What does your startup do?
Actually, as a pioneer of interactive content in Japan, we have created and released over 900 different things so far. One of our most well-known projects is KAGURA, The Motion Perform Instrument. KAGURA is a musical instrument for the new age. It turns your gestures and movements into music. You can turn your PC into a musical instrument just by installing an app. We also released an iPad app called Springin'. Springin' is an application that lets you get creative and make something you can play like action games, puzzle games, interactive picture books, and more.
What problem are you trying to solve?
We really aren’t trying to solve a particular problem. Instead, our technology and designs help us to create and provide experiences that give people a reason to smile.
Why did you choose Fukuoka?
Well, before I moved to Fukuoka, I was majoring in Architecture at Nagoya University, which is located in the center of Japan. I graduated, but when I finished my degree I lost interest in the field. I asked for my professor’s advice and he recommended that I attend Kyushu Institute of Design in Fukuoka. So I moved here to attend school. After finishing my Ph.D. in Art and Technology/Design, I started my company in Fukuoka. Of course, Tokyo is bigger in many ways, but if you think about it on a global scale the location is not really that different. I stayed here because Fukuoka City is so livable.
What do you think about Fukuoka's startup community?
I’m not really the type of person who tends to participate in those kinds of communities. However, everyone here is so active and it seems to be working really well. It’s encouraged me to make some links to the community and develop a bit of a network.
How has Fukuoka City helped your startup?
Generally speaking, Fukuoka city is well known for its enthusiasm and passion for supporting startups. Fukuoka’s global image as a startup city has helped to increase my company’s presence in the market as well.
Do you have advice for people considering doing a startup in Fukuoka? Anything you wish you’d known before starting your company here?
If your business is in the early or idea stages and is totally new and novel, you are going to want to determine if it is feasible or not. Fukuoka is a good place to determine this, as it has convenient transportation and high-quality facilities. On top of that, the cost of living including food and rent are very reasonable. However, the city itself is not that big as a market, so you might want to look at Tokyo or overseas for the market from the beginning.