Born in California, William Saito took up commercial software programming when he was 10 years old and incorporated his company just a decade later. By the time he was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 1998 (by Ernst & Young, NASDAQ and USA Today), he was 27 and fast becoming one of the world's leading authorities on encryption, authentication and biometric technologies.
In the following years he led the development of the world's first biometric authentication system and licensed the core technology (BAPI) to over 160 companies worldwide. When it was included in the MicrosoftWindows' operating system, BAPI became a de facto global standard; Microsoft Corporation finally purchased the company in 2004.
Selling the business he had worked so hard to build ultimately freed Saito to begin Act II of his unusual story. In 2005 he moved to Tokyo and founded Intecur, a consultancy that helps companies worldwide to identify and market innovative technologies. He became CEO of a major venture capital fund and indulged his passion for helping entrepreneurs to become successful. He also began advising a multitude of Japanese government agencies, lecturing at the nation's most prestigious universities, and commenting on policy issues, both in speeches, in high-profile essays, and on national TV.
Recently, Saito was named a council member on National Strategy and Policy for the National Policy Unit, a new Cabinet-level organization that reports directly to the Prime Minister of Japan. On the global front, he was recently named a Foundation Board Member of the World Economic Forum after being honored as both a Young Global Leader and Global Agenda Council member in 2011.