Japan isn’t known for its startup culture. Tomotaka Goji, a bureaucrat-turned-technology guru, is working hard to change that.

The 50-year-old runs a low-profile venture fund in Tokyo that has quietly built a track record that would make Silicon Valley’s finest envious. He’s done it by blending his experiences at Stanford University and his connection to the prestigious University of Tokyo.

His firm, University of Tokyo Edge Capital Partners, concentrates on turning academic research into commercial businesses. With a doctorate in data science, Goji uses big data and artificial intelligence to uncover promising research results in fields like material sciences and chemistry. The result is 35% yearly returns at one of his funds since its founding in 2018, the best in Japan for any fund of more than ¥10 billion ($75 million) according to one survey.