JAPAN SYNAPSE | Spring 2022


Before the COVID19 pandemic so dramatically interrupted our lives, we were looking forward to expanding our Synapse experiences to Asia and to Japan in particular. Our plans for a physical trip to Japan have been postponed indefinitely as a result of the global public health pandemic in which we find ourselves. Tuesdays in Tokyo are our alternative to an actual trip to Japan.  Students met for several, hour and one half-long video conversations with founders, policymakers, or venture capitalists working in the entrepreneurship ecosystem of Japan, with a focus on Tokyo.

Tuesdays in Tokyo is a partnership with our student club, Brown EP. All events were held for Brown students in person @ 7:00 pm in the Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship with speakers joining us from Japan via videoconference.

It is our hope that the student cohort and the connections made through Tuesdays in Tokyo will one day result in in-person visits and lasting relationships between the speakers in this series and Brown University.


Feb 7 | Akiko Naka, Founder and CEO of Wantedly, Inc. Akiko Naka is the youngest female founder of a company to be listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Akiko worked at Goldman Sachs and at Facebook before launching Wantedly, Inc. an employment matching company that focuses on the employee.

March 14 | Akira Fukaori, CEO and Kevin Kajitani, COO of Avatarin, Inc. As a pioneer in avatar services and avatar robots, Avatarin’s aim is to connect people to physical locations around the world instantaneously.

April 4 | Yasuhiro Yamakawa, Ph.D., President Cambridge Innovation Center, CIC Japan. CIC was founded in Cambridge, MA, and globally runs innovation centers, which support entrepreneurs and startups. CIC Tokyo is one of the largest innovations centers in Japan.

May 3 | Final Presentation Join the students who participated in the Spring 2022 Japan Synapse | Tuesdays in Tokyo over sushi for their presentation examining the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Japan. Learn about the strengths and challenges entrepreneurs face in the world’s fifth-largest economy in a country with a business culture that is known more for its formality and aversion to risk than for its entrepreneurship. Registration is required and is limited to Brown University community members. Google Form RSVP.


WHERE: Liz Lange Lecture Hall, Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship, 1 Euclid Ave, Providence