Australia, NZ Chamber of Commerce in Japan holds startup confab at new office


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

Image credit: “Tex” Pomeroy

The Australia-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ANZCCJ) on Tuesday evening held, with support from Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and Japan Australia Business Co-operation Committee, a Tech Startup confab at its new headquarters inside WeWork Shimbashi, in Tokyo.

The panel comprised Australian Paul Chapman of fintech firm Moneytree, New Zealand-raised Yuta Iguchi of Million Steps Partner now doing Israel-focused business in Japan, Japan manager Shota J. Adam of mattress provider and Kiwi-Aussie serial entrepreneur Terrie Lloyd (Japan Travel CEO), moderated by Jared Campion of Carter Search.

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Part of the Small/Medium-sized Enterprises Support Programme, it brought an audience ranging from ANZ Bank and HRExperts to Rio Tinto and Vega Global, illustrating the keen interest by foreign affiliates as to communication and human resource aspects of tech startups in Japan. In addition to SME, ANZCCJ has a program supporting Youth Jobs too.

Image credit: ANZCCJ

Moneytree’s Chapman in particular noted how opportunities open up, referring to how the banking sectors in Japan and Australia both are conservative, yet once a trend begins, the momentum will be maintained on a long-term basis. For fintech, Open Banking — meaning accessibility via cyberspace to bank accounts — is a prominent example of this.

Hiring, training and retaining personnel were points stressed by intercultural expert Shota Adam of Internet-dependent while the need to familiarize/educate clients and customers was emphasized by Messrs. Iguchi and Lloyd alike, though the latter apparently has an eye on philanthropic endeavors like disaster prevention activities as well.