12.19 TUE

Round Table|The Potential of Art University Startups

In recent years, expectations have been rising for startups by art university graduates, but few such players have materialized. What expectations does society place on entrepreneurs with backgrounds as artists? Some super-rare start-up entrepreneurs with art university backgrounds ponder the current landscape and share their experiences.

【 Date & Time 】
December 19 [Tue], 7:00pm-8:30pm
【 Speakers 】
Akiou Kato (CEKAI Corp.)
Hayakawa Gomi (UTSUWA, Inc.)
Takashi Yokoishi (&Co.,Ltd.)
【 Moderator 】
Alisa Watanabe (Startbahn, Inc.)
【 Planning and implementation 】
Startbahn, Inc.

Akiou Kato

Co-founder, CEKAI Corp.

Kato started in business while a fourth-year student at Musashino Art University by establishing creative management company Morphing, Inc. He was involved in the launch of creative team TYMOTE in 2008, and in 2013 he co-founded CEKAI, a creative association bringing together independent individuals. Operating on a global scale from bases in Japan and the US, CEKAI engages in the creation of autonomous, decentralized systems and spaces. Under its mission of enhancing, connecting, and expanding the potential of creators, CEKAI’s aim is to take the ultimate behind-the-scenes role.

Hayakawa Gomi

Representative Director, UTSUWA, Inc.

Born in 1995 in Tokyo. Brand Manager for Euglena Co., Ltd, Company Director of feast, Representative Director of UTSUWA, Inc. Hayakawa started making accessories when she was in high school, designing and selling printed tights. In August 2014 after enrolling in the Department of Graphic Design at Tama Art University, she launched the lingerie brand “feast,” principally selling her products through online channels. In 2019, she launched “ILLUMINATE,” a project focusing on options related to menstruation, and joined the Euglena Group in 2022. Hayakawa is currently Brand Manager for “SOLUME,” a pregnancy and childbirth related brand initiative for working women.

Takashi Yokoishi

Organizer of Tokyo Work Design Week, &Co.,Ltd.

Graduated from Tama Art University. In 2016 he founded &Co. He is a project producer involved in brand development, corporate organizational development, and social change. He successfully recruited 30,000 people for Asia's largest workstyle festival, Tokyo Work Design Week. Yokoishi is producer of initiatives such as the collective office “Hojo SANCI”in Kamakura; of Shibuya Startup University, a Shibuya-ku-based training institute for entrepreneurs; and of “shared bookstore” Shibuya Maru Maru Shoten. He is adjunct lecturer at Hosei University. Publications include “How We Will Work ~Dialogue with the Ten that will Create Next Generation Standards~” (Hayakawashobo), and “Innovation of self introduction 2.0” (KADOKAWA).

Alisa Watanabe

Chief Revenue Officer, Startbahn, Inc.

Born in 1990, grew up in the neighbor of Ohara Museum of Art in Okayama, my favorite art museum of all time. B.A. in International Liberal Studies at Waseda Univerisity. Studied Film and minored in Aesthetics. Join Mitsubishi Corporation in 2013 and worked mainly for logistics business. Also had experience in working in Russia. Joined Startbahn from April 2021.