Women Entrepreneurs and Empowerment in Japan — Presentation at National Taiwan University (NTU)

In late November 2018, I had the great fortune to participate in a cross-cultural exchange with students from National Taiwan University (NTU) — the best university in Taiwan. During an entire Sunday morning and afternoon, we had around 12 Kyoto University students present about their various research topics, as well as around 6 NTU students present about their own research and points of interest. And of course, I presented on my favorite topic of all time — women entrepreneurs and empowerment in Japan.

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3 Reasons Why You Should Read The Confidence Code

By far, The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance — What Women Should Know by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman[1], is the best empowerment book that I have ever read. Katty Kay is an anchor for BBC world News America, and Claire Shipman is a correspondent for ABC News and Good Morning America.

One of my favorite quotes is: “When confidence emanates from our core, we are at our most powerful.” In my opinion, this is the core essence of the book — how to obtain a fundamental state of confidence and vibrant, positive energy.

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Venturing into Silicon Valley's Top Technology Companies — Part 1 | シリコンバレーのトップテクノロジー企業の冒険

Over the course of 5 days in early August 2017, 6 Kyoto University undergraduate students, my Professor — Chihiro Suematsu — and I, visited 6 top technology companies in the San Francisco Bay Area. We were fortunate enough to visit my former colleagues and extended network at Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Airbnb, and Google.

I’d like to express my deep appreciation to our countless hosts, both this year and last year, as well as my professor for making this Silicon Valley trip a reality.

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Cultivating Women Entrepreneurs and Female Founders in Japan

In July, I had the great fortune of presenting at a fantastic Non-Profit Organization or NPO called Kyoto SMI (Kyoto STEM Cells, Smart Materials & Innovation. 

The goals of the presentation were the following: 

  1. Provide an overview of my background, 
  2. Share major highlights about the research I've done so far regarding female founders in Japan, and
  3. Offer a few recommendations on how Kyoto SMI can cultivate and support more women entrepreneurs in Japan. 

Thank you very much for taking a look at this presentation.

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Women for World Peace Japanese Speech Contest|日本語弁論大会

After hours upon hours of preparing and practicing the presentation, I finally presented the following speech about “My Future Aspirations” to an audience of over 50 people, including the local mayor. The Women for World Peace (WFWP) NGO organized a half day of festivities for us, replete with a sushi bento for lunch, two spectacular performances, an awards ceremony, and light dessert with the judges at the end.

Enjoy part of my presentation (on albeit, a shaky camera).

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6 Fascinating Facts About Dir. Of Corporate Innovation at 500 Startups

An Interview with a Man You Need to Know — Arnaud Bonzom

At the 2017 Tokyo Slush Technology Conference, I had the pleasure of interviewing Arnaud Bonzom — an extremely accomplished, innovative, and dedicated supporter of women's empowerment and diversity initiatives.

500 Startups, for those who don't know, is an international early stage venture fund and startup accelerator with offices in more than 14 countries, including Japan.

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Harue’s High-end Women’s Fashion Store in Kyoto

Meet Harue — a unique, captivating, and extremely warm individual. She’s different. She’s fashionable. And she’s strong! Over the course of multiple meetings including a dinner and a few visits to her store, I got to know this remarkable woman.

Launching her first store at the young age of 21 in Aichi Prefecture and running that business for 12 years, Harue has now been overseeing a high-end women’s fashion business in Kyoto called Hodge Podge for the past 18 years.

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Introducing Japanese Female Entrepreneur — Emi Takemura Miller of Peatix.com & FutureEdu Tokyo

Recently, I interviewed an incredible female founder, Emi Takeumura Miller. We spoke about everything ranging from the advantages of starting a female entrepreneurship to the importance of sharing your vision with everyone you meet. Not only did she co-found Peatix.com, a mobile-focused event platform, but she also co-founded FutureEdu Tokyo, an education-based community, and co-hosted Unreasonable Labs Japan, a 5-day, hyper-accelerator to give Japan-based, social entrepreneurships an “unfair advantage to scale and succeed.” Most recently, Emi spoke at TEDxRoppongi to encourage more young female participation in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math).

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A Quickie // The Complexities of Throwing Away Trash in Kyoto

One of my first “adventures” living in Kyoto was deciphering the mesmerizingly complex trash dispensing system. No, it’s not as straightforward as “trash” versus “recycling.” Instead, there’s at least 6 different ways to separate trash. Not only do you have to learn what exactly goes into a “プラ” or plastic bag, but you also have to clean the interior of all items such as bento boxes, almond butter cans, used natto containers, etc. Most places even require you to remember what days specific types of trash can be thrown out.

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Wisdom from Founder of Women 2.0 — Shaherose Charania

In a brand new co-working space called Galvanize in SOMA, San Francisco, I was fortunate enough to meet the founder of Women 2.0 — Shaherose Charania.

For those who don’t know, Women 2.0 is one of the most impressive organizations that can safely say its made a difference in the lives of 55,000 women who attended its 500 events in 25 different cities around the world — eight of which I have personally volunteered for and attended. In addition, a whopping 5,000 articles were posted by female entrepreneurs on the Women 2.0 website. Beyond events and articles, the organization has empowered over 100 women to start pre-seed companies with people they met at one of the events.

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Introducing Yuka Fujii, Founder of Famarry — The Premier Platform for Discovering & Meeting the Best Photographers!

A young, captivating, and highly intelligent woman, Yuka Fujii is the founder of a uniquely positioned startup. Famarry blends the words “family” and “marriage” to capture the heart of the business idea. An online platform that matches couples with their ideal wedding and family photographer, Famarry’s mission is to help couples realize their vision for their ideal wedding and family photography.

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Introducing Mariko Fukui, CEO at Aalto International — a Global Branding & PR Firm!

On a routine day at Kyoto University, I met with one of the most fascinating and driven entrepreneurs I have ever met. Not only is she an incredibly warm individual, but Mariko Fukui has accomplished a tremendous amount in her mere 28 years of life – the highlight being Aalto International, the company she launched at the age of 25. Before we get to her current endeavors, let’s take a look at her journey. 

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Research Proposal | Area of Focus

I plan on conducting a comparative study of female entrepreneurship in Tokyo and Silicon Valley with a focus on socioeconomic and political trends.

A good place to begin contacting female entrepreneurs in Japan is the Women Entrepreneurs Center run by the Development Bank of Japan. Both the finalists and judges have a wealth of experiences and knowledge about developing businesses in the Japanese context. Prior to arriving in Japan, I will begin connecting with people associated to the program.

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