What does your company do?
We are a tech startup called Qurate and our long-term goal is to create a more inspirational content discovery platform. There are two sides to this and right now we are focusing on giving people the most efficient tools to express themselves online.
What problem is your company trying to solve?
Currently, you need to use a few different tools to keep track of your social listening, managing your content, and publishing your content on your website, apps, and various social networks. We have created a very efficient platform that allows you to bring all of these management capabilities into one single, elegant interface.
This is a global problem and we are working to make a global impact.
Why did you choose Fukuoka?
I first stumbled upon Fukuoka about 12 years ago and instantly felt like this was a place where I could live. From that moment on, I focused on finding a way to make that a reality. Fukuoka offers an exceptionally high standard of living for a relatively low cost. Everything is high quality which means that it is a very easy and inspirational place to live.
What do you think about Fukuoka's startup community?
I think the startup community has great potential for two reasons. Firstly, from the top down (meaning the central government) all the way from the bottom up (meaning the street and the youth) everyone is looking in the same direction. Secondly, there is a great infrastructure now in place to learn, actually start up, raise investment, and to scale. All of this is in one city.
What this adds up to is not only support at the early stage of starting up, but an infrastructure to help companies follow-through and even scale their business without having to leave the city. Those are the essential qualities of a startup hub, and they are already present and look to get stronger.
How has Fukuoka City helped your startup?
The main way Fukuoka City has helped Qurate is by opening doors. They've invited us from an early stage to a range of local, national, and international events. In fact, we have met the majority of our advisors, angel investors, and VCs through these events.
What is your advice for people looking to start a company in Fukuoka?
My advice to startups considering Fukuoka is not to be put off by the language. Also, don't take the perceived difficulties of doing business in Japan too seriously. Instead, look to the strategic benefits both in terms of location and infrastructure and the less tangible high quality of living as the key reasons to seriously consider starting up in Fukuoka. From my experience, if you're passionate about your startup it will work out.