Japan Loves Innovation, but Entrepreneurship? – These start-ups may surprise you

Japan is mad about innovation. From tech gadgets to inventively designed products, it is a place hungry for cutting-edge. Why then are there so few entrepreneurs? Culture, many say, is to blame. With an aversion to standout much less fail, the Japanese spurn start-ups. But what culture doesn’t hate losing?

The better answer is Japan’s complicated bureaucracy and regulation that makes it difficult to launch and raise capital for an enterprise. According to the World Bank’s Doing Business index, Japan ranks 107 out of 183 countries for ease of starting a business. Venture capital is scarce.

Both are inadequate responses for true entrepreneurs. That’s at least what I witnessed tonight when all of Tokyo’s start-up stars came out for an awards fete hosted by U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos. Ambassador Roos has promoted, more than any other American chief of mission, entrepreneurship, encouraging Japanese innovators to “aim global.”

Read the rest of the story: Japan is mad about innovation. Can it get crazy about entrepreneurship?.

Pictured is Real-F 3D, a start-up in Japan that makes 3D models of your face.