Enabling entrepreneurs turn their visions into reality
A story that combines intense experience, a passion for product, and a clear vision has the power to elicit a real affinity amongst people and attract them to it. It was such a story that attracted me to Uzabase back in 2011.
One thing I have learned from my own experience in business is that a product that caters to the core needs of users, rather than superfical ones, and a team around you that you can trust and rely upon are essential.
Another lesson has been that the growth of a business rests upon the existence of both entrepreneurs and what I call "performers". In my time at Uzabase, I have tried to support the business not as an entrepreneur but as a performer, somebody who provides a practical shape to the ideas of entrepreneurs.
Bringing into reality the worlds painted by entrepreneurs remains my role as a venture capitalist, and I very much look forward to encountering a whole host of captivating stories going forward.
Following his graduation from Keio University's Graduate School of Science and Technology, Osamu worked as an equity research analyst at Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital, where he focused on the chemicals and materials sectors. He was later a management consultant at Nomura Research Institute, where he specialised in M&A advisory, business strategy planning, and turnaround management, before joining Uzabase in 2011. As an executive officer, Osamu was in charge of business development in SPEEDA, before moving to Hong Kong in 2013 to help establish SPEEDA's Asia business. After serving as Managing Director of the Asia business, he returned to Tokyo and founded Uzabase Ventures, Inc. in February 2018, serving as the chief executive officer.
Being more than a just a partner
On top of my role as a venture capitalist, I suppose I could also be described as an entrepreneur as the manager of three companies. Given my experience in both worlds, I believe that I can offer my own unique practical support and networking.
I would like to move away from the stereotypical notons of "investor" and "entrepreneur" and to work together with entrepreneurs as partners that complement each other and help each other to grow.
After graduating from the Faculty of Economics at Tokyo University, Yoichi joined Recruit Holdings. He subsequently founded a business that was turned into a subsidiary and expanded to around 150 employees, before becoming an executive manger of Recruit's Incubation Department, supervising group-wide business development. In this position, Yoichi helped to create 1,500 business proposals and provided support to 300 startups, before making the decision to become an entrepreneur in 2018. He is a co-founder of the gene analysis startup Genome Clinic, as well as the founder of Alphadrive, which supports internal business development within companies. Alphadrive was acquired by Uzabase in 2019. Yoichi became a venture partner in UB Ventures in June 2018, and has been an executive office of NewsPicks since September 2019.
Forging a strong bond between the arts of development and business
Over the past 20 years, I have been involved in the development of many different services as an engineer and am well-versed in the high and lows of all aspects of the development process, from building the physical infrastructure layer and the front end to applying them in the real business world.
It is my hope to be able to provide assistance in creating a service from scratch, as well as to help bridge the gap between business and engineering as much as possible.
To this day, I continue to engage in system development, and I also hope to be able to provide a range of support in relation to the use of the latest technologies and their integration into various business scenarios.
An engineer, Hideyuki graduated from the Tokyo University of Technology's School of Information Science and was also enrolled in its Graduate School of Graduate School of Information Science and Engineering, leaving before graduation. During his time in university, he founded two IT companies and gained experience in the development of numerous services involving both hardware and software. Hideyuki has been involved in product development since the establishment of Uzabase in 2008, developing the foundations of SPEEDA, NewsPicks, and FORCAS. Following periods as both executive and professional officer, he currently serves as Uzabase's Chief Technologist, as well as Technology Partner in UV Ventures. In addition, he founded Yesod, which develops SaaS for SaaS, in September 2019.
Taiju is a graduate of the International Christian University's College of Liberal Arts where he majored in Religious Studies. Taiju studied abroad at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, during which time he worked in Uzabase Hong Kong on the analysis of industries and Asian companies. He joined UB Ventures in April 2019 and is currently responsible for due diligence in relation to investments, while also managing "Thinka", a community of entrepreneurs.
After graduating in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Durham University, UK, and subsequently obtaining a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Tokyo, Jorel joined the Japan Office of GIC, the sovereign wealth fund of the Government of Singapore, as part of the investment team overseeing real estate private equity deals. During his Masters, he was the head of investor operations at Slush Tokyo, a global technology startup conference, where he connected with global VCs together in Japan. Since joining UBV in Sep 2020, he oversees startup due diligence, the management of Thinka's entrepreneur community, and the fund's global content publications.
Following her graduation from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Tomomi worked for a real estate company before joining Intel Capital in 2009 where, as part of the Asia-Pacific team, she engaged in middle and back office work in relation to corporate venture capital (CVC). She joined UB Ventures in March 2019 and, in her role as fund administrator, is responsible for fund management, as well as corporate operations.
Finance as a signpost for business growth
By leveraging the experiences I have built up through working in an auditing firm and investment bank, establishing Uzabase's Corporate Division as CFO, as well as the knowledge I have accumulated through my current support of startup companies, I believe I can be of help to the corporate divisions of growing companies in areas such as financial strategy planning, IPO preparation, the creation of financial reporting systems, corporate structure, management systems, and how to choose and deal with auditing firms and securities companies.
