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Mentors

OIH operates with support from various experts, including those experienced with IPOs and specialists in the field of industrial-academic collaboration. Contact us regarding mentoring. (Note that designation of a specific mentor is not possible.)

Supporter MentorsCouncilor mentors

Entrepreneur mentors (in order of Japanese syllabary)

Susumu Iwata
President of Lockon Co., Ltd.

Born in 1977, Mr. Iwata started Lockon Co., Ltd. in Osaka when he was a university student in 2001. Since then, with the philosophy of “Impact on the World,” the company has been developing products in the digital marketing field. It has established top brand status in Japan in various fields, including “ADEBiS,” a marketing platform, and “EC-CUBE”, an electronic commerce (EC) open platform. It was listed on the Mothers section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in September 2014.

Edmund Sun
Director of Square System

Mr. Sun graduated from Caltech USA with an MS and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics. He is currently Director of Square System, which specializes in 3D technology including scanning of people, objects and buildings as well as AR/VR content generation. He is the founder of Weitek, a pioneer in 3D graphics, and C-Cube, a pioneer in digital image compression; both companies are listed on the US NASDAQ. He also helped to start 10 other tech companies dealing with software and Internet applications, system hardware and IC development. He has been a professor of information technology and entrepreneurship at universities in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. He received an award from the DVD Forum for lifetime achievement in MPEG technology. He has authored or co-authored 45 papers and obtained 15 patents.

Jun Shibuya
President of Smart Value Co., Ltd.

Mr. Shibuya is the third-generation owner of a small factory that was founded in 1928. He has been transforming its business category over a 23-year period starting in the 1990s. The company, listed on the JASDAQ in Tokyo in June 2015, currently operates a business dealing mainly with cloud services, IoT and mobiles, both B2B and B2G (business-to-business and business-to-government), with the concept of “creating social systems that will make a mark on history.” He completed the Business Administration program at the Graduate School of the Osaka University of Economics.

Hitoshi Tanii

1972: Born in Osaka. Graduated from Kobe University with a degree in Business Administration. Started to work for NTT (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation) after graduation but later resigned.
September 1997: Founded a limited partnership company, Digital Network Service (name later changed to Infocast, Inc.)
September 2000: Sold Infocast, Inc. to Rakuten, Inc.
September 2000: Founded Index Digital, Inc. (name later changed to Synergy Marketing, Inc.)
November 2007: Listed on the Hercules Stocks section of the Osaka Stock Exchange (name later changed to JASDAQ).
October 2014: Sold Synergy Marketing, Inc. to Yahoo Japan Corporation.
Currently serving as an outside director of two companies, Hotto Link, Inc. and Market Enterprise Co., Ltd.; both are listed.
Investing in about 20 venture companies as an angel investor.

Yugo Tsuji
CEO of Pal Co., Ltd

Aiming to create his own company from the age of 18, he carried out his words and founded Pal Co., Ltd in 2000. Starting as a worker dispatch business specializing in the distribution industry, the company rapidly expanded its business fields into the distribution outsourcing and mail order solution industry. After that, in 2016, he launched a business to promote mechanization of distribution operations as a means of addressing the declining population issue, and started offering IoT (Internet of Things) distribution platforms using cutting-edge technologies such as AI and robotics.

Junko Foley
President of Daidomon

Ms. Foley graduated from Kobe College. After serving as an interpreter to the Osaka Governor, she pursued an active career as a simultaneous interpreter. At the age of 33, she started her own company and founded MAID Japan as a general Japanese agency of MAID, a British online database company. After selling the company, she co-founded Silver Egg Technology Co., Ltd. with Thomas Foley in 1998. She engaged in establishment of the company projects as Executive Director and COO. The company was listed on the Mothers section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in September 2016. Currently the company offers marketing services based on AI to many large and mid-sized websites in Japan, including major e-commerce websites. She became President of Daidomon in 2010, after buying back Daidomon, a restaurant chain, which used to be her family business and was taken over by a fund through civil rehabilitation proceedings. She resigned as Executive Director of Silver Egg Technology and assumed the position of co-founder of the company in 2015.

Entrepreneur mentorsCouncilor mentors

Supporter Mentors (in order of Japanese syllabary)

Allen Miner
Founder / CEO of SunBridge Inc.

As a venture capitalist and angel capitalist, Mr. Miner is well versed in various fields including IT, enterprise software, international business development and entrepreneurship. As the head of SunBridge Inc., founded with his own funds, he invested in Japanese startup companies such as Macromill, Inc., ITmedia Inc., and G-mode Corporation, and made their initial public offering (IPO) a reality. In addition, he significantly contributed to companies including Salesforce.com, Concur Technologies, Marketo, and Demandware in entering the Japanese market. After the foundation of SunBridge in 1999, aiming to establish startup ecosystems in Japan and act as a bridge between Japan and Silicon Valley, he founded Venture Habitat in Tokyo in 2000, in Palo Alto in 2008, and in Osaka in 2010. He was selected as one of “the world’s top 100 investors in the IT field” in Forbes and Always On.

