Neo Asia Challenge 1: Ryo Umezawa

Mr. Steven Neo, Full-time MBA Candidate of GLOBIS University in Tokyo, discusses the "Neo Asia Challenge" with a variety of guests from various businesses and cultures in Japan and Asia.

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Neo Asia Challenge No.1 – Ryo Umezawa

Guest: Ryo Umezawa, Director, J-Seed Ventures, Inc.
Host: Steven Neo Say Bin, 2012 MBA Candidate, GLOBIS University
Date: June 6, 2013
Venue: AXEL MARK INC. office
Duration: 16:33

Reflection by interviewer:
With rising operating costs in a matured market, an organization’s logical strategic move is to seek emerging Asian markets and arbitrate operating expenses by relocating capabilities overseas. However, Ryo Umezawa has taught me that although it might be inevitable to seek growth opportunities in Asia, there are also numerous opportunities waiting to be uncovered in Japan. The various implicit and explicit costs of conducting business activities in Asia might outweigh the long-term return on investments (ROI). Perhaps it is time for Japanese organizations to take a fresh perspective into their current product portfolio, and re-strategize initiatives to focus on selecting the markets and the time to invest in, and building organizational capabilities to tackle the markets.
– By Steven Neo Say Bin

Guest Speaker

Ryo spent 10 years in the Philippines prior to studying International Business and Economics at Sophia University in Tokyo.

Ryo has been with J-Seed Ventures since 2005, participating in several partner companies where he frequently assisted in starting up the businesses, marketing and business development. He has experience in the mobile/smartphone, online marketing and ad businesses. In 2008, he was in charge of starting up an iPhone ad network and produced an iPhone app at TrafficGate (currently LinkShare Japan K.K., a Rakuten, Inc. group company). Ryo also has experience in starting up his own venture, a mobile marketing company. Ryo is also an angel investor in several startups and serves as a advisor to a mobile marketing solution company in China and a Japanese public company that is expanding its mobile business overseas.

From time to time Ryo writes about technology ventures and overseas market news for CNET Japan and TechWave. He loves working with startups and in addition to being an avid blogger, he is a serious networker who is constantly meeting people and hooking them up with others.

Ryo was selected as a Leaders of Tomorrow at the 40th St. Gallen Symposium held in 2010 and in 2011 as a member of World Economic Forum, Global Shapers Community (GSC) in Japan.

Dialogue Partner

Mr. Steven Neo Say Bin is an avid technologist who is enthusiastic about the latest technologies and media. He began his career as a web developer for a tech start-up, and moved on to developing military tank management systems for ST Electronics, and designing and creating desktop and web applications for Lucasfilm San Francisco and Singapore. After graduating from GLOBIS' full-time MBA program in 2013, his goal is to become a visionary leader that uses technology and media to innovate and change societies. In his free time, he creates cross-platform mobile applications to solve daily issues that he encounters, and blogs about the latest technologies. Find him on LinkedIn: