Silicon Valley's Innovative Ecosystem: The Cultural & Environmental Success Factors

Recently, I was asked to give a presentation about Silicon Valley to professors at Senshu University. After discussing with my professor what would be the most valuable information to share about Silicon Valley, I decided to talk about the innovative ecosystem in Silicon Valley that fosters groundbreaking technology. Enjoy this presentation-turned-article, replete with intriguing details. 

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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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Let's Bring on the Sunshine & Positivity!

I. Why Do You Blog?

Originally, I built my website as a portfolio of what I planned to accomplish, if I were fortunate enough to earn the Monbukagakusho MEXT Scholarship. Fortunately, I did receive the scholarship, and decided to make this an online resource for Japanese women who are thinking about starting their own business. And now, it's evolved into a collection of inspirational stories of Japanese female entrepreneurs, plus my musings of living abroad as an expat in Kyoto!

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A Captivating Role Model for Future Female Entrepreneurs in Japan

On a sunny day in Tokyo, I visited Kazuyo Saka's high-end women's fashion store called Kana. A warm, sociable, social-media friendly Japanese entrepreneur, Kazuyo struck me as a woman I could truly look up to as an inspirational role model.

Kazuyo always had a profound love for fashion, and quickly began working for a small design company right after finishing school, similar to entrepreneur Yukiko Yamamoto. While there, she developed a keen sense of discovering high-quality and inexpensive raw materials, and finessed her design skills.

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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 New Favorite Japanese TV Show Promoting an Alternative Lifestyle // アットホーム・ダッ or At Home Dad

By searching Abe Hiroshi’s name in Netflix, I discovered a TV show called アットホーム・ダッド, or “At Home Dad” by Fuji TV. And of course, this show immediately sparked my interest. After all, I am researching female entrepreneurship and empowerment in Japan.

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Introducing Kanoko Oishi, Founder of Mediva — Making a Positive Impact in the Healthcare World

A down-to-earth female entrepreneur with quite an accomplished background, Kanoko Oishi received her BA at Osaka University before earning her MBA at Harvard. Through Harvard’s network, she also met and inspired Kay Deguchi, the founder of Ochanomizu Orthopaedic Clinic.

Upon graduating Harvard, Kanoko Oishi joined McKinsey consulting company and worked there for 12 years. Her role focused on how companies can make themselves more customer-oriented. Incredibly dedicated to her work, and highly intelligent, she quickly rose to the role of partner.

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Introducing Kay Deguchi, Owner of Ochanomizu, an Innovative Orthopedic Rehab Center – Part 2

As this is Part II of a wonderful interview with Kay Deguchi, please refer to Part I before reading Part II.

A second life lesson she shared with me was the fact that our time is running shorter by every second.

Steve Jobs once said, “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.”  

Our days pass by, so it’s up to us to actively participate in life. So why not live life to the fullest, instead of complaining all the time? It’s our call.

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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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女性活用、現在の状況

This is my first blog post entirely in Japanese. It was a presentation about the current status of female empowerment and leadership in Japan. I made in front of about 20 people, including professors, for my final MEXT Intensive Language Program. As such, it includes furigana for difficult words. Enjoy!

皆様、こんにちは。本日は私の発表を聞いてくださり、ありがとうございます。私は京大の経済研究科(けんきゅうか)で三年間女性の活用(かつよう)について、研究する予定です。それで、このテーマについて、発表したいと思います。研究の最終(さいしゅう)目的は、どうしたら会社でもっと女性のリーダーを増やすことが出来るかということです。

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