Naoyuki Ushio
Representative of ITPC

Based in Silicon Valley and Tokyo, Mr. Ushio actively works as an expert on international business development including discovering promising venture companies in the US and supporting them in entering in the Japanese market, conducting research on overseas trends for open innovation-oriented Japanese companies, and supporting joint projects with venture companies. He specializes in various fields including automotive, security, image processing, sensors, devices, and agriculture IT. He also promotes government-industry-academia cooperation and commercialization of technology venture companies’ projects generated at universities, and supports Japanese SMEs in entering the US market, as a specialist in roles including: a mentor in the NEDO-TCP (Technology Commercialization Program), Mirai 2018, STERRA Yamanashi, and Keihanna Research Complex; a representative of the Silicon Valley Office of the Osaka Prefectural University EDGE Program; an advisor at Todai TLO (Technology Licensing Organization); Project Advisor for Smart Finder at Kansai University; and Platform Coordinator for support of SMEs’ overseas development at JETRO San Francisco. Before becoming independent in 2006, he worked for Matsushita Electric Industry (present-day Panasonic) and engaged in global project development and alliances in various business and technology fields including Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS.) In the US (Silicon Valley and Princeton), he was in charge of promoting technical cooperation between venture companies and universities. He graduated from the Human Sciences program in the Keio University Faculty of Letters.

Takahiro Oka
Representative Director of Japan Startup Support Association

Born in Osaka in 1961, Mr. Oka founded Dream Vision Co., Ltd. after graduating from Kwansei Gakuin University. The company was listed on the Mothers section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. After being bought out in 2015, he established the Association, aiming to establish ecosystems focusing on IPO support and M&As.

Satoshi Kabasawa
Chief Habitat Officer of SunBridge Global Ventures Inc.

Mr. Kabasawa, one of the founders of Panasonic Corporate Venture Capital (CVC), realized technical cooperation between Japanese, US and European venture companies as well as contributing to EXIT of investment fund, including IPO for investing companies. Having 10 years of experience in the US (mainly in Silicon Valley), he has a wide global network in the innovation and entrepreneurship fields. He serves as a guest professor at Osaka University and a senior member at Keio University SFC Research Institute, working on educational research in the same field.

Tadaaki Kimura
CEO of Addlight Inc.

After competing graduate school, Mr. Kimura started to work at a major auditing firm and engaged in support for IPOs and legal auditing. Since he founded Addlight Inc. in 2008, he has been dealing with practical professional services in the fields of management planning, business administration and financing. In addition, he supports venture companies on a hands-on basis as a board member in the biotech, IT, retail, environmental technology fields, and helps overseas companies in areas including Asia and the US.

Yoshihiro Sugiura
President of Daihyosewanin Co., Ltd.

Mr. Sugiura started to work for the Kagoshima Branch of Sanyo Securities Company Limited in 1987, engaged in sales targeting local small- and mid-sized entreprises and affluent individual customers. He resigned from the company two months before the Nikkei Stock Average reached a peak and moved to an electronic manufacturer, which allegedly provided the highest pay in Japan. He was in charge of major factories of large automobile manufacturers, confectionary makers, and parts manufacturers in Urawa City, Saitama. For his achievements, he was thrown into the air by all employees like a victorious baseball team manager when he resigned. Then, he worked for more than 20 years at an insurance company, where he was in charge of investing in venture companies, promoting retail sales, and fostering young people in sales and management positions, before he resigned from the company at the end of 2014. He was also very active outside the company, and he founded Daihyosewanin Co., Ltd. on January 1, 2015 as President of the company and started the business of supporting and connecting people. He focuses on writing activities for an online magazine, Wedge. Further self-introduction is here.

Masaru Sumi
CEO of Filament, Inc

Mr. Sumi is a former public servant (Osaka City) and current CEO of an open innovation design firm, Filament, Inc. In his former career, he was in charge of establishing and planning Osaka Innovation Hub. Currently, with the missions of “offering co-creation opportunities” and “fostering what is generated through co-creation opportunities,” he enthusiastically fosters human resources for co-creation and leads the creation of new projects as an open innovation organizer.

Toyokazu Terada
Chief Executive Officer of A2O Inc.

