It all started when I met an engineer who was a pioneer in Recruit Technologies. After speaking with him, a new company was born in Berlin with Recruit as the first customer at that time.
It was almost a hilarious contrast: Japan's coherent large corporate organization structure against the rough but free-flowing Berlin startup. With the Japanese client, the corporate structure fostered extremely high skills, but they seemed to have an abundance of employees who were somewhat passive. At the Startup, there were risk takers, with an outstanding ability to act, but lacked the skills and resources that come with many years of experience. The "Startup Dojo" started as an arbitrage between the two. I aimed to connect willing and young Japanese corporate employees to overseas startups for about 3 months, and try to grow them as a member of the team in daily battles of an actual startup fighting to maintain its vision. The first project started as such - an "experiment".
Because the official language of European startups is English, in a team of European startups boasting diversity, participants experienced a relentless training of their communication skills. They were impacted by the Founders who had a strong sense of purpose and to work harder for a better tomorrow. The result was that participants went back to Japan with something different about them - something had forever changed. I even had some bosses of participants say that they "levelled up" to a point that they needed to go to a better department, more suited for their new found skills.
In parallel with corporate innovation, a new generation of entrepreneurs has begun to increase in Japan, the investment cycle has begun to rotate, and promising global startups have emerged. The Nippon Link Business has begun to support Japanese start-up companies that find potential in the European market by making use of their local creditworthiness and network. We also support European startups expanding into Japan and need collaboration and support with Japanese partners. The purpose of the Nippon Link business is to further revitalize the business between Japan and Europe.
In the globalizing economic society, what Japan is trying to overcome now is said to be the "homogeneity" of Japanese society, especially oriented in the language and culture. Globalization, however, is not the same thing as being able to speak English... It's just a tool. In essence, I think it's more about opening up your language and culture towards diversity. In my 20+ years of living here, I have felt that Europe is such a place. This is because, despite the existence of national borders, the wide diversity in regions, cultures and languages, actually is what brings people together. bistream is convinced that Japan will benefit greatly from deepening its relations with Europe.
In the long run, whatever is absorbed from the "outside of Japan" will gradually open up the "inside of Japan." With such a positive feedback loop, Japan should become a dynamic place again. The world can benefit from design solutions that comes out of Japan to solve global challenges. Okaeri House is a non-profit, passion project with a distant focus on drawing out the potential of people who have absorbed "the outside" and developing them into leaders who will be responsible for empowering the regions of Japan.
Your core team is Makoto Takeda and Miki Goetsch, based in Berlin, supported by partner networks in Munich, Paris, London, Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, and beyond.