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Innovation Salon: Will this time be different: Can Japanese firms succeed in Silicon Valley?

June 14, 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Japanese companies have been coming to Silicon Valley for many decades, but in recent years that has turned into a flood.  More than 100 Japanese companies have opened up new operations in the Bay Area over just the past two years, including giants like Toyota (TRI) and FujiFilm (Open Innovation Lab).  What has sparked this renewed Japanese interest in Silicon Valley? Will Japanese firms fare better this time as they struggle to take full advantage of the Bay Area’s entrepreneurial ecosystem?  What lessons can they learn from their past missteps and what actions can they take this time to succeed?

Few are better qualified to talk about these issues than Masa Ishii, who has been a direct participant in Japan’s engagement in Silicon Valley for more than 40 years, as a student, consultant, investor and academic observer.  He will discuss the challenges that Japanese companies face in getting the most out of their Bay Area innovation networks, provide some examples of failures and successes, and present his recommendations for approaches that Japanese corporations can take to better ensure successful business outcomes.   Please come join this fascinating discussion that is critical to Japan’s economic success.


日本企業にとってシリコンバレーの魅力とは何でしょうか? 現在の方がベイエリアのアントレプルナーのエコシステムをフル活用できているでしょうか?  日米企業の新規事業展開およびグローバル化の戦略構築および実施の支援のエキスパート、ご存知 AZCA 代表取締役社長 石井正純 氏に過去の失敗に学ぶ成功の要素について語っていただきます。


Speaker Profile

Masa Ishii
Managing Director – AZCA, Inc.

Prior to establishing AZCA in 1985, Mr. Ishii worked in senior positions at McKinsey & Company, Inc. and IBM, Japan.  He serves or has served on the board and the advisory board of several multinational companies, including Logitech, Inc., Alien Technology, iFire Technology, and PARC as well as Bay Area non-profit organizations such as the Japan Society of Northern California and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce in Northern California. He was a member of the US-Japan Innovation and Entrepreneurship Council between 2011 and 2013 where he worked very closely with the governments of both US and Japan.

He is a visiting professor at Waseda University Business School and at Graduate School of Engineering, Shizuoka University and advises Japanese Government agencies on innovation, including MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) and METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry).  Mr. ISHII holds a Bachelor of Engineering in mathematical engineering and instrumentation physics from the University of Tokyo and a Master of Science in computer science from Stanford University.



Jon Metzler
Blue Field Strategies

Jon Metzler is the Japan Society board chairman. By day, he is the President of Blue Field Strategies, a consulting firm supporting US and Japanese clients, with a focus on innovation acceleration. Jon has launch experience in print and online media, services, edtech, wireless, geolocation and more. Jon is also a lecturer at the Haas School of Business, where he teaches on IT Strategy and on business in Japan. He is also associated faculty for the UC-Berkeley Center for Japanese Studies.









Venue generously provided by Squire Patton Boggs
This event was made possible thanks to our 2018 Japan-US Innovation Awards Symposium sponsors
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June 14, 2018
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Squire Patton Boggs
1801 Page Mill Rd. #110
Palo Alto, CA
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