“Into the hands of entrepreneurs”

We were talking about entrepreneurship and starting businesses in class this week. The beginning of the discussion surprised me a little:

Me: “So, say you have a great idea for a product and you want to start a business. What do you need?”

A Student: “Money.”

Me: “Right. So where do you get the money?”

Another Student: “The bank.”

Me (laughing): “Well, sure, but what are you going to do, go in and say, ‘Money, please?'”

Another Student: “Parents.”

Me (laughing again): “If you have rich parents, maybe. But we’re talking A LOT of money.”

Another Student: “A loan.”

Me: “Maybe, but as a young entrepreneur with no experience and no credit, you probably won’t get one. What’s another idea?”

Another Student: “Investors.”

Me: “Excellent idea. If you can find them, pitch your idea and convince them to support you. What’s another way?”

And here’s where it starts getting crazy…

A Student: “Win the lottery.”

Another Student: “Keiba!” (betting on the horses)

Another Student: “Rob a bank!”

Out of control now, and a little worrisome.

What none of the students came up with was crowdfunding, which was the topic for the class that day. Kickstarter is huge in the U.S. and many other parts of the world now. But no one in Japan (that I’ve talked to) seems to have heard of it. Well, my students do now. And part of their homework for next week is to find out what kind of crowdfunding is going on here.

I happened across this article yesterday and, after the class discussion, I wasn’t very surprised.

“A surprising number of Japanese youth get most of their income from their¬†parents”

Here’s one article about crowdfunding in Japan:

“Crowdfunding Gains Ground in Japan”

Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 9.56.42 AM


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s