Venture Review

Japan Ventures Review No.6 Abstract

Japan Ventures Review Japan Ventures Review No.6 Abstract
September 2005


Tetsuya Kirihata
Valley-of Death Phenomenon of New Technology-Based Small Firms

 In this paper, I discuss the valley-of-death phenomenon in New Technology-Based Small Firms (NTBSFs) and the cause of the phenomenon.
 To examine the valley-of-death phenomenon in NTBSFs, i.e. the state in which even superb basic research cannot easily be commercialized, I will make use of the three-stage classification of the process of commercialization: the basic research stage, the product development stage, and the commercialization stage.
 A questionnaire survey of NTBSFs reveals that they recognize that a serious valley-of-death phenomenon exists at the commercialization stage. The survey found that the categories “human resources” and “extracting visions and conceptualizing demand” are perceived to be the main causes of valley of death through all stages.
 My analysis found that there are some positive correlations between success in overcoming the valley of death and “clarification and sharing of market needs” at the basic research stage; “top-down management” and “clarification and sharing of market needs” at the product development stage; and “cooperation with external specialists” like certified public accountants, venture capitalists, and lawyers at the commercialization stage.
 Finally, I conclude with some recommendations for overcoming the valley-of-death phenomenon in NTBSFs.

Key words:New Technology-Based Small Firms, Valley of Death, Commercialization, Human resource, Extracting Visions and Conceptualizing Demand, Management of Technology, Cooperation with external specialists.

Tadashi Uda
A new perspective of entrepreneurial career

 The purpose of this paper is to suggest a new perspective of entrepreneurial career. In entrepreneurship researches, psychological approaches have dealt with the model of entrepreneurial process, such as process model and socialization model. However, existing theories didn’t explore the actual conditions of successful entrepreneurial careers, using qualitative approach. On the other hand, previous studies in career theory have not taken up a subject for discussion about entrepreneurial career. Furthermore, most of the studies in career theory have examined autonomous career of individuals, but not take enough attention to individuals being embedded in the social structure. That is to say, the question of “How and why are people influenced by social structure in entrepreneurial process” has been hardly raised through qualitative researches. To overcome these limitations of preceded researches, this paper brings up the viewpoint of the social embeddedness and the strategic action of entrepreneurs in starting up businesses. From this perspective, data have been collected regarding the actual conditions of career of so-called creators in Japan, for instance, art director, designer, illustrator, producer, etc., using qualitative research method. The analysis of these data reveals the fact that creators in content businesses are not only embedded the social structure, but also take strategic action in entrepreneurial process. Based on these analyses and related findings, in order to develop the entrepreneurship researches and further career theories, this article will attempt to suggest a new
perspective of entrepreneurial career, approaching from the viewpoint of the social embeddeness and the strategic action of entrepreneurs.

Key words:career, creator, social embeddedness and strategic action, reproduction

Takayuki Asao/Hironori Higashide
Entrepreneurs’ Intelligence and Behavior, Their Effects on Venture Performance

 The relationship between entrepreneurs’ Multiple Intelligences (Gardner, 1983) and their entrepreneurial behavior, and these effects on the performance rate of ventures were explored based on survey data from 283 entrepreneurs of small-and mid-sized enterprises and venture companies in Japan.
 Characteristics of entrepreneurs and their entrepreneurial behavior are considered as major variables that can affect the performance rate of ventures (Cooper and Gimeno-Gascon, 1992). We focused on clarifying whether Intelligence affect entrepreneurial behavior, as well as what is a success pattern of entrepreneurial behavior for each group of entrepreneurs.
 First, cluster analyses classified entrepreneurs into four types based on combinations of Gardner(1983)’s Multiple Intelligences. The four uncovered ” types” of entrepreneurs were characterized as follows: (1) Introvert, who don’t have any intelligence of a high order, (2) Philosopher, who have strong capabilities in Intrapersonal intelligence, (3) Partier, who have weak capabilities in Intrapersonal intelligence, (4) Musician, who have strong capabilities in both Logical/ mathematical intelligence and Body/kinesthetic intelligence.
 Second, on the basis of these clusters, analyses of variance with post hoc pairwise comparisons were conducted on the total of 21 variables (10 varimax rotated factor solutions, 2 principal component solutions, 4 summated score and 5 performance variables) in order to address the remaining research objectives. Both the significant and marginally significant differences between clusters were observed in 42% and 19% respectively of the analyzed dimensions.
 Third, in order to explore how entrepreneurs’ intelligences and their entrepreneurial behaviors affect the performance rate of their ventures, multiple regression analyses are conducted for each cluster. The analyses found that there were unique patterns of entrepreneurial behavior which led entrepreneurs at each cluster to relatively better performances.
 Finally, the importance of activities such as human resource development, policy planning, and effective delegation as key factors for the growth and profitability of the start-up firms are discussed.

