Serial entrepreneur and angel investor Justin Yoshimura has joined LMU’s Entrepreneurship Program as an entrepreneur-in-residence. Beginning in the fall, Justin will guest-lecture various courses, hold office hours, and advise both undergraduate and graduate students in their entrepreneurial endeavors. His areas of expertise include entrepreneurship, e-commerce, Internet marketing, team building, loyalty, CRM and financing.
“We are so fortunate to have someone of Justin’s incredible talent and experience join our program,” said David Choi, director of LMU’s Entrepreneurship Program. “He will do a wonderful job of inspiring and guiding our students through their entrepreneurial ventures.”
Justin is founder and CEO of 500friends, a provider of SaaS loyalty marketing solutions backed by $12M+ from leading investors such as Crosslink Capital, Intel Capital, Silicon Valley Bank and YCombinator. The company enables retailers to turn shoppers into loyal customers through a white-label social loyalty platform that includes rewarding customers for purchases but also for referring friends, writing reviews, sharing and recommending products and uploading content.
“I am very excited to become involved with a program so dedicated to students and their success,” said Justin. “I really like LMU’s mission of making a difference in the world, its focus on diversity, and the people involved with the program. I am amazed at how much they have accomplished with such a small team and am grateful for this incredible opportunity.”
Justin’s passion for entrepreneurship and business began at age 14, when he opened an eBay account and quickly became a top PowerSeller for the e-commerce giant. Since then, he has founded two profitable e-commerce companies, both of which were acquired. He is also an investor in more than 20 ventures including Zencoder, ifeelgoods, Hipmunk, Homejoy, OwnLocal, Torbit, Userfox, Firebase and First Opinion.
A native of Los Angeles, Justin was recently named to Forbes‘ prestigious 30 Under 30 list for the Social & Mobile category. Other than entrepreneurship, he is passionate about animals, especially dogs, Persian/exotic cats, dolphins, whales, capybaras, platypus, manatees and sea turtles.