Matt Pillar is an accomplished executive with more than two decades of experience building businesses in Asia. He is Founder and Managing Director at Fire Dragon Enterprises, a global strategic advisory firm focused on Greater China, and Drucker Senior Fellow with the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University.
Notable transactions he has led since founding Fire Dragon Enterprises in 2008 include a multi-faceted,
on-the-ground China market growth strategy for Johnson & Johnson’s BabyCenter, the world’s largest
interactive parenting network. He has also advised Harvard Business School on a variety of initiatives related to entrepreneurial management in Greater China, including developing the curriculum and facilitating an executive education program on Families in Business – China at the Harvard Center in Shanghai.
Prior to Fire Dragon Enterprises, Matt served as Vice President of Emerging Business Acquisitions at The Walt Disney Company, where he identified, negotiated, and managed the acquisition of early stage businesses. In 2003, he co-founded and has since served as Managing Partner at Catalytic Capital, a growth capital investment and strategic advisory firm. Previously, Matt served as principal digital media investment analyst at Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s Vulcan Ventures, where he initiated and evaluated more than $600 million of investments and managed Vulcan’s $300 million fund of funds portfolio. From 1990 to 1997, Matt lived in Hong Kong, where he served as a founding sales, marketing, and business development executive for noted entrepreneur Richard Li across his portfolio of businesses including STAR TV, Pacific Century Corporate Access, and Pacific Century Group in Greater China, India, and Southeast Asia.
In addition to his service on a number of Boards of Directors of consumer-facing media and technology companies over the years, Matt has been a major fundraiser on the Board of Trustees of the Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House. He currently serves on the Board of Overseers of From the Top.
Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Matt graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honors in East Asian Studies from Brown University; completed a rigorous course of study at Nanjing University in Nanjing, China; and received a Master in Business Administration degree with Honors from Harvard University, where case studies and lecture material which he co-authored and published have been taught in both the Harvard Business School executive education program and second-year MBA curriculum.