Innovation and entrepreneurship in Kyoto

tmsuk co jp 1


One of them enjoyable visits to Kyoto was visiting TMSUK Co, Ltd.   President and CEO Yoichi Takamoto previously spoke at JETRO’s Kyoto event at Happo-en, Tokyo.  Visiting his office was a visit to a discrete museum/art gallery/work shop.  I really was impressed by the paintings from the owner of the building, and the space and layout of his robots.

rodem v1


TMSUK Co, Ltd has grand visions though President and CEO Takamoto is humble in every single meaning of the word.  His vision is grand and it includes future mobility in life, focusing on the aging population; on tourism, focusing on travellers; on minimalist, easy travel, creating what I would suggest ‘Ferrari of robots’ and also security robots whom would identify and respond to attackers.

A mock intruder, tangled in a net that was launched by the remote-controlled security robot T-34, lies on the floor in Tokyo



To my question – how easy is it to use it?  I was offered a ride, to try it myself.  A genuine opportunity to have a customer experience.  I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was use use Rodem.

rodem v1

source: TMSUK


Rodem is described as such:

RIDE-ROID greatly reduces workload for both caregivers and non-caregivers.
Easy-transfer from bed or chair becomes easier by being able to get on the RODEM from the rear.
This is achieved by the help of its seat’s vertical motion mechanism.
Also, when the seat is high while in motion, your eye-level becomes similar to the person walking besides you.
You will feel happy just by riding it. Introducing the all new Universal Mobility, the RODEM.

The vision for TMSUK applies to also disaster management and the multi-purpose use is one could say so important to the future of mobility, both inside and outside of Japan.


TEDxKyoto 1

On a separate visit, I also met with Professor Jay Klaphake Professor at Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, a Co-Founder of TedX Kyoto.  In discussing entrepreneurship in Japan, we focused on opportunities, TedX, innovations and opportunities in Japan.  Such conversations, seem to add a layer of understanding that education does play a great role, more than just acquiring enough to get to the next level or even to get into University.  Rather, the life skills that may shape our ability to experience or learn new things.  Or does it?

Kyoto ted x3

source: TedXKyoto University


Education seems to play a slightly different role at high school compared to at University.  It may well because of cram schools and pressures of getting into University, that once students are at University, the thought of freedom takes higher priority.  I sensed that students are on a spectrum of highly desiring a stable corporate job and on the other hand entering entrepreneurship.  It is difficult to assess what are the vital ingredients that would determine when, what, how these individuals would move, change or embrace entrepreneurship though once again the theme of certainty, security seem to rise.

Why is security important?

Going to JETRO Kyoto provided an insight into that question.  Kyoto, is a place of so much history and heritage that really there is a strong desire to keep what is.  If people are attracted for the reasons of history in terms of buildings, the way of life and relationships, why ought it change?

The lack of certainty in change could be looked upon with much caution, and that could most certainly be the case with the older generation and larger corporations.  Speaking with entrepreneurs, it may be of less importance.  Perhaps it may take longer, to gain an understanding of what businesses or clients in Kyoto want, and taking into account the history and prestige, the ‘dance’ in which one does business is not something that can happen overnight.

Discover Kyoto v1

source: Kyoto Travel


Despite the potential challenges, I spoke with coach Derrik Tran and perhaps as a successful resident of Kyoto who understands doing business both in and outside of Kyoto I am hopeful that overseas entrepreneurs and startups can find a way to realise their dreams in doing businesses in Kyoto and Japan.

If we are to think about how much change our society is facing, then one could applaud Kyoto for holding the fort of preservation.  The dance between tradition and modernisation is not new; it may have started in the Meiji Restoration and is still ongoing today.

We look to Kyoto to lead, in that sense, how do we preserve the best of culture and equally adapt to maximise the potential of the latest technologies and talents.

kyoto travel v1

source: Kyoto Travel


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