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 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 [email protected]

171: Is Asia the New Home of Entrepreneurship?(Asia Matters)

Podcast highlights:

  • 04:20 How the Asian tech ecosystem has evolved – my story coming to Japan in 1995 and where Japan is today in mobile use
  • 17:50 Did you know that within a 5 hour flight you can get to markets of 3.5 billion from Singapore? (the equivalent is 460 million from San Francisco)
  • 29:45 Do cities like San Francisco still have an advantage over Asia? What’s changing? What’s happening to the geographical arbitrage between startup ecosystems?

Podcast notes:

  • 00:10 Graham shares the latest data from the Asia Matters Report
  • 01:30 Is Entrepreneurship in the US increasing or decreasing (Graham has the latest data)?
  • 02:05 An introduction to ATP Network – the future of podcasting for Asia Tech Podcast
  • 03:25 Heads up for Digital Lives Asia with Simon Kemp – a new show on the ATP network
  • 04:20 How the Asian tech ecosystem has evolved – my story coming to Japan in 1995 and where Japan is today in mobile use
  • 06:45 Introduction to the Asia Matters Report Part 3
  • 07:00 28% of US startups are founded by immigrants. How important is immigration to innovation? Where does Asia stand with immigration and innovation?
  • 10:00 What’s really happening to entrepreneurship in the US? Are American Millennials really the “entrepreneurial generation”? How entrepreneurship levels have changed over the last 25 years (Wall Street Journal data).
  • 11:45 What does Asia offer entrepreneurs that’s better than the West?
  • 12:40 Which countries top the Global Dynamism Ranking? (Economist Intelligence Unit data)
  • 13:40 What is the most economically free country in the world? (Heritage Foundation data) How much time do Americans waste filing taxes compared to Asian entrepreneurs?
  • 17:50 Did you know that within a 5 hour flight you can get to markets of 3.5 billion from Singapore? (the equivalent is 460 million from San Francisco)
  • 19:10 What is going to happen in the growing entrepreneurial shift from West to East? The 3 Stages of the Shift (The S Curve in Part 2 of the Report)
  • 21:40 Are we now going to see a FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) with the Asian startup ecosystem?
  • 23:40 How does Asia and The West compare for startup burn time?
  • 26:00 Comparison of office space costs for startups around the world. Which startup ecosystems cost just 1/3 of what it would cost you to live in San Francisco (ave $4,500 a month)?
  • 29:45 Do cities like San Francisco still have an advantage over Asia? What’s changing? What’s happening to the geographical arbitrage between startup ecosystems?
  • 32:00 Why is now the time to seriously think about Asia an option for startup entrepreneurs?
  • 33:30 How do Asia and the US compare in terms of startup funding levels?
  • 35:50 Introduction to my Asia Matters Minute videos
  • 36:25 Why I’m heading to Fukuoka Japan this week. An insight into entrepreneurialism in Japan.
  • 45:10 How can governments help startup ecosystems?
  • Why I’m heading out to Fukuoka Japan this week to get a heads up on the startup ecosystem there
  • A sneak preview of the ATP Podcast Network with new podcast hosts in the pipeline

146: ATP Stories: Rie Yamamoto – CEO & Co-Founder at EventHub, International Strategy at ALE

Podcast highlights:

  • 13:45 What’s EventHub? The CEO and Co-Founder explains how her company is helping attendees of different events to network and to connect.
  • 21:30 Discussing TechCrunch Tokyo – the 2nd biggest event to use EventHub technology.
  • 28:45 Differences in networking culture pose a new challenge – what are the main differences in networking culture between Japan and North America?

Podcast notes:

  • 00:00 Introducing Rie Yamamoto – the CEO & Co-Founder at EventHub
  • 05:30 Rie Yamamoto discusses studying at Brown University. How did the curriculum help her in her future career?
  • 09:30 Interning at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley – how did she end up in Finance?
  • 13:45 What’s EventHub? The CEO and Co-Founder explains how her company is helping attendees of different events to network and to connect.
  • 17:00 Kicking it off! Rie Yamamoto and Michael Waitze discuss event-related tech and startups.
  • 21:30 Discussing TechCrunch Tokyo – the 2nd biggest event to use EventHub technology.
  • 24:00 What can you do with EventHub? Search options and features that can help CEOs, investors, entrepreneurs and more.
  • 28:45 Differences in networking culture pose a new challenge – what are the main differences in networking culture between Japan and North America?
  • 33:00 EventHub as a bridge between two cultures. What kind of businesses could we build around the huge amount of data available on portals like EventHub?
  • 39:00 Not only did she have to learn a completely new language, she had to attend two schools at the same time. Regular school in English from Monday to Friday and Japanese school on Saturdays.
  • 41:30 Michael Waitze and Rie Yamamoto discuss the Startup City of Fukuoka
  • 43:15 What if we told you that soon you will be able to order a shower of shooting stars? Discussing a company that does just that.
  • 47:45 How is EventHub funded and how can the startup help not only attendees but organizers as well?
  • 51:50 Thanks for tuning in! Connect with Rie Yamamoto and her team on [email protected] or [email protected]

106: Thomas Pouplin – Startup Life in Fukuoka

Thomas Pouplin is Co-Founder of Ikkai with partner Yasmine Djoudi.

Ikkai aims to make people less busy and students richer by connecting students with the short term staffing needs of Japanese companies. This is an area overlooked by traditional Japanese recruitment agencies due to a combination of tradition and fear of trying something new.

Thomas and Yasmine are based out of Fukuoka, Japan’s designated “Startup City”. In this interview Thomas shares insights into how they arrived in Fukuoka, how they set up business there including applying for government grants and startup visas, and also reflections on their business growth.

052: Fukuoka Startup City – Hype or Reality?

We just got back from 4 days in Fukuoka in Kyushu Japan. Our goal was to go check out Fukuoka’s credentials as a great place for a startup. A few years back, the Japanese government designated Fukuoka as the national “Startup City” and since then a lot has changed. We’ve seen the introduction of new coworking spaces, government programs to help get startups funded and a new startup visa. We’ll talk about all of these in today’s Asia Tech Podcast, as well as insights into life in Fukuoka, the people that make the Fukuoka startup scene and what the future looks like for this city.

028: What Makes a Great StartUp City in Asia?

In today’s episode of Asia Tech Podcast we share an in-depth look into some of the hottest cities in Asia to startup your business.

How do they compare both within Asia and to outside alternatives (e.g. Silicon Valley?) We walk through each city and discuss the startup culture, access to capital, technological infrastructure, cost of living and coworking spaces.

Featured cities this week: Bangkok, Sydney, Fukuoka, Singapore and Hong Kong