Tell me everything about George Hara and DEFTA

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Investment Profile of George Hara

Ambassador George Hara is well-known as a leading venture capitalist, specializing in the areas of technology and investing in the areas of healthcare and information technology. He is the founder, CEO and Chairman of DEFTA Partners and we have used his company as the basis of our investment research with a specific focus on medical and pharmaceutical-related investments. Such investments include in companies such as Orig3n, Two Pore Guys, Endogena Therapeutics, Graftworx and Lifeguard Health Networks. While specific financial information pertaining to each of these investments is very limited, we have endeavored to provide all publicly available data surrounding dates and amounts of these healthcare-related investments. Below we provide an overview of Ambassador George Hara's professional background, investments made by his founding company, DEFTA Partners, and specific details of investments in medical or pharmaceutical-related companies.

Professional Background

Ambassador George Hara is most notably known as a venture capitalist, specializing in archaeology and information technology. In 1984, Hara founded DEFTA Partners, a company for which he still serves as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman. Since this time, he has been actively involved in building alliances between America and Japan within the high technology and venture capital sectors. Information technology, in particular, has been an area of specialty for Hara, which has led to many investments in the areas of telecommunications, software and the Internet.

In 1985, he co-founded the Japan Incubation Capital in partnership with Softbank and from 1986 to 1987, Hara served as Adviser to the Japanese Governor of Osaka. He was also appointed as Adviser to Nippon Venture Capital Co., Ltd's Chairman, Senior Advisor to the Japanese Ministry of Finance (2005-2010), Special Commissioner on the Government Tax Panel for the Japanese Prime Minister and Adviser to Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

The US
In the 1990s, Hara was noted as one of the most prominent ICT venture capitalists in Silicone Valley and has led over 20 companies over his career. He was awarded the National Leadership Award in 2003 and was announced as an Honorary Co-Chairman of the US Republican Business Advisory Council.

Since 2000, Hara has served as director and chairman of the board for a number of companies including Broadware, Opus Technologies, Pixera Corporation, Fortiet and Chemtrix. He has also been appointed director of the Japan Society of Northern California, the BRAC BDMail Network Ltd, Keizai Doyukai and Cangen Biotechnologies, Inc. He has previously served as director of the Hara Research Foundation, mimio, Inc, Actuate Corporation, PictureTel Corporation, Zoran Corporation, MeeVee, Inc, TRADEX Technologies, Inc. and Oren Semiconductor, Inc.

Hara was appointed Inter-Governmental Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary with the United Nations (2007-2009) and Permanent Observer Delegation with the UN Economic and Social Council. Furthermore, Hara is a Representative Ambassador of WAFUNIF and served as Special Advisor to the Republic of Zambia's President.

Hara served as Chairman for Coyote Pharmaceuticals, Adviser to SALK Institute and Director with Cangen Biotechnologies, Inc. and Pixera Corporation. He is also a Professor of the Osaka University Medical School in Japan.


DEFTA Partners, of which Hara is the founder, CEO and Chairman, invest mainly within the healthcare and information technology sectors, with a focus on innovative technologies. More specifically, investments are made in companies developing health IT, advanced therapeutics and enabling technologies. Investments are made worldwide and focus mainly on the US, UK, Japanese and Israeli markets. Some investments are also made in companies within emerging countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Most investments made by DEFTA Partners are for the amounts in the range of $500,000 to $3 million.

Current investments include technology companies bracNet, Cloudfiling, Fortinet, tmsuk and 1World Online.

Medical & Pharmaceutical-related Investments

Investments made by DEFTA Partners within the healthcare, medical and/or pharmaceutical field include Orig3n, Two Pore Guys, Endogena Therapeutics, Graftworx and Lifeguard Health Networks.

Orig3n develops treatments for less-widely encountered genetically inherited diseases with a particular focus on liver, heart and neurodegenerative indications. Two rounds of investments have been made by DEFTA Partners, according to Owler. The first was an equity investment occurring June 27, 2017, and the second was a Series A investment on December 16, 2015. Both are listed as private, do not list an exit date and the investment amount is not publicly available. According to Orig3n's Owler profile, equity investments upwards of $20 million were received in 2017, with DEFTA Partners listed along with six other investors.

Two Pore Guys have developed a handheld Molecular Meter (MoM) capable of detecting and quantitating DNA and RNA data in an innovative and inexpensive way. Hara is listed on the Two Pore Guys website as a member of the advisory board, but no financial evidence of an investment is publicly available. Three funding rounds have been invested in the company since June 2016, but none make mention of DEFTA Partners.
Endogena Therapeutics Endogena Therapeutics focuses on producing endogenous regenerative medicines that regenerate and repair human organs and tissues. DEFTA Partners identifies Endogena Therapeutics as one of their investments, which is confirmed on Endogena's official website but unfortunately, financial figures have not been made public.

