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William Saito Remains Optimistic about the Future of Start-Ups May 9, 2018

While at the 2010 annual St. Gallen Symposium, William Saito was briefly interviewed regarding his thoughts about starting a Start-up company during financial turmoil. St. Gallen Symposium is an annual conference organized by the International Students’ Committee (IST) dated back to 1970. The event is held annually at the University of St. Gallen in St. Gallen, Switzerland and attended by entrepreneurs, students, and businessmen worldwide. Their goal is to nurture and provide an open forum discussion among the attendees in the topics of politics, civil society, and management. The interview is located online on the YouTube platform posted on the St. Gallen Symposium channel dated May 6, 2010.

 

William Saito, an Advisor for Start-ups, Innovation Center for Start-ups (INCS), National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) based in Tokyo, Japan. He remains optimistic regarding starting a business during an economic turmoil and said that the turmoil has not affected the start-up.

 

William Saito continued to mention that in Japan the struggles have not affected entrepreneurs since in the Japanese culture an entrepreneur is not wholly accepted as those having a nine-to-five job, giving Japanese entrepreneurs a handicap from the start. Mr. Saito is optimistic and said that the successful start-up firms attending the current St. Gallen Symposium were formed during times of financial turmoil. During a financial turmoil is a good time to start your long-term start-up business.

Regarding the counter-cyclical time of Start-Ups in term of their success rate,

 

William Saito remains optimistic and stated that barrier is a lot lower to getting funding. However, the bubble era is when more start-ups are created because start-ups created during these times are more likely to be more meticulous and attentive on their budgetary expenses. This budget focused discipline during a financial crisis carries over to when the market is good.

 

William Saito remains optimistic even if a start-up fails. His perspective and the biggest difference between Asian and Western culture is how each culture perceives risk factors. As an entrepreneur, failing in business and taking that risk is inevitable. However, from his observation, the Asian culture does not accept failures while in the Western culture, failing in business is not an end-all, but as a stepping stone to success.

 

Mr. Saito continued his optimistic perspective and said he was really impressed by the current St. Gallen Symposium. Specifically, he found the open forum dialogues between all disciplines on various topics between all attendees as the highlight.