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Tony Tjan  

Founder and CEO, Cue Ball, & Best-Selling Author

Tony Tjan (pronounced “Chan”) has had a broad, exciting, and successful career that has spanned across entrepreneurship, strategic advisory work, large-scale corporate transformation, and now venture capital.

He is the CEO and Managing Partner of Cue Ball Group, a Boston-based venture capital and early growth-equity firm. Cue Ball was founded in 2008 by Tony and his partners with a vision to create a new model for venture capital – one that centered on human capital and one that set the highest standards for alignment and transparency with investors.

Prior to Cue Ball, Tony was an entrepreneur and senior strategic advisor to CEOs. In 1995, he founded ZEFER, one of the country’s first Internet services and large-scale web application development firms. The company embraced a multi-disciplinary approach by bringing together professionals who were able to think and implement across the spectrum of business, design and technology. ZEFER won the Harvard Business School Plan Competition, grew to $125M and today is part of the Japanese conglomerate, NEC. In addition to ZEFER and Cue Ball, he is also the co-founder of the nail and beauty salon chain, MiniLuxe (a company driven by the purpose of standardizing and professionalizing a fragmented industry).

In 2001, Tony became the youngest Senior Partner elected in the history of the strategic consulting and investment firm, The Parthenon Group, where he remains Vice Chairman. At that time, Tony was also a Special Senior Advisor to the then CEO of the Thomson Corporation, Richard Harrington, who is now Tony’s partner at Cue Ball. Working alongside Harrington, Tony played important roles in guiding Thomson’s transformation from a traditional publishing and holding company into the world's largest information media company, Thomson Reuters.

Tony is a World Economic Forum Global Leader for Tomorrow and has been a speaker at their Annual Meeting in Davos, as well as a speaker for the TED conference. He has been named a top ten consultant by Consulting Magazine, and is a regular contributor and author to Harvard Business Review. He co-authored the New York Times Bestseller Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck the result of three years of research across 500+ entrepreneurs, and which now has thousands of people around the world taking its Entrepreneur Aptitude Test (E.A.T. Survey). He holds degrees from Harvard College, Harvard Business School, and was a Belfer Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He is currently also on the Faculty of the Harvard Business School as an Entrepreneur in Residence and sits on several private, non-profit, and public boards.

Speech Topics


Human Capital

Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck

Entrepreneurial Success

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