Slush Tokyo

It was good to be back in Tokyo. In addition to perfect timing for cherry tree blossom and meeting Stuart I was able to get a glimpse of how Japan resonates with entrepreneurship mindset. I was hoping to see a lot of local startups but again I was a bit disappointed. Either the concept is not attractive enough or there are too many foreign companies wanting to join but something is not right. I talked with a local journalist and she said the same plus wondered why the big companies are not present like in Finland. Personally I do not mind that big companies are not dominating the floor space. Maybe that was a credibility check for her.

But the excitement was there among the local teams and the students organising the event. Surprisingly when I asked which Asian country resonates most to Japanese many replied China. That would have the last on my list.

Chinese have a strong presence in Africa and certainly 2,4 billion market by 2040 should be taken more seriously in Finland too.

City of Helsinki had a strong presence via VR/AR teams and the embassy hosted a friendly gathering for locals around the theme. But we need to bear in mind that all deals in Asia are done through personal connections. It matters most who you know and building network takes years. In addition to that I think that breaking through in Japan's highly competitive market needs a presence there.

In terms of changing the Japanese education to more individual life long learning path like in Finland there seems to be gap that is not taken seriously. I'd import a lot of things from Japanese culture to Finnish schools like respect to teachers and common good manners, but the path they are in with competition and teaching methods is to me a dead end.

This time closer to the city centre but still the last hall on the right.

Audio kitchen kit. Using kitchen ware changes your favourite music.

Language learning through robots by Utelias

Kahoot founder Johan Brand on stage. According to him empathy (the heart) is totally forgotten in modern educational systems. That is our differentiation to robots.

Jufo of Immersal on stage at Embassy premises. The future of AR/VR looks promising according to speakers.

Africa, the hidden treasure in many ways.

Peter Vesterbacka on stage with a message to entrepreneurs: Make good things and positive impact and money on the side.

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