Michael is the founder of Pangea Force™ (previously known as the World Technology and Science Commercialization Force or World TASCForce®). Under his leadership the World TASCForce® co-launched the Cross Pacific Innovation Network (CPIN) collaboration with Japan’s Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry, the US Embassy and Kauffman Fellows Program. CPIN is now supported by a $26B+ public/private fund, Japan’s largest venture vehicle, called Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ), where Michael was also the venture and technology advisor to special projects. In this capacity, Michael helped Japan create viable ventures with technology harvested from national laboratories.
Previously, Michael was General Partner and the US Managing Director for Sozo Ventures, a late-stage cross-border fund focused on helping Silicon Valley’s elite startups expand globally. During this time, the firm aided Twitter, Square, Foursquare, Palantir and others in global expansion, investing in many. Most notably, Michael led the Square deal, aiding in a rollout to 11,000 distribution centers across Japan. Prior to this, Michael launched Cocoon Ventures an experimental early-stage collaboration with Mitsubishi Corporation HQ to prove several novel VC models, resulting in portfolio achieving Red Herring Asia Top 50 & Global 100, as well as CNET’s Technology Award; all but one portfolio company was acquired by Mitsubishi and that one company IPO’d on the Tokyo Stock Exchange
Michael is a passionate philomath beginning his technology career writing software in 2nd grade, becoming code-contributor to NASA Langley’s supercomputer management systems by the time he finished junior high and leading large projects for NASA Langley Flight Simulation and DoE Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (now Jefferson Lab) by the time he finished high-school. His technical leadership spans 17+ years and a breadth of disciplines including: videogame engine design, flight simulation, virtual surgery, non-invasive cancer detection, VLSI chip design, particle acceleration and operating systems. He has a Berkeley MBA, Stanford MS in Electrical Engineering and UMBC BS in Computer Engineering, graduating #1 in his department. He is a Kauffman Fellow (Class 12) and also holds 5 issued venture capital and university related patents. Together with wife Maya, he co-manages 2 of the world greatest assets – handsome young genius sons Michael Zion (7) and Marcus (4).