How can Japanese entrepreneurs improve their pitch to investors?

Mitch Kitamura / October, 2018


Mitch Kitamura launched JAIC’s US investment arm in 2000 and brings a comprehensive background in business expansion between Asia and the US, having invested across 30 startups. At Draper Nexus, he specializes in Consumer/ Enterprise Internet Services and Mobile in US and Japan.

Watch this video with Mitch Kitamura as he explains two areas in which Japanese entrepreneurs can improve on in their pitch to Silicon Valley investors.

Video Transcript:

How can Japanese entrepreneurs improve their pitch to investors?

Showing passion is a very difficult thing for Japanese people. But it is one of the most important things for the entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. It is really to show the passion, why are you doing this business, why do you want to change the world, that is important.

The passion is important because as an investor, we don’t know what will happen five or ten years later. We are just guessing after meeting a lot of people to start to think what the future is going to be and thus we think this startup idea will be interesting.

If the CEO believe and show the passion and show that this will happen, then we will also lean into his ideas and start to think ‘maybe this guy is right.’ It is one of the things to show the passion, and that he is the best in the world to solve the issue that he is tackling and taking on.

The other thing is that Japanese entrepreneurs tend to be more engineer driven. They love the technology so much that they forget about the customer and the customer’s pain. In the end, business is to answer the customer’s pain points and solve the customer’s pain. It’s not the coming up with the best technology and then show it to the world.

They have to come more from a what is the customer’s problem, and how you’re trying to solve it. For especially technology-focused entrepreneurs this piece is missing that I’d like to see more.



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