Hiro Maeda (aka @djtokyo), managing partner from Beenos Venture Capital joins us on an interesting conversation about the nascent and exciting ecosystem in Japan. Covering the landscape of entrepreneurs & investors in Tokyo and describing the ongoing three wars between startups within the ecosystem, Hiro provides a fresh perspective about Japan that we have not seen before. He also provide a glimpse how Beenos is involved in the earlier investment rounds of Tokopedia and Instacart and the ongoing relationship between Japanese entrepreneurs and Silicon Valley. We also discuss why the top Japanese corporations such as Softbank, Uniqlo and Rakuten are all out for global domination and why the best technology in Japan always end up going out to the world thru the US.
Here are the interesting links for the discussion:
- The story of Hiro Maeda (do turn on your Google Translate), from an entrepreneur to investor and from Japan to US and back. The story of Open Network Lab and Beenos incubator with special mentions to Teruhide Sato, Joi Ito and Digital Garage.
- The successes of Beenos venture capital with their early investments in Tokopedia & Instacart.
- The Japanese entrepreneurial ecosystem with the ongoing three major wars between leading startups: (a) mobile news curation and distribution: Smartnews and Gunosy (b) mobile marketplace: Fril vs Mercari & (c) crowdsourcing: CrowdWorks vs Lancers.
- The investors in Japan and why most companies do not raise another round but IPO upon reaching US$100M.
- Japan as the first port of call for US companies, and the ongoing relationship between Japan ecosystem and Silicon Valley.
- Japanese Innovation and Culture: Why the best of Japanese technology always end up with US company making money of them. A short chat on why Apple behaves like a Japanese company in secret.
- Where the Japanese ecosystem will evolve towards.