Special Adviser，The Japan Academic Society
for Ventures and Entrepreneurs(JASVE)
More and more people in the Japanese business community see roadblocks ahead on the pathway to the future. Many lose confidence when their successes are followed by failure. The situation in the manufacturing sector is not entirely bleak, yet many of our existing industries are mature, and performance gaps are widening between companies in every sector. Businesses are starting to fall by the wayside.
The only way to break out of this stagnation is through the creation of new industries. The economic recovery achieved by the United States in the 1990s was attributable, in large measure, to the emergence of new industries based on innovation by numerous venture companies. For evidence of this one has only to consider the achievements of high-growth venture firms such as Microsoft, Compaq, Silicon Graphics, Sun Microsystems, Cisco Systems, Oracle and Dell Computer.
Many in Japan assume that new industries will germinate naturally if we can just ease government regulation. In fact, deregulation merely creates business opportunity, but this does not lead automatically to the creation of new industries. For that we need entrepreneurship. Deregulation is simply one of the prerequisites for the process-it is not the only necessary condition.
We need to foster entrepreneurship in Japan by creating an entrepreneurial culture, and once an entrepreneurial culture is in place, the number of entrepreneurs will expand of its own volition.
Respect for individuality and tolerance of difference are among the general conditions required to foster an entrepreneurial culture. Encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit is also very important, but encouragement alone is not enough to guarantee success. The advancement of entrepreneurship will inevitably be accompanied by a high incidence of failure. Accordingly, we need to develop a culture that is tolerant of failure. To be more precise, we must give a second chance to those who have learned from failure. That does not mean, however, that we should simply accept failure.
There are number of critical points in the business development process. The challenge for the entrepreneur is to find ways to survive at each of these critical points, and this is an essential area for research. In addition to a positive list of conditions for success, it isalso useful to offer entrepreneurs a negative list -a”don’t do list”-setting out ways in which to avoid failure. Without both such lists, survival through the critical points is not easy.
In an era that places a premium on intellectually creative activity, cooperation between industry, academia and government will be more important than ever for the creation of new industries. It will be important, too, to study the actual cooperative processes that link industry, academia and government. By identifying programs in industry-academia-government cooperation, it should be possible to invigorate the cooperative process.
The research priorities for this JASVE are many and varied, and a multi-disciplinary approach is essential. Also, we will need to manage our activities differently from those of other research associations. Factors that will contribute to the expansion of our research activities include the formation of study groups and the development of study group initiatives in response to the autonomous discovery of new research themes and networking among various subgroups. We are confident that members will benefit considerably from active participation.
Dr. Shigeo Kagami
President The Japan Academic Society for Ventures and Entrepreneurs
Professor, Graduate School of Engineering
Deputy Director General Division of University Corporate Relations,
The University of Tokyo
The Japan Academic Society for Ventures and Entrepreneurs (JASVE) started its activities as a general incorporated association on October 1, 2021. As its President, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all the JASVE members and sponsors. Without your supports, the incorporation would not have been made possible.
The Japan Academic Society for Ventures and Entrepreneurs (JASVE) was established in November of 1997. In June of that year, Sony Corporation reformed its board of directors (radically reducing the number of directors on its board and incorporating an executive officer system), an event that could be said to be the impetus for the corporate governance reforms which took place in our country. In November, Hokkaido Takushoku Bank went bankrupt, and Yamaichi Securities, celebrating its 100th year in business, ceased operations. After reaching a historical all-time high at the end of 1989, the Nikkei Stock Average plunged to roughly half that amount in 1997. It was clear that our nation was in decline, and JASVE uttered its first newborn cries during a moment of major regression in the Japanese economy.
I’m embarrassed to discuss my private history, but I completed my MBA studies in 1989 at the International Institute for Management Development, or IMD (which was known as IMEDE at the time) a business school in Switzerland. In those days, in the “IMD World Competitiveness Ranking”, Japan boldly placed first, and for several years afterward maintained that position. During my MBA class discussions, an argument that often would occur debated “why Japanese corporations, or the Japanese economy, had achieved such success?” As a student from Japan, I often found myself the target of such questions. In 1997, at the age of 37, I left the world of strategy consulting, which I had served for about 15 years, and decided to go to the United States in order to earn a doctoral degree. But it’s not as if I pitched myself into the world of academia because I had a strong desire to acquire a doctorate. For my doctoral thesis, I examined the disintegration of the Japanese Keiretsu system from the perspective of corporate governance, reflecting the circumstances at the time that I mentioned earlier. That the year JASVE was established happened to coincide with a turning point in my own life – and spurred me to later become a university faculty member – it may be a bit of an exaggeration, but I do feel that perhaps it may have been destiny.
