Board of Directors

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Thomas G. Tsao

Gobi Partners

As Co-founder of Gobi Partners, Tom has grown the company from its original base in Shanghai to a regional firm with 14 locations across Asia.

As the new Asian kid at Fayette elementary school, Tom got into a brawl on his first day of kindergarten. Without the help from his neighborhood friends, he would have gotten the sh*t kicked out of him. Ever since then, he's been rooting for the underdog.

Growing up near Nassau Coliseum, he absorbed lessons about teamwork, commitment, grit and excellence by avidly following the New York Islanders during their dynasty years. Just before he turned twelve, Tom learned about the true meaning of heroism from Arland D. Williams, the "man in the water", who during the tragedy of Air Florida Flight 90, gave up his life in the freezing Potomac River so that others might live. Tom went to high school with Debbie Gibson and met President Ronald Reagan as a senior. He graduated from Harvard with a B.A. in economics and was the inspiration for Seinfeld's Movie Phone episode.

Tom has nearly 30 years of experience in venture capital, operations, fund management and investment banking. Over the last 20 years, Tom has actively helped entrepreneurs build companies and create value. He has invested in 200+ startups, achieved over 40 exits, and returned US$575 million to investors. He was named one of China's Top Venture Capitalists from 2013 - 2017.

In 2006, he founded SEO-China, a non-profit organization, which has provided hundreds of internships for underserved college students. He also serves as Chairman of the Presidential Scholars Foundation, which cultivates, connects and celebrates U.S. Presidential Scholars (161 of the nation's top high school seniors who are selected annually and honored by the White House). In 2021, Tom joined the board of Endeavor Malaysia.

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Gobi Partners is one of the longest standing venture capital firms with a Pan-Asian presence across North Asia, South Asia, and ASEAN with over US$1.1 billion in assets under management (AUM). Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai, Gobi supports entrepreneurs from the early to growth stages and focuses on emerging and underserved markets.