8 Emerging Startups from Japan 2017
- Jun 6, 2017
On May 24, 2017, eight emerging Japanese startups gathered at DESIGN for Innovation 2017 in Tokyo to pitch their business ideas to an audience of 270 designers, business executives, potential investors and fellow entrepreneurs. In its second year, DESIGN for Innovation is a conference organized by btrax. The main portion of the conference included featured guest speakers from companies such as IDEO, Frog Design, and Pivotal Labs. Of the startups that pitched, 2 were selected as finalists to go on to compete at the prestigious RISE Conference in Hong Kong this July as part of Runway to RISE. RISE is a tech conference produced by the team behind Web Summit, attended companies, startups, […]
Top 5 Startups in Japan by Funding – 2017
- May 15, 2017
Traditionally, startup fundraising has been difficult in risk-averse Japan. Fundraising rounds are a fraction of the levels in the US, and even China. But this is slowly changing as large corporations see investing in smaller, nimbler high-tech companies as a way to change with the times. Many large Japanese corporations have even set up venture capital funds to seek returns or team up with smaller companies. So what are the top-funded startups in Japan in 2017? Check out the top five as of May 2017 below. 1. Spiber – $128.09M Coming in at number one is Spiber – a startup founded in 2007 that has recently gained a lot of traction in […]
8 Marketing Mistakes to Avoid Making in Japan
- Apr 25, 2017
Marketing to Japanese consumers is hard—even for Japanese companies. And though most strategies for optimizing marketing’s effectiveness in the West (like having clear campaign goals and measuring results) also apply in Japan, there are a few additional things you should keep in mind when navigating the Japanese market. Here are a few common marketing pitfalls to avoid making in Japan.
5 Mistakes Startups Make in Japan
- Apr 13, 2017
Expanding your business into Japan can be exciting and lucrative, as this hi-tech market provides millions of opportunities for new users of your product or service. But as with any venture, it comes with risk and potential failure. Of course, there are startup mistakes to avoid no matter where you are, but there are additional no-no’s specific to Japan. Here are some risks to watch out for.
Why Hasn’t Japan Dominated Software?
- Apr 5, 2017
Inspired by a talk given by Dr. Robert Cole, a professor at U.C. Berkeley, at a Japan Society event about Japan’s lack of software development innovation, I decided to do a quick survey of both Japanese and non-Japanese to see if anybody could think of a successful Japanese software company. The most common answer I got was that they couldn’t think of one. The most popular company people did come up with was Nintendo, which definitely creates software but if you were to characterize them, probably more common words would be hardware, console or entertainment as opposed to software. A couple people mentioned Pokemon Go or Samsung. Unfortunately neither of these companies […]
How Do HR Policies Differ in America and Japan?
- Mar 21, 2017
It should surprise no one that there are cultural differences between US and Japanese companies. This is especially true when comparing what HR policies the respective nations’ organizations enact—and how employees do, or do not, take advantage of them. Neither nation currently ranks well when compared to Europe and the rest of the world with regards to family leave and vacation, though Japan, at least, has introduced new laws requiring time off. So which of the two nations are more favorable to employees? According to Hidemaru Sato, btrax’s Senior Advisor as well as former CEO and GM of comScore Japan and former GM of Expedia Japan, the Japanese government has […]
Top 10 Japanese YouTube Channels 2017
- Mar 14, 2017
The YouTube content creator landscape is constantly changing and increasingly influential. In fact, many who originally started on YouTube are now “making it big” on conventional media (like television), and many television shows today post short clips on YouTube to reach a younger audience who are more into streaming and on-demand content than live TV. This has created a whole new media landscape for marketers and brands and many opportunities for influencer marketing through new online personalities. A screenshot of some of the top trending YouTube videos in Japan, 2017. Of course, this phenomenon is not exclusive to the West. Japan is one of the biggest markets for YouTube in […]
5 Reasons Digital Content Marketing is Taking Off in Japan
- Feb 28, 2017
Content marketing is everywhere. In fact, you’re consuming some right now. Perhaps you arrived here because you Googled “Japan content marketing.” More and more online material—blogs, videos, social media posts—is marketing content, especially in the U.S. and Europe. By 2019, the global digital content marketing industry will be a $300 billion business. Asian companies are now adopting the practice as well, and quickly: content marketing is growing at between 5 and 10 percent annually there. Japan, though, has not experienced the same rate of growth, perhaps owing to the nation’s cultural resistance to rapid change or the perception of unmeasurable ROI on something as intangible as trustworthiness. Many marketers in Japan […]
What Makes a Brand Global? Japan’s Top 10 Global and Domestic Brands
- Feb 21, 2017
What makes a brand global? Some Japanese brands are famous all over the world, whilst others are huge at home but virtually unknown outside of the country. Interbrand recently released two rankings for Japanese brands – one ranks global brands, whereas the other ranks brands that are mainly recognized only in Japan. Global brands are defined as brands where sales overseas accounts for more than 30% of revenue on top of having a brand recognition of more than 10% by global surveyees. Interbrand’s ranking is decided by brand value, which is a mixture of a company’s potential future earnings, the brand’s contribution to its current profits, and the brand’s contribution to future earnings. Check out […]
Evernote Co-Founder Phil Libin on the Company’s Success in Japan
- Feb 14, 2017
Many articles have been written about Evernote’s success in Japan. One internet search and you’ll find NTT Docomo was one of their first big investors, Japan is one of their biggest markets and Co-founder Phil Libin once got a haircut in Japan where the media covered it. That story didn’t come as much of a shock as I’ve seen blonde American friends in Japan get asked if somebody can touch their hair. Featured photo: Chinnian/Flickr Knowing this about Evernote, it was no surprise to hear that their co-founder, Phil Libin, was awarded the ‘Outstanding Visionary Award for US – Japan Business’ at the recent Silicon Valley Keizai Shinnenkai. I enjoyed hearing […]