Our History

A long-term bet on innovation in Japan

At Creww we work with innovative startups in Japan and around the world. We are a startup ourselves and since our founding in 2012 we’ve been at the center of Japan’s startup community. We both offer essential services to the community and work with large enterprises to help them work with small startups. (It’s more challenging for them than you think)

Before founding Creww, Sorato Ijichi moved to Los Angeles when he was 16 and was inspired by innovation and risk-taking spirit he found there. Sorato started his first company when he was a student there and sold it seven years later.

Returning to Japan after the great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, the future looked very uncertain. It was not simply the devastation caused by the earthquake. Japan’s GDP had recently been surpassed by China. The nation’s manufacturing industry was being hollowed out, and even in industries, such as electronics, where Japan had been historically strong, she was being overtaken or even surpassed by neighboring countries. After has experience in California, it was obvious the Sorato that the only way Japan would regain her former status would be through innovation, and the only way to achieve consistent and important innovation is by having a sizable and dynamic startup ecosystem.

Of course, Japan and America are different and Japan’s ideal startup ecosystem is very different from what we see in Silicon Valley. Japanese companies are new to working with startups, and they value long-term relationships. Japanese startups are more willing to work with, rather than against the established players. And Creww is right in the middle. Making introductions, cementing partnerships and making sure that relationships go smoothly.

Japan’s startup ecosystem is growing into something very different than San Francisco. One with less disruption, perhaps, but with more meaningful and profitable cooperation.


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