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Sean is a Principal at Yamaha Motor Ventures.

Most recently, Sean was a Principal at Amazon’s Industrial Innovation Fund where he focused on robotics, mobility and supply chain related technologies. Prior to that, he was a Director at WIND Ventures where he led the firm’s mobility investments. Sean started his venture capital career at General Motors Ventures where he spent four years investing in a wide variety of spaces. Prior to that, he was an engineer in the automotive and military defense industries before founding AutoBike which he ran for four years.

He graduated from Lawrence Technological University with a BSME and later completed his MBA at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” -Steve Jobs

Why work at Yamaha/Yamaha Motor Ventures? What are you most excited about working in Yamaha Motor Ventures?

I’m excited about working at Yamaha because I think they are one of the few companies in the world that combine both a large portfolio of existing businesses with a risk-embracing mentality that is needed to not only keep up but help invent the future. It’s a rare combo to have such a successful company paired with the humility to know you must always change to stay ahead and have an eagerness to learn how to accomplish that.

What do you look for the most in early-stage startups?

The team but specifically I focus on founder-market fit. Startups are really hard so it’s critical to have team members that know the market like the back of their hands. They are able to make better plans and also more quickly course-correct when necessary. And if they were from a particular market and decided to start a company in that market, that means they must have some real passion for it which is needed on the rollercoaster ride that is building a new business.

What do you love to do outside of work?

Outside of work, I am a huge automotive enthusiast and spend a lot of time working on and racing cars in a shop I share with a few other car-addicted friends. I’ve also recently started playing chess and try to compete in a few tournaments per year.

What’s your next adventure with Yamaha? Which Yamaha products would you love to try next and where?

I have spent quite a bit of time on a Yamaha Golf Cart pushing around race cars at the track but since I really love speed, I would love to take another R1 for a spin on a nice smooth road or track.

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