Naomi Kokubo is a high-tech serial entrepreneur, angel investor and cofounder of Founders Space, a global innovation hub for entrepreneurs, corporations, and investors, with over 50 partners in 22 countries.
Kokubo was born and raised in Japan. She spent two years abroad while in school: one year in United States during high school, and one year in United Kingdom during college. After graduating from ICU in Tokyo, she joined Morgan Stanley’s Tokyo Branch as a Financial Analyst.
Kokubo went on to work in film and television, including international productions for companies like NHK of Japan and Grundy Company of Australia. After this, Kokubo moved to San Francisco and cofounded her first startup, LavaMind, which developed award-winning games and educational software. LavaMind’s clients included Disney, Intel, Ad Age, MetLife, Qualcomm, etc.
Next, Kokubo cofounded Spiderdance, a venture-backed startup, which became Hollywood’s leading interactive television studio. Its customers included NBC, MTV, Viacom, Time Warner, TBS, GSN, and A&E. Spiderdance produced the interactive version of NBC’s Weakest Link, Warner’s No Boundaries, and MTV’s WebRIOT, which won international acclaim as the first interactive TV shows to reach one million online users.
After Spiderdance, Kokubo joined Electronic Arts (EA) as Development Director, where she managed the development process for multimillion-dollar video game titles. Later, Kokubo became cofounder and COO of RocketOn, a Silicon Valley venture-funded virtual world and social media startup.
In addition to launching companies, Kokubo has a passion for manga and anime, and has translated dozens of Japanese comic books and animations. Today, she is the COO of Founders Space and spends her time traveling the world, working with entrepreneurs, investors, and governments to promote innovation and growth.