Putting in place a reliable and efficient corporate division that accelerates business growth is a shortcut on the road to becoming a prosperous company. I would like to help people take that shortcut!
A certified public accountant, Mirai is a graduate of Keio University's Faculty of Business and Commerce. Following his graduation, he worked in the auditing department at PwC, before moving on to the Corporate Client Solutions department of UBS Securities where he provided corporate M&A and financial strategy advisory services. He later moved to KPMG Healthcare Japan, working in M&A advisory and strategic consulting in the hospital and nursing care sectors. He joined Uzabase in 2012 and, as CFO, lay the foundations of the company's Corporate Division as a listed company, as well as working on the IPO, fundraising, and M&As including the acquisition of Quartz. In 2019, Mirai founded Somebuddy Inc., which provides advisory services primarily to startups, along with another Uzabase colleague and he is currently supporting the growth of multiple companies.
Visualising the future of business through design
I am involved in shaping the overall customer experience, starting from UI design, as well as the development of user research and design workshops. From marketing to customer success, I try to harness the power of design to support business development.
I break this power of design down into four parts: "ability to visualise", "ability to model", "ability to test out", and "ability to translate". It is about visualisation and resonating with people in a genuine way, about trying out new ideas and speaking to the inner voices of customers and users.
I want to meet startups and entrepreneurs who also recognise the potential of design, and harness its power together with them. I hope to bring together a group of designers who share the same mission and values, and use the power of design to boost corporate value as much as possible.
A researcher and designer, Tomoki is a graduate of both Tama Art University's Department of Information Design and Tokyo University of the Arts' Graduate School of Fine Arts. He was also a visiting researcher at Design School Kolding's Lab for Social Design in Denmark in 2017. Following periods at transcosmos Inc., and Concent, Inc., Tomoki founded Triand Inc. (now DSCL) in 2011. He currently serves as a CDO(Cheif Design Officer )of Uzabase's SPEEDA business, as well as director of DSCL. Tomoki is the recipient of multiple accolades including the iF Communication Design Award, German Design Award, and Good Design Award Best 100.
Supporting creativity with the law
The greatest joy I get from working with and supporting startup companies is experiencing the vision, passion, and innovative ideas of entrepreneurs on a daily basis as they incessantly pursue the creation of new value.
A lawyer by trade, Kenta is a graduate of both Keio University's Faculty of Economics and Rikkyo Law School. After registering as a laywer in 2008, he worked at a law firm in Tokyo that primarily handled cases related to international companies where he focused on supporting overseas businesses looking to expand into Japan. He subsequently worked in an office that mainly dealt with domestic cases before establishling Ushigome Law Offices in Januray 2018. Today, Kenta provides daily legal consulation and prepares contracts and agreements, primarily for startups and SMEs, as well as providing support to companies at each stage of growth, including in relation to the establishment of new businesses and the development of internal legal systems.
Designing the vision of business
During my time as an art director at an advertising company, where I dealt with integrated communication design, I experienced first hand how design can affect the management of startups and SMEs which led me to once again think about the value of designers in today's society. I founded a company called DESIGND: INC to provide value to society based on identity branding. As a designer who does not limit himself to a certain domain, my hope is to contribute to the creation a brighter and richer future along with our customers and partners.
An identity designer and art director, Tomonori is a graduate of Musashino Art University's Department of Science of Design. He joined Dentsu as an art director in 2009 where, as a director of integrated communication design, he became involved in the branding of a number of startups and SMEs before becoming independent in 2020 and founding DESIGND: INC. He awarded several international creative competitions such as D&Ad/NY ADC/One Show/Canne Lions/Spikes Asia/GOOD DESIGN AWARD/Tokyo Midtown Award. Working with companies and brands over the medium-to-long term, he implements working styles that can continue to provide value, centred on identity branding.
I have been involved in equity research for over 10 years, specifically conducting data analysis on corporate and industry performance. During my time at Uzabase, I was mainly in charge of publishing industry research for client accounts, but now at UB Ventures, I am focused on creating content specifically related to SaaS startups.
Representative Director of Craft Data, K.K. After graduation, he started his career at a Japanese financial data service provider where he was engaged in sales of web apps and corporate planning for institutional investors. Thereafter in 2013, he joined Uzabase, where he lead the SPEEDA division as manager for the consulting team. In 2020, he started his own company, specializing in SaaS and IPO-related data analysis and publication.
Standing Statutory Auditor
Following her graduation from Doshisha University, Noriko joined Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. After a period in the USA due to her husband's work, she returned to Japan and gave birth to her first child. She subsequently worked in a consulting firm before joining Uzabase as a full-time corporate auditor in 2015 and contributed to the company's listing on the Mothers of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2016. Noriko has been in charge of internal auditing in the Uzabase Group since March 2019, and is a certified public accountant serving as an auditor for its group companies.