Main Consultants


Jeff Blokker

Jeff Blokker completed all PHD course work in Electrical Engineering and was a research assistant under Nobel Laureate Herbert Kromer investigating GaAs device fabrication at UCSB. He left school with a Masters degree in 1984 to form a corporation, CableSoft Inc, that he ran as CEO for 18 years. He has a broad engineering background with expertise in material, software development, networks including advanced computing, AI (Machine Learning). In 2010 he completed a Masters degree in Financial Mathematics at Stanford University. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Center for Engineering Entrepreneurship and Engineering Management, a member of the UCSB Engineering Advisory Committee, and Member Board of Directors of the Mericos Foundation at the Whittier Trust Company.

Roger Chen, Ph.D.   Vice President

Professor Roger Chen is a tenured full professor at University of San Francisco. He has a Ph.D. in Management from the University of Texas, a M.S from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and a B.S from Shanghai Engineering and Technology University. Professor Chen currently serves as a foreign expert advisor at the post-doctor research group of China Merchants Group. His expertise is in Strategy, Corporate Entrepreneurship and Innovation. His recent research focuses on the cutting edge innovation practices of global leading companies. He has been invited to speak to many companies and entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, also invited by Shenzhen Government of China, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and ZheJiang University of China to talk about Silicon Valley Innovation and its impact on China. He has received many awards including Abramson Award for Outstanding Article from Business Economics Journal, and several research awards from the School of Management of the University of San Francisco. 


Yutaka Ujiie   President & CEO, Founder

Mr. Ujiie has over 30 years business experience in financial and IT technologies areas. Originally he had worked at investment banking sector, where he mainly engaged in data utilization practices such as financial portfolio optimization, index-linked operation, financial mathematical transaction, startups growth modeling for IPO. After starting SBF, he became e.g. a writer on high-tech trends of US to the web-version of Nikkei Newspaper. He also served visiting lecturer at Tohoku University Graduate School of Engineering (technical community System Science), and co-authored “Driver of Industrial Innovation“(2009). He himself has long experiences in data analysis, Business Intelligence, medical image data management, data sensing in industries (IIoT), and "Product Advancement" strategy etc. Also he has been a writer of a university-launched ventures promotion site in Japan. Recently, he has authored a book "Innovation Drivers" with sub-title of "Core Strategies To lead IoT Trends". He is a graduate of Tohoku University, where he majored in macro and financial economics (Portfolio theory).


Wilson So Ph.D.  Partner

Wilson has over 20 years of combined management and technical experience in the high-tech field.  Before he joined SBF Consulting, Wilson was the practice leader of Hitachi Consulting's XBRL and GRC practice which he grew to $3M revenue in 3 years with over $10M in sales pipeline. Wilson’s knowledge/experience with open data standards, accounting and risk reporting frameworks is most helpful to regulators and corporations in compliance and supervision. The solution business is in the financial services, healthcare, and Oil & Gas sectors. Wilson led marketing effort in the areas of intelligent networking, mobile communication, and utility computing. Wilson was also the system architect behind healthcare solution helping hospitals to identify clinical best practices. In his early days, Wilson accomplished the development of a landmine detection robot. Wilson received his MS and PhD degrees from Cornell University in Electrical Engineering.  He received his BS degree in Electrical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology.  Wilson also attended the Stanford Executive Management Program.


Saeko Ozawa Ujiie   Managing Director

Ms. Ozawa is a consultant specializing in finance and securities industry. She started her career in the securities industry at Morgan Stanley in New York in 1987, immediately after graduating from Kellogg School, Northwestern University with an MBA. Since then, she has been with Swiss Bank Co. (UBS), Instinet Co.(Nomura),  MSCI Barra Co. and  Merrill Lynch.  Prior to attending Kellogg School, she worked as a market researcher at JETRO and Dataquest. She also holds an MA in Sociology and Anthropology of Education from University of California, Berkeley, and a BA from Waseda University in Tokyo.


Sheridan Tatsuno   Partner

Mr. Tatsuno has worked for tech-research and business strategy consulting firm and venture incubator. Mr. Tatsuno worked at Bechtel in civil infrastructure planning, international project financing, and environmental assessment. He co-founded Dataquest's Japan and Asian semiconductor groups and served as industry liaison manager at Stanford University's U.S.-Japan Technology Management Center. He is familiar with electronics and computer communication including the uniting field of these areas and smart city covering Virtual Reality(VR) and Augmented Reality(AR). Mr. Tatsuno also has long experience in venture support and consulting venture cluster. He is the author of two books produced for television : The Technopolis Strategy (Prentice-Hall, 1986) and Created in Japan (HarperCollins, 1990). He is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.