Key words:Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurial Behavior, Intelligence, Venture Performance

Case Study

Kazuo Umemura
Possibility of establishing a venture company that has Japanese taste in the field of probe microscopy

 Strategy of a Japanese venture company in the field of probe microscopy was investigated from the viewpoint of technology. A probe microscope, one of the key tools in nanotechnology, is an attractive product for venture companies. The probe microscopy business reflects progress of nanobiotechnology that is hybridized area of nanotechnology and biotechnology. For this reason, the author focused on studying venture companies of the probe microscopy business.
 Firstly, overview of probe microscopy business was summarized by following history of the business and the technology. As a fact, no venture company of the probe microscopy related to nanobiotechnology was established in Japan until 1999 although many venture companies of the field appeared and competed with each other in the United States. The author pointed out several reasons why it was hard to establish a venture company in this field in Japan. Relations between business strategy and technology were discussed as well.
 Secondly, the author focused on studying the Research Institute of Biomolecule Metrology Co. (RIBM) that is the first Japanese venture company of probe microscopy business related to the nanobiotechnology. The company is the first spin-off venture from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in 1999. As a result of the case study, it is found that RIBM is carefully selecting their business field for their survival. They selected application business not hardware business at the first stage of the company. And then, they expanded their business area with their customers gradually.
 In this paper, the author represented a unique approach of studying a venture company from the viewpoint of science and technology.

Key words:Nanotechnology, Nanobiotechnology, Probe Microscopy, Research and Development,
University Spin-Off Venture

Yoshinori Isagai
An Explorative Study on Entrepreneur Incubation in a Local City

 This study explores a promising model for incubating entrepreneurs to meet the wide-ranging needs of Japan’s local cities. The study is based on the practical activity provided at Hosujuku, a regional business school.
 Hosujuku makes extensive use of information technology (IT) in an open-classroom environment. Hosujuku adopts a case-study approach, developing original study materials that draw on the business experiences of local enterprises. After classroom hours, the school sponsors discussion forums, at which participants can speak directly with the entrepreneurs and others who “starred” in the case studies just presented. Rooted in the everyday realities of the regional business environment, this approach has yielded many tangible results. Hosujuku enjoys the participation and cooperation of a wide range of talented people in industry, the civil service and academia, as well as the solid support of venture companies and social entrepreneurs.
 Hosujuku’s tuition fees are surprisingly low, owing to its ability to share a wide variety of resources with its partners in industry, the civil service and academia. These cost-sharing arrangements foster a foundation of trust between Hosujuku and these partners, giving rise to a wealth of valuable opportunities for all involved.
 Following the establishment of Toyama Hosujuku in August 2004, Hosujuku expects to open a series of branches in various local cities in 2005. Drawing on its theoretical studies, Hosujuku plans to refine its model over the near term and test it further through practical activity in other local cities of Japan, in a bid to make its model more generally applicable.

Key words:Entrepreneur Incubation, Case Method, Local City, Information Technology, Resource Sharing

Yoshihiro Ito
The Effects from External Prominent Companies on New Business Development Process

 The purpose of this article is to analyze the effects from external prominent companies on new business development, doing a case study of Sony Playstation business. This analysis has been done with the model of prominent effects which I had developed.
 The results are below. (1) The effects of prominence contributed the success of this new business. Concretely they got sales effect, learning effect, and internal politics effect from Nintendo which was very prominent company in game console industry. (2) But Sony also got minas internal politics effect from Nintendo when their co-development activity was stopped by Nintendo.

Key words:New business development, Effects of prominence, Prominent company, Sony, Playstation

Page Top