At the time, I encountered a very interesting term, called a “Practitioner Scholar”. It was the catch phrase for a unique doctorate program that was introduced in the United States in 1995 by the business school at which I resided. The conditions for joining the program were a master’s degree, as well as about 15 years of practical experience. Among my fellow students were a number of talented men and women, who had experience in starting their own businesses and reaching their exits. The value proposition of this doctorate program is the “Practitioner Scholar,” which encourages executives and managers to theorize their ideas and experiences, and to apply various theories of management to their real businesses. This was exactly what I thought myself, and I felt that this keyword had much in common with the goals of JASVE. The essence of venture research lies in the intersection of practical application and theory, and the JASVE’s first President, Tadao Kiyonari, wrote in our society’s prospectus (established in November of 1997), that “… Although we are an academic society, we are not merely a gathering of researchers. We believe it is necessary to call forth people to participate from industry, from the financial sector, and government, and not only from the social sciences, but also the natural sciences.”
When our society accumulates another 20 years of history, by the year 2040, I envision a future in which over half of the top 30 Japanese corporations in terms of market capitalization will be made up of companies that are currently recognized as startups. It’s not as if I am trying to indulge in the nostalgia of 1989 (the first year of the Heisei era), when 21 of the world’s top 30 corporations in terms of market capitalization were from Japan. As a “venture fundamentalist,” I believe that the forces that will drive society and the economy for the next 20 years will not be the existing mega-corporations which have brought forth previous innovations, but the fledgling venture firms that have only just become established, or perhaps have yet to be launched. For that reason, I feel it is my personal mission, as a humble educator and researcher, or as a practitioner who supports these startups, to devote all of my energies and spirits to such efforts.
I hope that we can encourage as many people as possible to participate in our activities as members of our society, so that, together, we can forge a path toward a new society, to foster new growth and development, not only in Japan, but throughout the world.
Tadao Kiyonari （The Graduate School of Project Design ／Adviser）
Tsutomu Shida （SHiDAX Corporation／Supreme Advisor）
Koji Hirao （Showa Women’s University／Honorary Director）
Shuichi Matsuda （Waseda University／Professor Emeritus）
Shigeo Kagami （Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo／Professor）
Hiromu Ikeda （Graduate Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies／President）
Yoshihiro Eshima （Osaka University of Economics／Professor）
Hirokazu Hasegawa （Graduate School of Business and Finance,Waseda University／Professor）
Eiichi Yamaguchi （ORBIO CORPORATION／Co-CEO/CTO Ritsumeikan University／Professor）
Jin-ichiro Yamada （Kyoto University／Professor）
Shingo Igarashi （Kyusyu Universsity／Professor）
Yukihiro Ikawa （The Tokyo New Business Conference／Chairman）
Ryuji Ichikawa （Venture Enterprise Center，Japan／President）
Yoshio Ichiryu （Ichiryu Associates, Inc. ／President ＆ CEO）
Hideo Okubo （Forval Corporation／Chairman ＆ CEO）
Shuichi Okuhara （Nippon Venture Capital Co.,Ltd.／Chairman）
Naoshi Ozawa （OMRON(CHINA)CO.,TDL., Smart Agriculture Business Development Center／General Manager）
Atsumi Kanaya （Mitsui Fudosan Co.,Ltd.,Venture Co-creation Department／Managing Officer General Manager）
Tetsuo Kitani （Kyoto University／Professor）
Taewook Kim （Kindai University／Professor）
Shoji Kukita （New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)／Exective Director）
Tatsuhiko Sato （SATO&ASSOCIATES/Patent attorney・Executive Chairman）
Hideki Shouji （TOYO SYSTEM Co., LTD. ／Chairman of the Board, President & CEO）
Haruomi Shindo （Chuo University／Professor）
Sadahiro Sugita （SMBC Nikko Securities Inc.／Special Advisor）
Tomohiro Suzuki （KPMG AZSA LLC／Director）
Takashi Seto （Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu LLC／Partner）
Sachio Semmoto （RENOVA,Inc.／Executive Chairman）
Masayoshi Zempo （Ernst & Young ShinNihon LLC／Growing Enterprise Support , Partner）
Noriyuki Takahashi （Musashi University／Professor）
Tadashi Takiguchi （WERU Investment Co., Ltd.／President & CEO）
Katsunori Tanaka （MITSUBISHI ESTATE CO., LTD.／Business Development, Consulting & Solutions Department／General Manager）
Hajime Tanahashi （Mori Hamada & Matsumoto／Lawyer）
Akio Nishizawa （Tohoku University／Senior Research Fellow at NICHE and Professor Emeritus TOYO University／Professoe Emeritus ）
Katsuya Hasegawa （The University of Tokyo／Project Professor）
Nobuyuki Hata （Graduate Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies／Project Professor）
Shinichi Fuki （JAFCO Group Co., Ltd.／Chairman）
Michi Fukushima （Tohoku University／Professor）
Toshihiro Masaki (Osaka University/Professor, Director of University Advancement Division)
Kozo Yamada （Otsuma Women’s University／Professor）
Keiko Yokoyama （Kansai University／Professor）
Iwao Yoshino （Microwave Chemical Co., Ltd.／Co-Founder, CEO）
Naoki Wakabayashi （Kyoto University／Professor）
Mariko Tamura （The Japan Academic Society for Ventures and Entrepreneurs／Secretary-General）
Taiji Edogawa （Certified Public Accountant）
Shigeru Nishiyama （Graduate School of Business and Finance, Waseda University／Professor）