Tokyo’s FinTech startup hub FINOLAB holds its first growth hack seminar


This is a guest post authored by “Tex” Pomeroy. He is a Tokyo-based writer specializing in ICT and high technology.

Image Credit: ISID

FINOLAB, the FinTech center of Tokyo, on 12 April held its first growth hack seminar catering toward FinTech and other startups. The facilities, which earlier in the year was venue to FIBC 2016, opened this February in the Otemachi/Marunouchi area (central business district) of Tokyo with backing from Mitsubishi Estate (TSE:8802) as well as the Dentsu group, comprising Dentsu (TSE:4324) and ISID (Information Services International-Dentsu, TSE:4812), in addition to support from FINOVATORS, an association for “financial innovation” established in Japan.

FINOLAB has already held other get-togethers so far, such as the first Techmeetup on 30 March, where for example Capy gave a presentation on use of the Google Cloud Platform for FinTech services. However, the seminar this time centered on the growth hack concept born in Silicon Valley, which combined with FinTech promises some interesting results for the future. The two speakers, producer Tomohiro Katayama and designer Daisuke Asano from Dentsu’s Business Creation Center, explained the basic concept behind growth hack for their audience.

Dentsu’s Tomohiro Katayama (right) and designer Daisuke Asano (left) gave a lecture to the audience.

Entitled “Fintech Marketing Strategy as Seen from Business Schemes” the seminar attracted many FinTech businesses looking to expand their markets. In a nutshell the two speakers noted effective projection of user experience (UX) beyond user interface (UI) through application of the PDCA (plan-do-check-act) cycle. They also emphasized the fact that KGIs (key growth indicators) and KPIs (key performance indicators) should be considered with “Indexing” in mind… in other words, prioritization. Thus they noted that, whether for ToB (businesses) or ToC (consumers), communicating with the users and the market behooves a good Check effort reflected upon Action.

Katayama focused on the overall “key to success” in utilizing growth hack as a thorough understanding of similar fields, an example being the overlaps seen in the consumer products – like for detergents and foodstuff, having differing targets but overlapping user segments – and leveraging past records such as highlighting having been lauded for previous efforts. Asano provided more interface-level explanations of designing UX without reliance on words, focusing on use of UI color and images to “draw in” the users. They both agreed that “at first glance” impressions are clinchers in setting up growth hack strategies.

Those attending, such as Yosuke Shibuya of Smilable and Yasunori Sugii of CurrencyPort (one of the first tenants of FINOLAB) were very satisfied with the seminar and the venue… though Sugii did note that if more shops around FINOLAB would come to stay open later he would be able to attract more engineers. Toshiaki Hasumura, Planning Manager charged with FINOLAB activities, added that the plan was turn FINOLAB into a cornerstone for a global financial center in the near future and hopefully enhance business activities nearby. Regarding the growth hack seminar series, he said that there will be several more events upcoming later in the year.

Edited by Masaru Ikeda