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New Businesses from Digital Creativity — Trends from Japan

With the advance of digital transformation in every aspect of our life, we are witnessing innovative expressions of creative products giving rise to new businesses for a new economy. This session will present three entrepreneurs in the Japanese creative industries, who will be discussing their business experiences, strategies, and visions. The session, presented in collaboration with the Institute for Future Initiatives of the University of Tokyo, will be conducted in Japanese with English voiceover.



Ichiro Sakata

Professor Ichiro Sakata
Vice President, University of Tokyo.

Dr. Sakata is the Vice President in charge of Corporate Planning and UTokyo FSI bond. He is the Head of research group of the Creation of New Integrated Culture-Based Industries Policy, the Institute for Future Initiatives of the University of Tokyo. He has received MA at Brandeis University and Ph.D. at the University of Tokyo. He became a full professor in 2008 after working for the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. His research interests include innovation management, technological forecasting, fusion of culture and technology, and computational social science. He proposes the concept of Technology Informatics.


Kazuhiro Mizuno

Kazuhiro Mizuno
CEO of Quan Inc.

Mizuno founded Quan Inc. in 2011 after his success with the smartphone game "Touch the Numbers" that has recorded 10 million downloads globally. His previous success also includes mobile messaging content service "Deco-mail" that had a million paid subscriber in Japan when he was former CEO of Tekunodo and Executive Officer of TJK.

At Quan, he has focused on creating characters for user communication on Social Media. He partnered with major social media platforms such as Facebook, WeChat, LINE and etc. to distribute Quan’s character contents. Quan’s sticker downloads are cumulatively over 4 billion in 2020 and its business has expanded to merchandising and events in offline market. The business has expanded into Asian countries, including China, Thailand and Vietnam.
Yusuke Tominaga

Yusuke Tominaga
Producer / CEO of Whatever

Tominaga is a producer in the various creative fields (ADs, MVs, IoT, fashion, art exhibitions, TV), an investor in COTODAMA (maker of Lyric Speaker) and BASSDRUM, and recently a co-founder of WTFC with TFC. He also leads WHEREVER, a creative commune.
Akira Takayama

Akira Takayama

Animation and Character Producer, Setting up Fanworks Inc., of which hs is CEO, in 2005, Takayama has been producing a number of videos and images that have been global phenomenon, including Aggretsuko, which was a major hit on Netflix in recent years.