In 1988, Mr. Terada started to work for ITOCHU Corporation and was engaged in a great number of business development, business investment and management operations, mainly in the information industry inside and outside of Japan. In 1997, he started to invest in US venture companies at ITOCHU International, Inc. in New York and founded Horizon Ventures in Silicon Valley. In 2004, he served ITOCHU Technology Inc. in Silicon Valley as Senior Vice-President (responsible for business development and strategic investment). In 2006, he started to invest in venture companies inside and outside of Japan, mainly in the ICT field, as an investment vice-president at ITOCHU Technology Ventures. Currently, he is CEO of A2O Inc., Representative of TiE Japan, 500 Start Ups Mentor, Advisor of Kamiyama Foundation, and an outside board member of Macnica Fuji Electronics Holdings, Inc. He graduated from the Department of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Waseda University.

Ikuo Hiraishi
President of Dream Vision Co., Ltd.

Mr. Hiraishi is a serial entrepreneur and startup accelerator. He co-founded WebCrew Inc. (listed on the Mothers section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2004), Interscope Co., Ltd. (after being bought out by Yahoo! Japan, it was merged with Macromill in 2010), and other companies. After assuming the position of Tokyo Officer at SunBridge GVH in March 2011, he launched a global pitch event, the Innovation Weekend, and held a World Tour. He established SunBridge Global Ventures Inc. in January 2012 and became President of the company (retired in June 2017). He restarted Dream Vision Co., Ltd. in July 2017 (current position).

Kazuhiro Matsushita
President of Hanasaka G&B Co., Ltd

Mr. Matsushita started his own company, passionately aiming to popularize 21st-century Japanese brands throughout the world. Currently, he works actively as a management consultant for several companies.

Yoshio Matsumi
Director of ITOCHU Corporation, Senior Advisor and former President of Osaka University Venture Capital Co., Ltd.

In 1969, Mr. Matsumi started to work for ITOCHU Corporation. After serving as Vice President of Space Information Multimedia Company, Manager of Development & Ventures and Space Information Department at ITOCHU International Inc. (for 20 years in New York), Director of the Strategic Advanced Technology Division, Director of Strategic Advanced Technology Center, Executive Officer and Corporate Adviser, etc. at ITOCHU Corporation, he resigned and assumed the position of Executive Board member of the company in 2009. He served as Advisor of Impulsing Paradigm Change through the Disruptive Technologies Program (ImPACT) of the Cabinet Office, Government of Japan, and a member of the Self-Evaluation Committee of the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), etc. He was a former President of Osaka University Venture Capital Co., Ltd.

Takahiro Miyashita
Intelligent Robotics and Communication Laboratory, Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International 

In 2002, Mr. Miyashita served as a research worker and senior research worker at Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR). In 2007, he became General Manager of ATR. After 2013, he was engaged in establishment of Osaka Innovation Hub as Super Producer in the Program of Creation Support Service for Global Innovation, under the auspices of Osaka City. He conducted more than 200 events a year for investor matching and for entrepreneurs. He also served as Program Officer of the Development of Basic Technologies Project in the Program for Creating Start-ups from Advanced Research and Technology at the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). He focuses on fostering entrepreneurs in the IoT (Internet of Things) and robotics industries and application of advanced technologies to society.

Entrepreneur mentorsSupporter Mentors

Councilor mentors (in order of Japanese syllabary)
Mentors are members of the Osaka City Innovation Promotion Council who give advice to OIH (including former councilors)

 

Hironobu Azuma
Principal (Principal Researcher in the Research Consulting Division and Group Leader for Convergence Strategy) of The Japan Research Institute, Limited

Mr. Azuma completed the first semester of the doctoral course in Mechanical Engineering at the Graduate School of Osaka Prefectural University. After involvement in supporting venture companies and fostering socially oriented entrepreneurs, and establishment of social media, he started to work for The Japan Research Institute in 2006. He is actively engaged in consultant practice and incubation activities including support related to Post Merger Integration (PMI), planning of new businesses, legal revisions and guideline planning through practical test demonstrations, mainly in the ICT field. In February 2016, he organized the Incubation & Innovation Initiative, a business consortium for cross-industrial collaboration to promote innovation, with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, in order to support cutting-edge technologies and commercialize business ideas, which serve as a basis of Japan’s growth strategy. He conducts open innovation programs to promote commercialization of science and technology such as robotics, AI, biotech and life science in collaboration with overseas government-related institutions; works on supporting startups; helps cross-industry companies develop projects, and suggests policy proposals. In addition, he has served government-related institutions including the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, and as a local government committee member, a board member, and an outside advisor for private groups, etc. He has been a member of the Osaka City Promotion Council since FY2017.

