What does your startup do?
In fact, as a pioneer of interactive content in Japan, we have created and presented more than 1,500 different types of things. We have used this experience to develop "Springin'," a creator platform that makes it easy for anyone to create digital works. Springin' is an app for iOS and Android that allows people of all ages, genders, and nationalities to develop and share games, animated cartoons, and other digital creations using an intuitive programming method that uses no text at all, as long as they have a smartphone. We are trying to spread this platform all over the world and make everyone a creator.
What problem are you trying to solve?
We believe that all people are inherently creative and that creating something is the fourth instinct. So, knowing the joy of creating makes life more fun.
So we want to make life fun for all people by liberating their creativity.
Why did you choose Fukuoka?
I came to Fukuoka to enroll in graduate school because there was a university in Fukuoka where I could study a field called "Art and Engineering," which combines both "art" and "engineering" and is only available in Japan. I met some wonderful people at that university, and we started our own business together right after completing graduate school. So I wouldn't say that I chose Fukuoka, but rather that it happened to be Fukuoka when I started my business, and I am glad that it turned out the way it did. Being based in Fukuoka also allows us to differentiate ourselves from companies in Tokyo, and most importantly, we can think about our services from a global perspective from the very beginning.
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. The proximity to the government is also attractive. In fact, I have many opportunities to speak directly with Mayor Takashima, and I feel that I have access to a variety of opportunities compared to other municipalities.
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.