194 episodes

Startups are changing Japan, and Japan is once again starting to innovate. Disrupting Japan explores what it's like to be an innovator in a culture that prizes conformity and introduces you to startups that will be household brands in a few years.

Disrupting Japan: Startups and Innovation in Japan Tim Romero: Serial startup founder in Japan and indomitable innovator

    • Business
    • 4.9 • 38 Ratings

Startups are changing Japan, and Japan is once again starting to innovate. Disrupting Japan explores what it's like to be an innovator in a culture that prizes conformity and introduces you to startups that will be household brands in a few years.

    The Future of Disrupting Japan

    The Future of Disrupting Japan

    Disrupting Japan turns seven years old this week!



    Unfortunately, because of current conditions in Japan, we won't be able to sit down over a beer and talk about startups live as we usually do. 



    Today, I'd like to share a story in three acts. We'll talk about the podcasting industry, what Disrupting Japan really is, and the likely future of Japanese startup founders. 



    Please enjoy.

    • 18 min
    The new era of Evocative Machines. Why you’re going to love it.

    The new era of Evocative Machines. Why you’re going to love it.

    We speculate a lot about our future "robot servants" or "robot masters", but that whole metaphor is wrong. It's not going to happen that way.



    In past episodes, you have already met some of the founders at the center of an amazing cluster of startups that have the potential to redefine the way humanity interacts with machines.



    Evocative Machines is a uniquely Japanese approach that has universal appeal, and I guarantee you that it's not what you expect. 



    So let’s get right to it.

    • 24 min
    Why the robot uprising will give us Robot Pets, not Robot Masters

    Why the robot uprising will give us Robot Pets, not Robot Masters

    Japan has a very different approach to robotics.



    Japan leads the world in industrial robots, but there is also a growing movement that is reinventing the way we share our world with machines.



    Kaname Hayashi was one of the creators of Softbank's Pepper robot. His latest startup, GrooveX, has raised over $100 million to develop the Lovot; a companion robot, or perhaps more accurately, a robot pet unlike any other.



    We talk about the Lovot itself, of course, but we also cover GrooveX's unique business model and talk about the very different ways that people of different sexes, ages, and nationalities interact with the Lovot.



    It's a great conversation, and I think you'll enjoy it.

    • 39 min
    One way that AI is transforming family farms

    One way that AI is transforming family farms

    Some of Japan's innovations are going to have a much bigger impact outside of Japan.



    Like most startups, most AgTech startups sensibly tend to focus on their own markets. While this makes things easier at first, it tends to overlook the huge challenges -- and potentially huge profits -- that exist in the developing world.



    Today we talk with Shunsuke Tsuboi of Sagri, and he explains how Sagri started life as a satellite -imaging startup focused on incremental innovation in Japan, but then quickly transformed itself into a disruptive FinTech startup serving India and Southeast Asia.



    It's a great conversation, and I think you'll enjoy it.

    • 33 min
    What you can learn from this "PoopTech" startup

    What you can learn from this "PoopTech" startup

    The bacteria in our gut affect our lives and our health in ways we are just starting to fully realize, and mapping this biome is expected to advance medical science and pharmacology as mapping the human genome.



    However, our gut biota is not a mappable sequence, but a complex ecosystem, and one that may be unique to each individual.



    In our conversation, Shinji Fukuda, founder of Metabologenomic (aka Metagen), explains how the science is advancing, what kinds of consumer devices we are likely to see first, the importance of global expansion, and the challenges of being a deep-tech startup in Japan.



    It's a great conversation, and I think you'll enjoy it.

    • 33 min
    An Instagram for skin disease? Wait, this could work!

    An Instagram for skin disease? Wait, this could work!

    A lot of great ideas seem crazy when you first hear about them.



    Today Ryotaro Ako, founder of Atopiyo, explains not only why this is a great idea that is deeply valued by his users, but he also frankly talked about the difficulties in bringing it to market.



    We talk about the challenges of forming a long-term, core team and of developing a steady cash flow while trying to focus on a social good, and the risks involved in monetizing a community.



    Ryotaro also explains why extensive press coverage and shelves of startup awards don't make developing a sustainable business model any easier.



    It's a great conversation, and I think you'll enjoy it.

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
38 Ratings

38 Ratings

kasiamich ,

面白いですね⭐️

Educational and interesting - glad I heard of this podcast and look forward to more!

Hahaahaahaa ,

Leading podcast for the Japan tech scene

As an avid listener of tech podcasts here in the US, I was excited to find one that focused on the burgeoning Japanese tech scene. The host is great at getting to the meat of the conversation and looking forward to a continued mix of strong guests and eclectic topics.

kirillzubovsky_us ,

Tim's got great radio voice

A friend told me about this podcast and I found it quite enjoyable. Tim shares interesting bits of information, and I kid you not, has a very good "radio voice." It's a huge deal for a podcast and he's got it. Wishing Disrupting Japan 1M more listeners.

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