How has your career progressed since graduating from GLOBIS?
I’m currently the Senior Marketing Manager for Mizuho America, and also a senior clinical trial and data scientist at the start-up Kegg in San Francisco.
After graduating from the Part-time MBA in Tokyo, I lead Biointeractive Technologies as COO from Silicon Valley. We were solving the problem of human-machine interactions (HMI) that limit mobility and lack of intuitiveness. We were creating a wristband that tells you what your hands are doing and transforms them into a remote controller. I helped expand the company from healthcare to consumer VR/AR. Our company was also accepted into one of the world’s most prestigious Techstars programs, providing cutting-edge technology to world-class physical rehabilitation researchers.
How did your GLOBIS experience help with your entrepreneurial journey?
It has been a few years since I moved to the Bay Area from Tokyo. I still remember trying to squeeze in as many classes as possible to finish my MBA at GLOBIS before reaching the relocation deadline set by the company that I was working for at the time. I officially started my MBA in April 2015, and I moved by September 2015! I was lucky to do a few classes in the Pre-MBA program, but even so, I had to take eight courses per term to earn the minimum credits needed for graduation. I was really lucky to have amazing classmates and friends that helped me by being flexible in terms of their study sessions, schedules, and teamwork.
GLOBIS gave me the knowledge and confidence I needed to become an entrepreneur. I know it sounds cheesy, but every class I took helped me in some way or another. I have constantly reviewed materials and lessons learned in my classes to help me implement structure and strategies in my company.
The hands-on classes were critical for me to gain confidence. Knowing my accounting and financials has helped me to manage my runway and burn rate, as well as convince investors on the market potential and risks. Organizational behavior, leadership, and human resources classes helped me in dealing with conflict and setting a foundation for a winning culture. Marketing and strategy classes were fundamental in setting rules for customer validation, metrics, and improving my product. Venture classes definitively helped me to get the confidence to pitch an idea, defend it, and convince people of my product.
Even now, keeping in touch with friends and joining activities like our book club have helped me with an international network and constant actualization.
How has your kokorozashi guided your career?
I always knew that my kokorozashi was to use technology to solve healthcare issues, but I needed the management knowledge and the confidence to pursue my purpose.
GLOBIS gave me the skills to run a business and understand how organizations work. It also helped me be more realistic about what I could achieve and when, and what steps to take to achieve my goal. Every class I took helped me in some way or another. I constantly reviewed materials and lessons learned in my classes to implement structure and strategies in my company.
After my MBA studies, I moved to Silicon Valley to pursue my entrepreneurial dream. I had to overcome enormous challenges to break into the cutthroat start-up scene. But every time I was confronted with a challenge, what kept me going was truly my kokorozashi.
Any advice for prospective students who are thinking about becoming entrepreneurs?
Find the right team first! Take your time, be sure to resonate with your core values and feel comfortable with your strengths and theirs. Be humble enough to know and understand what is best for the company. Reflect your own values in the culture of the company.
Finally, WORK HARD! Give it your all. Try, fail, learn, and try again! It is such an amazing adventure!