218: Simon Kim – FASTx and The Startup Ecosystem in Tokyo

218: Simon Kim – FASTx and The Startup Ecosystem in Tokyo

 

Podcast highlights:

  • [24:44] The population fundamentals of Japan and how demographic changes shape the startup ecosystem
  • [36:29] Start up founders in Tokyo tend to get bank loans by default instead of seeking angel investors - does this present a challenge to Japan?
  • [40:48] The city of Fukuoka and its top down approach to building an ecosystem. Is it sustainable long term?

Podcast notes:

  • [00:05] Welcome Simon Kim to Asia Tech Podcast Stories, hosted by Graham D Brown
  • [01:00] A little bit about Simon Kim's background and how he arrived in Japan
  • [02:00] All about FASTx, a start up accelerator platform and coworking space
  • [06:00] Bringing a Western influence into Japan
  • [07:20] Was not speaking Japanese when coming to Japan an issue for Simon?
  • [10:40] The reasons Simon chose Japan as a place to base FASTx, a start up accelerator
  • [14:55] Risk adversity in Japan. Why be a start up founder when you can work for Mitsubishi?
  • [15:55] The distinct lack of success stories about Japanese entrepreneurs
  • [18:45] The history of Japan often changes from the outside. Is that what Simon is trying to do?
  • [21:50] How is the typical start up founder in the Japan different compared to founders from other countries?
  • [24:44] The population fundamentals of Japan and how demographic changes shape the startup ecosystem
  • [27:40] Simon's experiences of mentoring young start up founders in Japan
  • [28:56] The Japanese idea of starting a side business to supplement income
  • [31:48] The Japanese buoyance and passion about making things, and how this is reflected in start ups
  • [34:40] Business failure in Japan and facing debts when a start up fails
  • [36:29] Start up founders in Tokyo tend to get bank loans by default instead of seeking angel investors - does this present a challenge to Japan?
  • [40:48] The city of Fukuoka and its top down approach to building an ecosystem. Is it sustainable long term?
  • [44:25] Can the alternative lifestyle of Fukuoka be extended to Tokyo and other cities?
  • [49:50] Would Simon consider working with someone who is doing their start up on a part time basis? Does age matter?
  • [53:37] Founders need to have a good ability to present and sell their product
  • [55:26] Go to fastx.jp to out more about FASTx and sign up for the upcoming competition in April.To get in touch with Simon, email info@fastx.jp