*Corundum is a rock-forming mineral, widely known for its extreme hardness and for being a beautiful transparent crystals in many different colors; Most people are familiar with corundum as Red “ruby” and Blue  “sapphire.” https://geology.com/minerals/corundum.shtml
Kaizen is an approach to creating continuous improvement based on the idea that small, ongoing positive changes can reap major improvements, based on cooperation and commitment… https://searcherp.techtarget.com/definition/kaizen-or-continuous-improvement


Founded in 2015, Corundum Open Innovation is an Israel-Japan venture capital firm, backed by Japanese corporations, investing in top Israeli high-tech companies and top Israeli funds. 

With teams in both Japan and Israel, Corundum provides quality access to the Israeli High-Tech Eco System and hands-on business development for investors and portfolio companies.


Investing in top Israeli High-Tech companies

ICT & Life Sciences

Investing in top-performing Israeli VC funds

Providing privileged access to top performing funds

Business Development

Corundum is the ONLY Israeli Venture Capital firm with dedicated business development teams, both in Japan and Israel, with proven results   

Corundum investors enjoy on-going support with business opportunities in Israel, including deal execution and market intelligence

Corundum portfolio companies enjoy unique Japan market insights and go – to – market strategies, introductions to top talent and key business partners in Japan



Investment Team

David Heller

Managing Partner

Shlomo Kalish

Managing Partner

David Ben-Ami

Venture Partner

Business Development Team

Yasushi Yamamoto

Dr. Kenji

Shinichi Okamoto


Naohiro Takemoto

Takashi Yoshikawa


Advisory Board​

Prof. Aaron Ciechanover

Nobel Laureate in Chemistry

Prof. Peretz Lavie

Former President of the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology

Prof Yair Tauman

Founder & Dean of the Adelson School of Entrepreneurship

Innovation Hub

Corundum established an independent innovation hub, which has a separate management team.



Corundum Open Innovation


Corundum Innovation

Prof. Aaron Ciechanover:

Nobel Laureate in Chemistry

Aaron Ciechanover was born in Israel in 1947.  He is a distinguished Professor in the Technion in Haifa, Israel.  He received his M.Sc. (1971) and M.D. (1973) from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and his Ph.D. from the Technion (1982). There, as a graduate student with Dr. Avram Hershko and in collaboration with Dr. Irwin Rose from Philadelphia, they discovered that tagging of protein substrates with ubiquitin, target them for degradation.  Among the many prizes he received are the 2000 Albert Lasker Award, the 2003 Israel Prize, and the 2004 Nobel Prize (Chemistry; shared with Drs. Hershko and Rose). Among many learnt bodies, he is a member of the Israeli National Academies of Sciences and Humanities, the National Academies of Sciences (NAS) and Medicine (NAM) of the USA (Foreign Member), and Chinese Academy of Sciences (Foreign Member).           


Aaron Ciechanover is an Israeli biologist and physician.  He is a distinguished Professor in the Technion, in Israel.  He received his M.Sc. (1971) and M.D. (1973) from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and his Ph.D. from the Technion (1982). There, as a graduate student with Dr. Avram Hershko and in collaboration with Dr. Irwin Rose, they discovered that tagging of proteins with ubiquitin, target them for degradation.  Among the many prizes he received are the 2000 Albert Lasker Award, the 2003 Israel Prize, and the 2004 Nobel Prize (Chemistry; shared with Drs. Hershko and Rose). Among many learnt bodies, he is a member of the Israeli National Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the National Academies of Sciences (NAS) and Medicine (NAM) of the USA (Foreign Member).          

Prof. Peretz Lavie

President of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology

Prof. Peretz Lavie joined the Technion Rappaport Faculty of Medicine in 1975 where he served as Dean from 1993-1999. In 2001 he was appointed as the Vice President of External Relations and Resource Development. Since October 1st 2009 Prof. Lavie has been serving as President of the Technion. In the summer of 2017, he assented to a request by the Technion Council to extend his term in office for another two years. In doing so he became the first President in the history of Technion to be elected for a third term and will serve a total of ten years in office.

