Josh Flannery on becoming an entrepreneur, entering the Japanese market, and drinking sake, yes sake
Meet Josh Flannery:
Josh Flannery is an entrepreneur with a track record of 16+ years and a connector of many kinds. Josh's passion lies in connecting people, organizations, and experiences in an effort to solve the world's problems by unleashing entrepreneurship. This podcast is for anyone interested in learning about entering the Japanese market, becoming an entrepreneur, or drinking sake; yes, sake.
In this podcast episode you can learn about:
• Josh gives amazing insights into what it takes to expand a startup to Japan. The importance of starting off with proof points in your own country, improving your offering, and only then going outside of your home country. It's the same approach HIVERY took when it was founded in 2015. In fact, it was around late 2017 when HIVERY started to get traction in Japan and then opened up an office in late 2018. As Josh put it, "build credibility locally...", then go overseas.
• Josh provides tips on how to leverage credibility via simple tools of 'case studies'. Case studies are real stories about how your solution helps a specific customer in a specific industry overcome their problems by using your solution. It generally covers the challenge a customer faced, your approach to addressing the challenge, and the results. Generally speaking, at HIVERY we like to start with media release followed by case studies. It's a good way to build awareness before moving a potential customer down the pipeline of the buyer's journey when releasing the case study. Josh provides a tip in developing a case study to ensure it's localised to the Japanese market.
• Localisation of products and services is critical to getting traction in an overseas market. Josh talks about the aspect of going 'local'. HIVERY's vending solution, HIVERY Enhance, had to be customised to cater to the Japanese vending machine market, including developing new algorithms to consider the impact of hot and cold beverages.
• According to Josh, there are three important things to consider when entering the Japanese market (and applicable to most Asia-based counties): 1)Learn the market well, 2)Partner where possible, and 3)Customize your offering.
• Josh also shares important tips to young entrepreneurs looking to start new ventures, including 1)How to create a killer pitch, 2)The difference between types of accelerator programs, 3)How much equity should you give up, and more.
• Along the way we will learn more about Josh's career from UNSW innovation programs to NSW Government to Rainmaking Japan. Josh shares his perspective on working with the government. He addresses the reasoning behind a common preconception of the government being "slow"; it is about reducing one thing: risk to all parties.
• Lastly, and more interestingly, we get into the fascinating world of Sake - a Japanese drink that is made by fermenting rice. Josh is actually an expert.
You can read the book chapter "What Makes a Global Business Model?" co-authored by the host, Milena Salmon here: shorturl.at/vV346