GraftWorx is a medical technology company who manufactures an early-stage medical device providing an innovative solution to treat peripheral arterial disease. While DEFTA Partners lists Graftworx as part of their investment portfolio, there is no publicly available data to confirm this, with BioMaryland Center listed as Graftworx primary investor.

Lifeguard Health Networks provides remote care coordination and mobile health solutions for patients to manage their own health. Again, DEFTA Partners lists Lifeguard Health Networks as one company within their investment portfolio, but there is no publicly available data to confirm this. Two investors are listed on Crunchbase, contributing to two funding rounds in 2013 and 2015.


In closing, we have provided an overview of Ambassador George Hara's professional background, details of investments made by his company DEFTA Partners, and as much publicly available data as is possible, pertaining to medical-related investments made in Orig3n, Two Pore Guys, Endogena Therapeutics, Graftworx and Lifeguard Health Networks.
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Best Practices - Japanese Etiquette for Business Meetings

The Japanese business culture is considered very formal with strict rules of etiquette. While most Japanese business people will be forgiving, adhering to the etiquette can show that you are genuinely interested in the outcome of the meeting. Some important rules related to business attire, punctuality, greeting and bowing, giving and receiving business cards, and seating arrangements. Below is a summary of these customs as well as some general do's and dont's.

Business Attire

Though business attire in Japan has become more lax over the last few years, it is still expected that men and women are dressed appropriately. Men should wear a black or charcoal suit, white shirt and subdued tie. Avoid a black suit and black tie as that is considered funeral wear. Women should also wear muted colors. Pantsuits or long skirts are the most generally accepted.


It is important to arrive to a Japanese business meeting at least 10 minutes early. This is a sign of respect, showing that you value the time of the people you are meeting with. Being late is a serious mistake. With the transportation infrastructure in Japan, there is no excuse for being late. If something happens and you must be late for the meeting, it is best to give at least 45 minutes notice.


The traditional greeting in Japan includes the bow. Japanese businessmen experienced in working with Westerners may offer a handshake in addition to bowing. When returning the bow, do so with your back straight and hands at your side. Knowing a few simple phrases in Japanese will show a willingness to learn and be invested. As hierarchy is very important, you should always introduce yourself to the senior members first. If you do not know who the senior members are, it is best to wait until introductions are made.

Giving/Receiving Business Cards

The process of giving and receiving business cards in Japanese business meetings is almost ritualistic. You should show utmost respect to the business card and keep in mind the hierarchy of the members.

-When presenting your business card, it should be held with both hands, holding the top corners so important information is not covered. If double-sided, the Japanese side should be face up.
-Accept business cards the same way, with two hands. Say thank you and read the card closely as a sign of respect.
-If seated at a table, place the cards on the table in order of hierarchy and keep them there until the meeting is over.
-Treat the cards with respect. Do not write on them or bend them. When ready to leave the meeting, place the cards in a proper carrying case.

The Japanese believe that the condition of a persons business card says a lot about the persons character. Your cards should be clean and sharp with no frayed edges. They should also be carried in a proper case. You will need a business card for each member of the team you meet. If possible have a double-sided business card with English on one side and Japanese on the other.


Hierarchy is very important in the Japanese business culture. There is often a seating plan in meetings arranged according to the hierarchy. There is also a Japanese custom which may determine which party sits on each side of the table. Dont rush to sit. Allow the host to direct the seating order.

Other Do's and Dont's

-Dont blow your nose in public. Excuse yourself and go to the restroom.
-Dont make physical contact with a Japanese man such as patting on the back or high-fives.
-Dont make small talk or ask about personal matters.
-Dont bad-mouth anyone in your company or a competitor.
-Dont put your hands in your pockets. It indicates boredom.
-Be sure to wear clean socks with no holes in case shoes need to be removed. Follow the lead of the host to determine if shoes are to be worn or not.
-Pointing is considered rude and should not be done.
-Be polite. It is considered a sign of respect.
-Take a lot of notes during the meeting. It indicates you are interested.


Adhering to Japanese etiquette during a business meeting shows respect and indicates that you are genuinely interested in the outcome of the meeting. Business attire, punctuality, greeting and bowing, giving and receiving business cards, and seating arrangements are areas of etiquette that are important to the Japanese business culture.