Under his leadership the Technion stands among the top 100 world class research universities, distinguished by academic excellence, interdisciplinary research strategy, innovative globalization and financial stability. During his tenure, the Technion has recorded a number of impressive achievements led by the recruitment of more than 200 new faculty members, which involved raising extensive resources. By establishing the “Yanai Prize”in academic education, Prof Lavie has led a transformational change in the quality of teaching on campus and in student satisfaction.

Prof Lavie conceived and played a principal role in the Technion’s expansion to New York where, together with Cornell University, the Jacobs Technion Cornell Institute was opened on Roosevelt Island. Similarly, in China the Technion established the Guangdong Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Shantou. He led a major campaign to increase the number of dormitories and junior faculty apartments on campus, as well as initiating numerous renovation projects, such as the expansion of research and teaching facilities and the Technion gates. 

Prof. Lavie is considered one of the founders of sleep medicine, publishing more than 400 scientific articles and eight books in the field of sleep research and sleep disorders. His book “The Enchanted World of Sleep” has been translated into 15 languages. Prof. Lavie’s research has won many prizes, including the EMET prize in medicine (2006), the most prestigious prize for academic achievements in Israel. He is the founder and co-founder of 5 companies that develop and produce medical devices for sleep medicine and cardiology and provide diagnostic services. He is married to Dr. Lena Lavie, a cell biologist; they have 3 children and 7 grandchildren.

Prof. Yair Tauman

Prof. Yair Tauman is a leading professor of economics at Stony Brook University and dean of the Adelson School of Entrepreneurship at IDC Herzliya, where he also serves as academic director of the Zell Entrepreneurship Program (since 2009).  

He obtained his Ph.D. and M.Sc.(with distinction) in mathematics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, both under the supervision of Nobel Prize winner Robert Aumann. His B.Sc. in mathematics and statistics (with distinction) is also from the Hebrew University. His areas of research are game theory and its applications to industrial organization (patents, market structure and the incentive to innovate, auctions) and imperfect competition. He has published more than 60 papers in these areas. 

Professor Tauman has been the director of the Stony Brook University Game Theory Center for the last 20 years. He served as the dean of the Arison School of Business at IDC( 2010-2011), professor at Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern University,1980-1987), the Economics Department at Ohio State University (1987-1990) and Tel Aviv University for 25 years (1983-2008). 

Prof. Tauman is a member of the board of directors of nine companies, including Radware (since 2011, traded on NASDAQ). He served on the board of Bank Hapoalim, Israel’s largest bank (2011-2015, traded on TASE),and ADVFN ( 2010-2014, A UK company traded on AIM, London). He has been an active investor, mainly as an angel for startups, and has 25 exits.

David Heller​

Managing Partner ​

David Heller is a co-founder of Corundum Open Innovation Fund (COIF) and serves as a General Partner and Chairman of the Investment Committee of COIF.

David has been active in Asia-related investments and businesses – with Japan focus – since 1990 and has been engaged in private equity and venture capital investments since 1996.

In 1996, David co-founded and managed Israel International Fund (IIF) which was the first Israeli investment fund tailored for Japanese investors. Following a merger of IIF with Vertex Ventures – a leading Israeli technology investment firm – David became Vertex’s General Partner in charge of Asian activities.

David has raised capital for Vertex funds from Japanese and other Asian investors and has facilitated various business transactions between Vertex’s Asian investors and Israeli companies. He has been involved in investment transactions as well as M&As and IPOs of Vertex portfolio companies.

David started his Asia-related career in Japan (1990-1995) where he studied in Kyoto University and later worked as a foreign lawyer at the law firm of Wakabayashi & Watanabe, Tokyo. At the firm, he focused on cross-border investment and M&A transactions. Prior to that, in Israel, David was a Partner in the law firm of Yossi Avraham & Co. where he specialized in cross-border investment and M&A transactions and headed the firm’s Asia Department.