Oskar U. Vierny   Advisory Board

Mr. Vierny assists entrepreneurs in developing market and product strategy, in forming strategic alliances, in raising capital and launching their ventures. Having strong ties to the Israeli hi-tech industry, Oskar is poised to serve as a liaison between those hi-tech frontiers and any company seeking a genuine, advanced technology. Formerly, he held senior managerial positions in Customer R&D and worked in the Manufacturing and in the Corporate Technology Center at Applied Materials, Inc., where he incubated and launched new product into a self-sustained business unit. His product and business development experience spans industrial control, telecommunication, semiconductors, and nano materials. Oskar holds a BSEE degree from the Israeli Technion, and a Certificate in Business Administration from the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, California.


Jeff Cuttali

He attended the University of Connecticut, graduated with a degree in chemical and materials engineering, and went to work for an environmental technology start-up in New Jersey. The start-up's mission was to resolve air/water pollution problems created by oil/coal power plants. He came to realize that semiconductors would be the key to clean energy (think solar), then came to Silicon Valley. Then he worked both with Fortune 200 (Varian Associates), medium (ATS Automation), small (Irvine Optical Company) to develop business and serve customers searching for complex process solutions. He managed Japan business operations and sales for several years with two companies. He also collaborated with the research teams of three Nobel Prize winners, two IBM Fellows, dozens of distinguished professors. He completed an MSE in Chemical & Bio-Engineering at SJSU in 2006.


Mary Jean Koontz  Ph.D.

Ms. Koontz has 15 years of international market research and management consulting experience for global corporations and government agencies in the U.S., Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand. She has been involved in project management of high-profile projects; design of qualitative and quantitative client projects, preparation of IT and e-commerce industry. She also covers "human science", environmental, healthcare, partly biotechnologies. Ms. Koontz worked five years for Dames & Moore, as an environmental auditor and Asia business development manager. She has Ph.D. from Golden Gate University. Also she has MBA focusing international marketing from University of South Carolina and B.S. from Georgetown University.


Andre Serao

Mr. Serrao's technological background is telecommunications industry. His experience includes designing cable networks / WAN networks, hosting services and security solutions. Now in SBF, he covers mainly network communication, mobile and wireless, and security solutions. He also investigating technology trend through R&D activities and VC investment. He is also familiar with the communication market in middle and south America. He has a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from State University of Campinas (Unicamp), Brazil, and he is fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.



Senior Advisor


Nobuyuki Hata

Mr. Hata worked as a security analyst in the investment banking division of Nomura Research Institute for 17 years. In 1991, he joined JAFCO as the manager of the evaluation department. He moved to Kokugakuin University to become a professor of corporate finance in 1994. He is now visiting scholar of Stanford University, researching US venture capital and venture firms. He is a member of Council on Modernization of Small and Medium Sized Firms by METI and a director of The Japanese Academic Society for Venture & Entrepreneur as well. Co-translator of "Venture Capital at the Crossroads" by Bygrave & Timmons, 1995. Editor/co-author of "The Diversification of Venture Finance" 1996. Co-author of "Management of Venture Firms and Its Support" 2000. He holds Bachelor and Master of Economics degrees from Waseda University.


Katsuhide Hirai

Mr. Hirai served as a member of the board of directors and President of Fujitsu Software Corporation and Fujitsu Network Industry Inc. since 1994. He was responsible for directing and managing the company's overall business strategy and direction in the North American and European market. He is a veteran of the global software industry, having worked in both Japan and the United States, first as an engineer and later as an executive directing and implementing Fujitsu software strategy. His engineering and marketing experience covers a wide range of business and industry application software, including CAD/CAM/CAE, ERP, groupware and supercomputer applications. A member of IEEE, SIGGRAPH and the Information Processing Society of Japan. He has also served as a director of the MIT X-Windows Consortium and Computer and Communication Industry Association in the U.S. He is graduate of Osaka University, where he earned a degree in engineering science.


Tai Hasegawa, Ph.D.

Dr. Hasegawa worked initially as researcher at Poland Academy Institute of Physical Science in Warsaw, then he came to Stanford, CA, where he obtained a permanent residency. Beside his scientific endeavors in the Chemistry Department, he was nominated as the president of the Henry Taube Institute, which was established to honor Nobel laureate Dr. Taube. In addition to his academic career, he is an active member of Palo Alto Philharmonic and began to study piano with his favorite Steinway, "Millennium". Dr. Hasegawa received his B.S., M.S., and Ph. D. from the University of Tokyo, Japan.



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