Tom Kalinske

Venture Partner

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Tom Kalinske is a Venture Partner. He was the Chairman of Global Education Learning, a start-up dedicated to helping young children in China learn various subjects, and headed the Audit Committee at Cambium Learning Group. He also serves on the boards of Stitched Insights, Adjunct Professor Link, Teach the World Foundation, and the  University of Wisconsin School of Business.

He was previously CEO and/or Chairman of LeapFrog at different times starting in 1997, helping LeapFrog grow from a start-up specialty toy company to the largest educational toy company in the world.

Tom has had a long career in the toy and game industry, as well as in educational toys and activities. He has held leadership roles at Mattel, Sega of America, Universal Matchbox Group and LeapFrog, among others.

The 2014 book, Console Wars, chronicled Tom’s strategies and fight against Nintendo. It has been made into a documentary film, released on CBS Prime , as well as Paramount Prime and became the 3rd most watched film on Paramount prime. Tom was inducted into the International Video Game Hall of fame in March 2022.

Tom joined Knowledge Universe (KU) at its founding in 1996 as its President and on its Board of Directors. From 1990 to 1996, Tom was president and CEO of Sega of America, Inc. From 1987 to 1990, Tom was President and CEO of Universal Matchbox Group. Previously, Tom was President and co-CEO of Mattel, where he worked on Barbie & Hot Wheels in addition to other business lines. He was inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame in 1997, joining the founders of Mattel, Hasbro, Lego, Walt Disney, George Lucas, Jim Henson and others.

Tom is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin. He served in the U.S. Army. He earned an MBA from the University of Arizona, and attended the Harvard Business School’s Strategic Management Program. He is married with six children.