Aiko Fushida is an energetic and astute networker and relationships builder. She currently works for Japanese telecommunication company, KDDI, as a Strategic Venture Relations, meeting startups every day. She is also Chair Emeritus and Board Member of MIT/Stanford Venture Lab (VLAB) whose mission is to nurture entrepreneurs in the area. She has served as the organization’s Chair and President of VLAB from 2009-2011 and various executive roles prior to that.
Prior to KDDI, she was a founding member of a startup called Runa, which was acquired by Staples last year. Her role changed as the startup grew — from Strategic Alliances to Sales to Account Management. Prior to Runa, she held business development roles in helping startup companies to do business in Japan. Before moving to the Bay Area in 1997, Aiko worked in Tokyo helping foreign companies enter the Japanese market. Her clients included well-known consumer brands such as Smith, K2, Waitrose, Burberry Foods, as well as government/Industry organizations such as USMEF (United States Meet Export Federation) and the State of California. She started her carrier at Recruit, one of Japan’s leading information conglomerate, working in Boston, New York and Tokyo.