This is a guest post authored by “Tex” Pomeroy. He is a Tokyo-based writer specializing in ICT and high technology.
On 21st November, the “harbinger” crowdfunding service Music Securities offered visitors to Organic Expo/Biofach Japan 2014 an early-bird seminar about utilizing “micro-investment funds” followed by the rest of the day offering free advice at a service corner in the Nippon Mono Ichi section within the show. The answers provided by Director in charge of Securitization, Yoshitaka Inoo, in a businesslike, clear-cut manner were much appreciated by those interested in the status of fund-gathering in Japan.
The company, which was launched as a fund specializing to support musicians (though now apparently not much involved in this sector according to the corporate director), targets companies that have started up and is readying for full-scale business activities. It has recently been involved in funding breweries for example.
One of the firms supported by Music Securities, covering consumer research, had a booth and so the “crowd-funder” (they said the company actually predates the adoption of this concept in Japan) decided to locate a desk next to it in order to offer “music to the ear” of those cash-poor businesses participating in the fast-growing organics field get-together.
Case studies of funds being used by breweries and other food/beverage outfits were presented while looking at both the “merits” as well as “costs entailed” of accessing small-scale funds to drive a business operation. Music Securities notes that it aims to have the operations it supports gather “more fans” the way musicians cultivate fans.
Biofach is a Nuremberg-based show catering to businesses involved in “organic” products; the Japan edition of the German confab has been held since 2001. This year’s venue was – as has been recently – the waterfront Tokyo Big Sight, alongside Organic Expo, for a three-day event starting from 20th November. In adjacent halls the Tokyo International Industry Exhibition and the HiNT show, focused on SMEs in Japan, were being held from 19th of November.
Apparently Music Securities is currently scrutinizing small farmers and other food producers (as highlighted by the company newsletter “Securite Report“) in advance of increasing interest in “Sixth Industry Market” which ties in the farming/fishing/forestry industry with logistics/ICT. Since the next Organic Show/Biofach Japan is being held in February of 2016, there will be plenty of time to see what results will be yielded from its foray into this arena.