Emi Takemura

Ms. Takemura has been engaged in planning multimedia content and technology infrastructure strategy in Japan and the US as a business consultant since the early 1990s. In 1999, she started to engage in a wide range of projects related to consumer services as a member of the management of global brands including Excite, Amazon and Disney, dealing with business planning, establishment, marketing and customer support. Peatix. com, founded in 2011 with her ex-colleague at Amazon, now has more than 3 million users in 27 countries. Currently she works actively in diverse fields to foster the next generation, with a focus on education and technology. She has been a member of the Osaka City Promotion Council since FY2017.

Noriko Tajima
Director of The Research Institute for Innovation Management and Professor in the Faculty of Business Administration at Hosei University

After being involved with government-related institutions and a construction company, Ms. Tajima worked as a small and medium enterprise management consultant and a commercial space designer. Then, after working for an IT company, she switched careers to academia. After serving at Kochi University of Technology and Meisei University, she became a Professor of the Faculty of Business Administration and Business School at Hosei University in 2008. She has been in her current post from 2012, working on practical business management, and research and education, with the themes of innovation management and entrepreneurship. She has been Outside Director of Fuji Oil Co., Ltd. from 2015 to today and was a member of the Osaka City Promotion Council from FY2013 to FY2016.

Kunihiro Tanaka
Representative Director President and CEO of Sakura Internet Inc.

Born in Osaka in 1978, Mr. Tanaka started his business, Sakura Internet, while he was a student at the National Institute Technology, Maizuru College in 1996. The company started to operate a co-hosting service (Sakura Web), which was uncommon in Japan at that time. In 1999, he founded Sakura Internet Inc., and was engaged in development of Sakura Rental Server, a low-cost rental server provided at a low cost of only 129 yen a month. After serving as COO, etc., he has been in his current post since 2008. He has been involved in many groups as a member of boards of directors or committees to develop the Internet industry. He has been a member of the Osaka City Promotion Council since FY2017.

Kumi Fujisawa
President of Think Tank Sophia Bank

After working for an investment management company, Ms. Fujisawa started Japan’s first investment trust evaluation company in 1996. She was involved in establishment of Think Tank Sophia Bank in 2000, and is President of the think tank now. She is also a member of committees or boards of directors in several government ministries, and an outside board member of companies such as Toyota Tsusho Corporation, a listed company. She disseminates messages regarding hints on the essence of leadership and how to solve societal problems via Internet radio, books, TV, and speeches. She recently wrote The Real Essence of Visionary Leadership – Do Nothing and Think All (published in February, 2016) and many other books. She was a member of the Osaka City Promotion Council from FY2013 to FY2016.

Toshihiro Masaki

Mr. Masaki completed the Graduate School Ph.D. Program at Osaka University (Information Systems Engineering). He took charge of industry-university collaboration as Assistant Professor at the Collaborative Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, Osaka University, organizing unique industry-university systems including an intellectual property system and joint research classes, etc., in which state-run universities were incorporated as companies. He has been Head and Professor of the Technology Transfer Department of the Office for Industry-University Co-Creation, Osaka University since 2017, and in charge of management and usage of intellectual property (technology transference) and collaboration with Osaka University Venture Capital Co., Ltd. He has been a member of Osaka City Promotion Council from FY2017.

Takeshi Matsumoto
Vice President of NineSigma Japan, Inc.

After engaging in establishment of a new project at Osaka Gas, Mr. Matsumoto started Japan’s first MOT (Management and Technology) School and helped popularize business economics for monozukuri (skilled manufacturing). He has served as a member of official committees in the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; Specially Appointed Professor at Osaka University and other universities; and General Manager of Open Innovation at Osaka Gas. He has been in his current post from 2016. He was a member of Osaka City Promotion Council from FY2013 to FY2016 (Committee Chairperson from FY2014 onward.)

Hiroshi Menjo
Net Service Ventures / NSV Wolf Capital

From 2012 to 2013, Mr. Menjo was Special Adviser to Osaka City. From FY2013 to 2014, he was Committee Chairperson of the Osaka City Promotion Council. From 2014 to 2015, he was Special Consultant to Osaka City. For his other career history, refer to http://nsv.com/japan/team/hiroshi-menjo/

Hiroaki Yoshihara
Former KPMG International Vice President and Certified Public Accountant (Japan and US)

After working for KPMG as a Certified Public Accountant in Osaka, Mr. Yoshihara moved to Silicon Valley, US, in 1983. After being selected as US board member of the Big Six Accounting Firms in 1997, he assumed the post of KPMG International Vice President and Global Managing Partner in 2003, and was involved in takeover cooperation for many corporations on a global scale. In 2008, he became Board Member of Murata Manufacturing Company, Ltd., and in 2014, Board Member of Hitachi, Ltd., while making speeches about global management strategy at many universities and companies in Japan and the US. He was a member of Osaka City Promotion Council from FY2013 to FY2016.