USJC Women+ Forum Presents: Demystifying the Funding Process

  • When

Date: May 22 (U.S.) / May 23 (Japan)
7:00pm (ET) / 4:00pm (PT) / 1:00pm (HT) / 8:00am (JT)
Virtual Event
 Please contact Aiko Harris at [email protected] if you have any questions about this event.
Please note that this event is for USJC members and TOMODACHI & ELP alumni only. This event will be recorded and made available for registrants for two weeks before it is deleted.

Have you ever wanted to learn more about how to fund or invest in a new venture? What is venture capital vs. private equity and all the levels in between? Start with this session that focuses on early stage Venture Capital. We bring together a panel of VC experts with unique experiences that cover international markets and perspectives to keep in mind for underserved and underrepresented groups such as women. This is a learning series presented by the Women+ Forum in collaboration with the USJC Investor Affinity Group.

Please feel free to submit early questions in the registration form to inform and optimize the discussion.


Noël Mika Bahamón is a C-suite executive known for driving innovation in businesses of all sizes through digital transformation and strategy. Currently she serves as Chief Marketing Officer of a portfolio company to RedBird Capital, in the high-end hospitality space. She traces her travel & leisure career back to her formative years with the Walt Disney Company, in International Business Development and as a creative executive in Imagineering. As a native-Japanese speaker who understands the importance of cultural sensitivities, she oversaw further development of Tokyo Disneyland, DisneySea and regional offerings in Japan. While her experience spans traditional global firms, including PIMCO/State Street and Disney, she has successfully launched, managed and scaled companies with venture capital funding, and has played key roles in later stage organizations raising private equity rounds. She holds a BS in Marketing from Cornell University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Kay Makishi is a Japanese-American entrepreneur and investor with 15+ years operating experience with Fortune 500s and startups backed by Pear, Alumni Ventures and more. She serves as Chair of Oxford Healthcare Society, Advisor to Mount Sinai Innovation Partners and Ambassador to Invest Tokyo. 

Andrew Ogawa is a Managing Partner and founder of Quest Venture Partners since its inception in late 2007. He is responsible for evaluating investment opportunities and closing seed and A rounds. His expertise is in automotive transportation, procurement, corporate strategy and implementation of turnaround activities.

Mr. Ogawa has 11 years of experience at Daimler AG, working in Stuttgart, Detroit and Tokyo within the divisions of Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler and Global Procurement & Supply responsible in various capacities for Corporate Strategy, Controlling and Procurement. He was also part of Daimler AG’s select management team sent to Mitsubishi Motors Corp. to implement corporate turnaround activities, especially within the International Sales & Marketing Office. He holds BAs in Economics and East Asian Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara, as well as an MBA in International Management from Thunderbird, American Graduate School of International Management.

Riki Yamauchi is a Japanese American, born and raised in Los Angeles who brings 10 years of experience in investment banks, such as Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan, where he covered Japan equity markets. He left the banking industry in 2020 and moved to Kenya, making direct investments into early-stage startups, as well as supporting Japanese corporates, government and investors seeking market-entry into Africa. He joined Novastar in 2023. Mr. Yamauchi graduated from Waseda University in Japan, and also studied at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Commerce.

Session Organizers

  • Noël Mika (Yi) Bahamón
    Chief Marketing Officer, Go Rentals; USJC Women+ Forum Chair
  • Yoko Otani
    Partner, Straterix Inc.; USJC Board Member