The rest of the 100 (in alphabetical order): Kaz Shimizu, investment manager, KDDI

Operating as an investment manager for KDDI, Silicon Valley-based Kaz Shimizu’s main objective is to leverage KDDI’s Open Innovation Fund – worth $82m – to scour the Bay area for opportunities in telecommunications to bring back to Japan.

Joining KDDI’s investment unit in 2011 after a successful four years as a project manager at KDDI Corporation, Shimizu has been directly involved in five of the Open Innovation Fund’s 11 investments. He has been involved in KDDI’s investments into the robotics firm Jibo, the home security firm August Home. He also assisted KDDI’s $10m round into wireless power startup Ossia and an Index Ventures-led $30m series D financing round for education app startup Edmodo. He also helped fund media firm Plumzi.

In August, Jibo, the Samsung-backed developer of a helper robot, extended its series A financing round by $11m with backing from Acer, Dentsu, KDDI, NetPosa and LG Uplus.

KDDI has also been successful in developing startups through its accelerator, KDDI Mugen Labo. A total of 39 startups have now graduated from the accelerator, 29 of which have gone on to secure equity funding.

One such example from the KDDI Mugen Labo stable is Japan-based app developer Cinderella Shoes. It has developed an app that offers female users recommendations for shoes that provide the best fit, using measurements the service extrapolates from a photo of the user’s feet.

The company was mentored by KDDI and Sumitomo Fudosan, a subsidiary of diversified conglomerate Sumitomo, which both assisted in the development of Cinderella Shoes’ image and voice-recognition technology.