Author: Tim Romero

69: How Japanese Startups are Breaking into Silicon Valley – Ramen Hero

More and more Japanese founders are moving their startups to San Francisco. It’s easy to see why. There is more venture capital, more startup know-how, and more startup energy in that city than anywhere else in the world. In fact, there is a small, close knit Japanese startup community in San Francisco, with Japanese startups, mentors and investors all supporting each other and trying to grow their business there. On my last trip to San Francisco, I had a chance to sit down with one of these startup founders, Keisuke Kajitani, co-founder of Ramen Hero. He moved to Silicon...

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68: Why Ride-Sharing is Different in Japan – Ryo Umezawa – Hailo

Ride sharing works differently in Japan. Hailo lost the global market-share war to Uber and Lyft, but Hailo won the battle in Japan. Today, Ryo Umezawa details Hailo’s Japan market entry strategy and explains how they were able to succeed  where Uber has failed. While Uber vowed to disrupt transportation by taking on both government and industry, Hailo worked within the system. They designed and launched a platform that was completely legal and made life better for all major stakeholders, including the taxi companies. This was a battle between Uber’s disruptive innovation and Hailo’s sustaining innovation. On the global battlefield, Uber won....

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67: The Global Niche Startup Strategy – Cerevo – Iwasa Takuma

Cerevo wants to be a “global niche” player. That makes sense for this Internet of Things company. The IoT has become so pervasive and so successful that the terms ha become almost meaningless. Today we simply except and accept that almost everything should naturally be connected to the internet. Of course, it wasn’t always that way, and today Takuma Iwasa, founder and CEO of Cerevo tells us of how he started his career at one of Japan’s big consumer electronics companies trying to force the internet into devices where it really didn’t belong. And how that experience forced him...

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66: How U.S. FinTech Stripe Broke into Low-Tech Japan – Daniel Heffernan

Stripe’s Japan market entry did not go according to plan. Things worked out worked out well in the end, but they did not go according to plan. Stripe is one of the world’s largest payment processing companies, but they remained flexible and agile enough to take advantage of some of the surprises they faced in Japan. Today we sit down with Daniel Heffernan, the Japan head of Stripe, and he walks us through what happens when a technically sophisticated and streamlined FinTech company comes face-to-face with the very low-tech and slow-moving processes that make up FinTech in Japan, and...

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65: How to Make Startup M&A Work in Japan – Naoki Yamada

Startup M&A is changing in Japan. In August, Naoki Yamada sold his startup Conyac to Rozetta for $14 million. It was an unusual journey of alternating cycles of rapid growth and near bankruptcy, and today Naoki explains how he managed to make the deal happen and also how M&A is changing in Japan, and it seems that change might come much sooner than anyone had been expecting. Naoki talks very openly about some of the mistakes he made and give solid advice on how you can avoid making the same ones. And of course, he explains how he handled the negotiations for...

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