Networking in an international surrounding or in a foreign country is thrilling, stimulating and very rewarding in many ways. But it is also extremely challenging in terms of communication. Many entrepreneurs have been through the difficulties of working in a multilingual team and got lost in translation at least once. Sometimes funny and awkward language-related situations may become a warm shared memory with your business partners. Sometimes such miscommunication may rob you of collaboration or investment opportunities.
While English has been lingua franca of international business for a long while now, in Japan finding startup events in English might be a bit of a problem. That is why we are here to suggest you five wonderful events that will provide you with great networking opportunities where finding common language is never a problem.
Tech in Asia Tokyo
Tech Asia is probably one of the biggest and most significant events of its kind in the region. In 2018 about 2 000 participants are expected to attend it. While being held partially in Japanese, Tech in Asia Tokyo attracts lots of English-speaking visitors and conducts many of its speeches, networking activities, and workshops in English. This is one of the major happenings in Tokyo to meet new people, learn from the best, and showcase your products and services.
Born in Helsinki in 2008 SLUSH has become a signature yearly event of Finland and spread all over the world as far as Singapore, Shanghai, and Tokyo. From a small local conference that featured only two stages during the first assembly, SLUSH is now a massive phenomenon in Europe and Japan, with 20 000 attendees in Helsinki alone and around 6 000 attendees in Tokyo in 2017. This event for startups, investors and business enthusiasts held entirely in English in any part of the world. Here you will find several stages with different tracks, pitching competitions, panel discussions, meeting areas, networking opportunities, great after parties and many more.
Whether you come to listen and learn or to share and educate, it is worth your time.
Startup Weekend Tokyo
Made with an international audience in mind this event is meant for businessmen, marketing and design specialists, and anyone interested in startups. At some point, these educational startup simulations have become really popular with the local crowd, and the main language of monthly gatherings was changed to Japanese. However, there are also special international events held in English once in several months. Startup Weekend would also be suitable for those who are still only considering joining or running a startup and want to see what it is like to be a part of dynamic a multicultural team.
Hacker News Tokyo
This semi-regular and semi-formal event is organized by the Hacker News of Y-Combinator and is dedicated not so much to code hacking, but rather to finding solutions and brainstorming ideas for the industry. This is a great place to socialize with like-minded enthusiasts and to network in a casual atmosphere. Here you will meet both Japanese and non-Japanese start-ups from a variety of industries.
F**kUp Nights Tokyo
Making mistakes is one great way to get experience and wisdom. But knowing what to expect and how to avoid potential problems is way better. F**kUp Nights movement started in Mexico and is now helping entrepreneurs based in Tokyo to find out about the not-so-bright side of running a business. Whether you come to listen and learn or to share and educate, it is worth your time.
Have you ever attended any of these or other events? We would love to hear about your experiences in the comment section below.