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Phil Wickham, President and CEO of the Center for Venture Education

  • Phil serves as the President and CEO of the Kauffman Fellows (KF) in Palo Alto, California, US. The mission of the Kauffman Fellows is to develop the next generation of leaders in venture capital. Success for Phil means that entrepreneurs are building more enduring companies and investors are achieving superior returns. Overseeing all aspects of KF, Phil continues to push the program’s international expansion. He also has a special passion for venture capital’s opportunities globally in helping to meet societal needs.

    Phil is a veteran venture investor and startup entrepreneur. Early in his career Phil 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, Phil 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. Phil went on to become a partner and run US operations for Copan, a European venture fund based in Munich, Germany, where Phil also served on the Board. He has shepherded more than 30 investments, including Ikanos, Web Methods, Com21, and Emergent. Phil currently serves on the board of S2 Technologies, Trilibis, and Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs (SVASE), and is an advisor to the Creandum fund in Stockholm.

    Phil holds a BS from the Aerospace Mechanical Engineering School at the University of Arizona, and an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. When not working–or playing hockey–Phil can be found in Los Gatos with his wife and two daughters (13 and 15 years old).

    A Charter Class member of the Kauffman Fellows Program, Phil served his fellowship at OneLiberty/Flagship Ventures in Boston with mentor Ed Kania. Phil was a Kauffman Fellows founding board member and serves on the board as CEO.