Coordinator

Hiroshi Miyahara serves as a senior coordinator at Toyota Ventures. His responsibilities include facilitating strategic relationships between our portfolio companies and Toyota as part of the Toyota Ventures Climate Fund, as well as providing ongoing support to portfolio companies.

Hiroshi joins Toyota Ventures from Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) where he has worked for over 10 years. Most recently, Hiroshi managed investor relations in the accounting and finance group where he focused on communicating with investors and rating agencies to help them understand Toyota’s competitiveness from business, financial, and technological perspectives. His previous roles include supporting the office of the president for Toyota Leasing Thailand, and cash planning and fund management for the finance division at TMC.

He received a bachelor’s degree in commerce and management from Hitotsubashi University.

Maggie Mouat

Communications Manager

Maggie Mouat is a communications manager at Toyota Ventures, responsible for content development, coordinating marketing initiatives, spearheading thought leadership and media campaigns, as well as supporting internal operations.

Prior to joining Toyota Ventures, Maggie served as a senior account executive at Antenna Group, an integrated communications and marketing firm, where she supported the communications needs of a range of startups within the advanced mobility and clean energy ecosystem. She also held public relations positions at Mission Control Communications, a strategic communications agency supporting planet-first pioneers at the intersections of clean energy, advanced mobility, renewable resources and sustainable infrastructure. Her key responsibilities included content development and creation, social media campaigns, media relations and client messaging strategy.

She received a bachelor’s degree in media and journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Hannah Cho

Program Associate

Hannah Cho is a program associate at Toyota Ventures, on assignment from Toyota Financial Services (TFS).

Hannah started with TFS in 2017 as an MBA intern within the finance analytics group, rejoining the company as a graduate management team member in 2018. Since then, she has held roles in sales and insurance analytics, corporate finance, and most recently, the office of competitiveness.

Prior to Toyota, Hannah worked in corporate accounting at Abatix Corp. She also spent two years managing Tous les Jours Bakery, her family’s business, where she learned about entrepreneurship firsthand.

She received a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Denver, a master’s degree in accounting from the University of Texas at Dallas, and a master’s in business administration MBA from Southern Methodist University.

Phil Mountain

Program Associate

Phil Mountain is a program associate at Toyota Ventures, on assignment from Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK).

Prior to joining Toyota Ventures, Phil developed new model vehicles, pioneered autonomous inspection, and led new technology development projects for Toyota’s manufacturing organization. He began his career at Toyota through a co-op while attending the University of Louisville’s Speed School of Engineering. Since that time, Phil has held several quality and production engineering roles within the company, and has helped develop and sustain the Toyota Highlander, Camry, Avalon, and Lexus ES350 models through supplier management, part quality analysis, and manufacturing validation.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in business economics and successfully defended his thesis to earn a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, both from the University of Louisville.

Ethan Sohn

Associate, Climate Fund

Ethan Sohn is an associate on the Toyota Ventures Climate Fund investment team, responsible for sourcing startups, evaluating opportunities, and negotiating and closing investments.

Prior to joining Toyota Ventures, Ethan worked in the global energy, power and utilities investment banking group at TD Securities, advising on mergers and acquisitions transactions for power and renewable companies, regulated utilities, and financial investors. Prior to TD, Ethan worked at Siemens Financial Services, where he was responsible for underwriting and portfolio management of project finance debt across power and renewable assets. Ethan began his career as a power markets consultant at Siemens Energy Business Advisory (formerly known as Pace Global).

He received a bachelor’s degree in international political economy from Georgetown University, graduating with honors.

Rishi Raman

Analyst, Frontier Fund

Rishi Raman is an analyst on the investment team, responsible for sourcing startups and evaluating opportunities for the Frontier Fund.

Rishi joins Toyota Ventures from Clerk.dev, an early-stage developer tool startup, where he led go-to-market. Prior to that, he founded an AI analytics startup named Intelligent Services, which was backed by YCombinator and Liquid2. Rishi was also an early employee at Talkdesk, a telecommunications startup backed by DFJ, Viking Global and others. At Talkdesk, he launched and grew AppConnect, an integrated partner marketplace.

He received a bachelor’s degree in human development and aging from the University of Southern California.

Evan Cohen

Portfolio Engagement Director, Climate Fund

Evan Cohen is a portfolio engagement director at Toyota Ventures, responsible for supporting the Climate Fund portfolio companies.

Prior to joining Toyota Ventures, Evan was the accelerator manager for SVG Ventures where he oversaw the development and execution of the award-winning THRIVE Accelerator. He had previously run the cleantech cohort of the Canadian Technology Accelerator, and founded its agtech cohort.

Evan started his career in the United States Marine Corps, where he served in multiple leadership positions at the infantry team, squad and platoon level. Following his time on active duty and deployment to Iraq, he worked in politics as a member of the Obama Administration serving as a political appointee at both the White House and U.S. Department of Energy. He was previously a fellow with both the Clean Energy Leadership Institute and On Deck Climate Tech.

Kiana Washington

MBA Venture Intern, Frontier Fund

Kiana Washington is joining Toyota Ventures for the 2022 summer as an MBA venture intern. She is responsible for sourcing startups, evaluating opportunities, and conducting market research for the Frontier Fund.

Kiana is a fellow in the HBCUvc 2022 program and, prior to joining Toyota Ventures, she was an intern at Precursor Ventures. She was also previously an investment fellow at Purple Sage Ventures, and held finance roels at Merrill Lynch and Bank of America.

She is an MBA candidate at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan where she holds director roles in the Black Student Association and Women Who Launch. She received a bachelor’s degree in finance from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

Contact us

Toyota Ventures
4440 El Camino Real
Los Altos, CA 94022 info@toyota.ventures

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