Phil Wickham is a Founder and General Partner of Sozo Ventures. In addition to Sozo, Mr. Wickham serves as the Executive Chairman of the Kauffman Fellows in Palo Alto, California.
Mr. Wickham is a veteran venture investor and startup entrepreneur. Early in his career he co-founded the publishing company Reference Media in Tokyo, Japan, grew it to scale and sold it to the Princeton Review, where he became VP of Sales for Japan and Korea. Later, Mr. Wickham served as General Partner at JAFCO America Ventures, a billion-dollar fund backed by leading Japanese financial and technology players such as Hitachi, Mitsubishi, NEC, Itochu, Nomura, and Nippon Life Insurance. At JAFCO, he led the creation of strategic services for invested companies with more than 40 corporate LPs. Mr. Wickham went on to become a partner and run U.S. operations for Copan, a European venture fund based in Munich, Germany, where he also served on the Board. He has shepherded more than 40 investments, including Ikanos, Web Methods, Com21, Square, Twitter, Palantir, ServiceMax, Lotame and Handshake. Mr. Wickham currently serves on the board of Lotame and serves as an advisor to Angular Ventures (London), Cross Culture Ventures and Taro Ventures (Tokyo). He is a past advisor to the Creandum Fund in Stockholm.
In his new role at the Kauffman Fellows, Mr. Wickham supports the leadership team in their ongoing development of the next generation of leaders in venture capital. During his tenure from 2008-2016, he expanded the program into more than 50 countries and quadrupled both its operating budget and membership of the Kauffman Fellows Society. The Society now numbers almost 1000 professionals and $250 billion in aggregate capital under management. He also launched a multi-lingual book publishing arm, an annual research journal and the online Kauffman Fellows Academy. He also helped to conceive, staff and seed fund TrueBridge Capital Partners, a $1.5 billion family of strategic fund-of-funds based in North Carolina. He also co-launched the CPIN collaboration between Japan’s Ministry of Economy and the Kauffman Fellows Program with endorsement by the US Embassy.
Mr. Wickham holds a BS from the Aerospace Mechanical Engineering School at the University of Arizona, and an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He was a Charter Class member of the Kauffman Fellows Program, Flagship Ventures in Boston.