Jetro New York and Japan NYC Startups on Bridging the Japanese and American Technology Ecosystems
As the Land of Sony, Sake and the Rising Sun has made a name for itself in many fields and the country’s culture and formidable values are taught and well respected across the globe, we wanted to know what’s behind the next wave of influence coming from Japan.
To get a look behind the scenes, New York International sat down with the masterminds behind the inaugural IFConference connecting the community of Japanese entrepreneurs, technologists, and successful founders in New York City.
- Takeshi Komoto, Executive Director, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) New York
- Masa Okunishi, Co-Founder & Organizer at Japan NYC Startups
- Hideyuki Gojima, Conference Organizer / Nulab
On Monday March 7, NY Intl had a chance to meet 6 diverse Japanese startups on a trade mission to NYC at a stopover event hosted by Japan NYC Startups, New York’s fast growing Meetup community initiated by Masa Okunishi.
The delegation organized by METI (Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry) was invited to New York City by Takeshi Komoto, Executive Director, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) New York.
Seeing past Silicon Valley
Takeshi Komoto and Masa Okunishi are venturing out to change Japan’s perception of New York: “The city is currently known for business only, not so much yet for technology. Japanese companies barely see past Silicon Valley at the moment, but that doesn’t do New York City’s startup ecosystem justice.”
Takeshi sees the importance of bringing delegations to New York CIty to expose Japanese startup companies to the global level of competitiveness and to avoid that startups miss out on valuable business opportunities in “the capital of the world.”
Japanese succeed as a community instead of individuals
Organizing these kind of events and creating a welcoming platform for startups and entire delegations is vital to further connect the community away from distant home Japan. It’s also essential in a sense that it creates access points to a startup ecosystem that can be breeding ground and accelerator for a new wave of greatness coming straight from Japan and spreading across the world from New York City.
IFConference – The new gateway to and from Japan
With the goal to reach and attract an audience outside of Meetup and even beyond the Japanese-only circles, the IFConference evolved bringing together startups from New York and Japan together with the vibrant startup community in New York and is even attracting speakers from Silicon Valley.
The conference and platform is the culmination of the monthly event series hosted by the Japan NYC Startups Meetup group and all about connected the still disperse community here in New York.
There’s a session for everybody. Learn from insiders about the expanding Japanese startup ecosystem. Or, listen to Japanese entrepreneurs share insights and learnings from bringing their businesses to the US. Investors, academia, students and anyone involved or interested in the startup scene are invited to the conference.
The IFConference is meant to become the gateway for companies expanding from and to Japan welcoming Japanese entrepreneurs, gifted technologists, and successful founders to share insights on what it means and takes to take your company across the Pacific.
IFConference New York
Startups across the US and Japan, coming together in NYC.
April 11, 2016 | Tickets here
About the initiators
Japan NYC Startups is a new global community focused on bridging Japanese and American technology ecosystems. Our goal is to help entrepreneurs and business leaders share their collective experiences and knowledge, thus strengthening their ability to work across the US and Japanese markets. For example this community can help technologists in NYC and Japan understand key differences about business practices.
JETRO (The Japan External Trade Organization) is a non-profit, government-funded organization that works to promote mutual trade and investment between Japan and the world. Originally established in 1958 to promote Japanese exports abroad, JETRO’s core focus in the 21st century has shifted to promoting foreign direct investment into Japan and helping small to medium-sized Japanese firms maximize their global export potential. JETRO is organized and managed by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), a ministry of the Japanese Government that focuses on economic & industrial development through innovation, technology, and foreign investment. JETRO currently maintains 73 offices overseas and 46 offices in Japan, including the Tokyo and Osaka headquarters.
Nulab is a team of fun-spirited innovators, dedicated to creating software applications that support and foster effective communication and collaboration among people and businesses. They have three main products;
- Cacoo – With Cacoo, you can easily create online diagrams such as wireframes, flow charts, UMLs, etc. and share them with your team for real time collaboration.
- Backlog – Add fun interactivity into your project management with Backlog. Easily communicate, motivate and collaborate in real time with your team.
- Typetalk – A collaborative chat app which revolutionizes the way you discuss and collaborate with your team members via instant messaging