David received an LL.B (Bachelor Degree in Law) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel and an LL.M (Master Degree in Law) from Kyoto University, Japan.

Shlomo Kalish

Managing Partner

Shlomo founded the Jerusalem Global Group in 1994 right at the beginning of the “startup nation” era.  He quickly became one of the most successful Israeli investors. Shlomo invested in some of Israel’s most successful startups including Athoc, Creo, Galileo Semiconductor, Lumus-Vision, Mellanox, Moovit, QXL-Ricardo, Picture Vision, Primesense, Saifun Semiconductors and Wilocity.  In 2007 he was selected to the Forbes Midas List, as No. 37 on the WW list, first among the Israeli based nominees.

Shlomo frequently appears in the media and has been featured on the cover of Upside Magazine. He has also been cited in The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones, Business Week and other business publications. 

Shlomo is active on the boards of many non-profit organizations

and academic institutions, including the Board of Governors of the Technion and 

The Jerusalem College of Technology.  

Shlomo teaches entrepreneurship at the world renown Adelson School of Entrepreneurship, IDC Herzlia.

Shlomo holds a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from MIT, a M.Sc.

from the Sloan School of Management at MIT, and B.Sc. in Math from Tel Aviv University.

David Ben-Ami​

Venture Partner ​

David Ben-Ami has over 25 years of experience as an Executive in leading Pharma and Medical Device companies as a CEO, Entrepreneur, Board member and as an angel investor. He worked for Teva Pharmaceuticals where he spent 12 years involved in business development for Teva’s local Hospital Division and for Israeli operations. In 2003, he joined Boston Scientific and as Country Director, he worked closely with a team that identified and evaluated innovative Israeli medical technologies in the fields of Interventional Cardiology, Gastrointestinal Interventions, Interventional Radiology, Urology, Gynecology and Neuro Radiology. In 2005, he was named CEO of NVR Labs, a cell therapy company that developed a composite implant comprised of scaffold and Autologous cells for Spinal Cord Injury. In 2009, he co-founded Macrocure Ltd. a cell therapy and regenerative medicine company currently focused on hard-to-heal wounds.

He is past and current board member of various bio- and medical-device companies such as: Biocell Ltd, Entera Bio, Degania Medical, VVT Medical, Hairstetics, and Metyav Incubator.

He holds a BA in Economics & Management and an MBA from Tel Aviv University.

Yasushi Yamamoto

ex Sumitomo Corp.

Yasushi Yamamoto established Corundum Innovation Ltd with the aim of creating great value captured from the network of Israeli entrepreneurship and Japanese business community.   

Yamamoto worked for Sumitomo Corporation, Japanese top tier Sogo Shosha, and experienced management positions in life science segment in diversified locations such as Ivory Coast, France and Australia. Since 2005, Yamamoto represents Israeli corporations in Japan such as Adama Agricultural Solutions and Lycored, has more than 15 years of experience of promoting open innovation between Israel and Japan. 

Yamamoto graduated Kyoto University (faculty of economics), married and a father of one son.

Dr. Kenji Takeda ​

ex Hitachi ​

Takeda co-founded and manages Corundum Innovation Co. Ltd., Japan.

Takeda worked for Hitachi, Ltd. (www.hitachi.com), the biggest electronics company in Japan for 34 years since 1971,  and served as its Vice President of New Business Creation since August 1995, and as SVP and CTO of Hitachi America Ltd., Since 1998. Furthermore, Takeda proposed, established and managed the Hitachi CVC in the Silicon Valley, USA as the President of The Hitachi Corporate Ventures Catalyst Fund with US$80M. In this capacity he was responsible for making investment decisions and arranging business development projects between Hitachi and its portfolio companies.

From 2005 until 2011, Takeda worked as the Executive Director at RIKEN  (http://www.riken.jp/en/ ) the Japanese flagship science research institute with annual budget of US$1B responsible for innovation. In addition, Takeda had served as Senior Advisor of DBJ Capital since 2010, and as Corporate Auditor at MEDIASEEK Inc., since October 2011.

