August 20, 2011 - News
Stanford hosts Jannovation Week participants
On August 2, 2011, the Stanford Project on Japanese Entrepreneurship (STAJE) and the U.S.-Asia Technology Management Center hosted a group of young Japanese entrepreneurs and students at the Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering. The group visited Stanford University as part of SunBridge Partner's Jannovation (Japan-Innovation) Week. Jannovation Week is an annual five-day program for Japanese entrepreneurs and students to visit Silicon Valley and experience start-up culture, including interacting with leading start-ups in the San Francisco Bay Area, meeting with venture capital firms, visiting incubators, and learning from educators.
While at Stanford, the Jannovation program participants had the opportunity to hear presentations given by Dr. Richard Dasher, director of the U.S.-Asia Technology Management Center, and Tomi Brooks, staff member with STAJE. Dr. Dasher spoke about the significance of Silicon Valley's start-up culture. He highlighted the differences between Japan and Silicon Valley, the various ways entrepreneurs could obtain venture capital funding, and changes in the typical ownerships of a company through various stages in the company's existence. Brooks shared his experiences in helping launch mobile start-ups in both Japan and the United States, and addressed the difficulty of retaining employees in a start-up environment and the importance of social networking. He also provided marketing suggestions specific to Japanese companies launching in the U.S. market.
Several of the Jannovation Week entrepreneurs gave presentations about their start-ups to panel members who, in addition to Dr. Dasher and Brooks, included Quaeed Motiwala, managing director of DFJ JAIC, and Dr. Sridhar Jagannathan, vice president of technology strategy and partnerships of Intuit. Panel members listened to each presentation, questioned the entrepreneurs about their business models, and provided feedback about their ideas for launching in the U.S. market. The session concluded with advice from Dr. Jagannathan on how to construct a “pitch” for a U.S. market.