Takeda has been teaching entrepreneurship as a visiting professor of graduate school of Waseda University since 2004. He received a Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctor’s degree in engineering from the University of Tokyo, Japan, and received a Master of Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA.


Shinichi Okamoto​

ex Sony ​

CIO, Managing Director

Industries: Tech industries, software, cyber security, semiconductor

Core competence: CTO of Sony Computer Entertainment, Tech consultant to top management of Sony, Softbank, Toyota, cross boarder business development for startup companies


Keiji Sugimoto​

co-founder of Corundum Innovation​

Keiji Sugimoto, co-founder of Corundum Innovation Co. Ltd. Japan as of April 2014, has come back to Corundum as Chief Investment Officer in October 2019 after three years involvement in IPO advisory service. 

Sugimoto has been working in financial services industry for about 40 years based in New York, London and Tokyo financial markets as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of several subsidiary companies of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Tokai Tokyo Financial Holdings and other financial firms.

 Through his career, Sugimoto has accumulated high expertise and professional capacity in structured finance, project finance, debt-equity origination, securitization, derivative transactions and various types of investment in private equity and real estate related products.

In September 2018, he, as CEO of Tokyo Infrastructure Asset Management Co. Ltd., did lead an investment corporate to a successful Initial Public Offering in Tokyo Stock Exchange, making three years endeavors in renewable energy business, in which he was also acting as an advisor for start-up companies in Japan. 

In 1979 Sugimoto received a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics from Kyoto University Japan and has been serving for the University as an advisor of “agriculture and economics committee” which supports researchers to write treatise in its academic area.

Naohiro Takemoto​

Director, Chief Financial Officer ​

Naohiro Takemoto started his career at Sanwa Bank (now MUFG Bank) where he mainly engaged in investment banking business including M&A, underwriting and securitization in Tokyo, New York and Hong Kong.

In 2000, he moved to AIG to manage buyout fund (US$80M).  In 2004, he, with his colleagues at AIG, co-founded and managed several buyout funds as a General Partner (US$100M, US$50M and US$200M) and was responsible for fund raising, investment, roll-ups, monitoring, divestment, and investor relations matters.  He joined Corundum Innovation Japan in 2016 as a Compliance and Corporate Strategy Officer, and now serves as a CFO.

Naohiro holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Kyoto University, Japan and an MBA from New York University Stern School of Business, USA.

Takashi Yoshikawa

Managing Director, PhD

Takashi joined Corundum Innovation as Director of Business Development. Before joining Corundum Innovation, he played several roles at NineSigma Asia Pacific as a Director, where he managed relationships with more than 30 clients, and managed more than 150 projects. The projects varies, such as technology match making, business development consulting, technology research and so forth. Prior to NineSigma, he contributed to four projects of product development as a Mechanical Engineer at Schlumberger, a global oilfield service company. He majors aerospace engineering, and received BE and ME with hons from Tohoku University and PhD from the University of Tokyo.

Ilan Kieselstein​

ex Rad Group ​

Ilan Kieselstein serves as Senior Manager Business Development for Corundum Open Innovation based in Israel.

Ilan Kieselstein has 20 years of experience in dedicated sales and business development roles facing the Japanese and APAC market, in Software (Infrastructure, Developer Tools, and Applications), Telecommunications, Consumer Analytics, Digital Signage, Medical Devices, Consumer Electronics, and Cyber Security.

Ilan started his career at Triangle Technologies, Israel’s leading Japan entry consultancy company, managing several Israeli companies’ market expansions to Japan and Japanese accounts. Subsequently, Ilan joined RADLAN where he led Japan-Korea sales activities. Ilan then proceeded to RADVISION, opening its RADVISION Japan K.K. subsidiary in 2005 and serving as Country Manager full-time in Tokyo for 7 years. Up to 2016 Ilan served in several VP sales positions in startups.

Ilan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Japan Studies and an MBA (Marketing) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.