Imagine a future where art affects every aspect of society, and various parts of the society goes back to art. We aim to realize this two way relationship between art and the society.
With the evolution of technology, we are transitioning from society that is measured by efficiency and productivity into one where people start to seek “richness” through culture and creativity.
Startbahn, Inc. develops products that are necessary for this turning point.
We build "Startrail", which is an infrastructure for art distribution and evaluation, and promote its introduction to companies and organizations inside and outside the art industry.
We also manage "Startbahn Cert.", which utilizes Startrail.
While taking into account the traditional mechanisms of art industry that relies on credibility and evaluation by individuals, we will work on issues in the art industry using the right technology.

TEAM

  • Taihei Shii

    CEO

    Born in 1977. Spent his childhood in the US. Graduated from Tama Art University in 2001. Taught as an Adjunct Professor in Tokyo University of the Arts. Has been a modern artist himself, with his focus theme of “Art in Internet Age”. M.S. in The University of Tokyo Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies. Explained the initial plan of "Startbahn" at a talk event in 2006, acquired regarded patents in Japan and US. Established Startbahn, Inc, in 2014. Became CEO of Art Beat, Inc. Enjoys playing billiards.

  • Tomohiro Nakamura

    CTO

    After full-stack engineer experiences at Goldman Sachs and at Electronic Arts, Tomohiro has founded Wekids Inc. He has also been CTO at AnyPay Inc. and managed payment and ICO/STO services. After being CTO in a Blockchain SaaS startup, catabira Inc., he joined Startbahn, Inc. in March 2020 as CTO. Holds B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science from Waseda University and have a significant research experience in Web and Machine Learning. He likes web3.0 philosophy and going to music festivals.

  • Hyoei Noto

    Administrative Dept. Manager, Executive Officer

    Graduated from Graduate School of Management, Kyoto University. Joined Daiwa Securities Capital Markets Co.Ltd. in 2011. Assigned to public acceptance department, he supported to build a inner managing system for pre-listed companies or new listed ones. Moving to IT venture company afterward, he was in charge of managing KPI at business planning department, data analysis for determination of policy, drawing up a business plan and supporting companies to get ready for being listed. After being engaged in value creation for venture partners at The University of Tokyo Edge Capital Co., Ltd., he participated in one of the partner companies, Startbahn.

  • Keisuke Ota

    Business Development Dept. Manager, Executive Officer

    Completed the Department of Architecture Graduate School of Engineering the University of Tokyo. Established museums and brand shops as architects at Herzog & de Meuron. In 2015, He turned into a management strategy consultant at Bain & Company. Engaged in management support for major companies at Tokyo and Dubai branch offices. Participated in Startbahn in 2019.

  • Yuki Hayashi

    Outside Director

    Graduated from The University of Tokyo (B.Eng. in Mechano-informatics, M.Eng. in Technology Management). While researching the mathematical foundations of machine learning and its applications to the financial sector, he was involved in building an internal data infrastructure at an advertising technology startup, and was fascinated by the dynamism of technology startups, which led him to the venture capital industry. He has been involved in UTEC since 2016, and participated as full-time associate since 2019. He has invested in 3 companies in the areas of AI/Robotics/AR/Blockchain as a lead investor, supported management as an outside director of 4 companies and observer of 6 companies, and supported 15+ funding rounds.

  • Ryutaro Katayama

    Outside Director

    He holds BA in Economics and MA in Sociology from Keio University in Tokyo and MBA from Harvard Business School.
    After successfully revived several well-known but distressed companies as a CEO or a turnaround architect, he served as the President of Giuliani Partners Japan and Japan office of Christie's, the oldest and the largest auction house in the world. He is also a founding member of Whiz Partners, a leading venture capital firm. He has sat on the numerous boards of prominent companies and an art foundation. Through the various positions above, he got engaged in approximately 100 M&A deals. He loves both visual and performing arts as well as golf and tennis.

  • Yayoi Shionoiri

    Outside Director

    Yayoi Shionoiri serves as Executive Director to the Estate of Chris Burden and the Studio of Nancy Rubins, where she is responsible for stewarding Burden's art historical legacy and promoting Rubins' artistic practice. She also serves as U.S. Alliance Partner to City Lights Law, a Japanese law firm that represents creators, innovators, and artists. As a published specialist on art law, she is respected for her application of intellectual property law to art issues. In the past, Yayoi has served as General Counsel and Head of Asia Strategy to Artsy, Associate General Counsel of The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, and Legal Advisor to Takashi Murakami. She has degrees from Harvard University, Cornell Law School and Columbia University.
    ( Photo by © Munemasa Takahashi )
    Instagram: @yayoi_shionoiri

  • Hiro Okahashi

    Outside Director

    Experience of policy planning related to venture company promotion and industry-academia collaboration at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
    After managing multiple venture companies, engaged in investment development and management support for domestic and overseas venture companies at major financial institution VCs. Founded Miyako Capital (Kyoto University official VC) in 2013 and became a representative director partner. Furthermore, he energetically invests in and manages innovative start-up companies based on advanced technology and business models.
    Graduated from Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo
    Columbia University Master of Business Administration (MBA)
    Researcher, Graduate School of Management, Kyoto University
    Member of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry "University-based Venture Study Group"

  • Tasuku Mizuno

    Auditor

    Attorney at City Lights Law Office in Tokyo. His profession covers IP Law, Entertainment Law, Art Law, Internet Law, Information Law and so forth. He is also the representative director of “Arts and Law”​, and is the co-director of “Creative Commons Japan (currently Commonsphere).” He serves as the senior researcher of KEIO University Research Institute at SFC (Legal Design Lab), and also is the judge of “GOOD DESIGN AWARD,” a member of “Fab Commons” (FabLab Japan), and quite active in Open Source projects, Sharing culture, new copyright definition for digital contents or digital fabrication.

  • Hisayori Kataoka

    Auditor

    Completed his BA in Economics in Keio University. Started his career at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu LLC as a certified public accountant and became a partner in 2002. Over 30 years in his career, auditing and consulting of companies preparing for IPO were his specialties and simultaneously, he worked as a director of the Chiba office and the Yokohama office. Also, he experienced committee operations as a member of the scope of consolidation advisory committee and investment limited partnership committee at The Japanese Institute of Certified Public Accountants. After leaving Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu LLC in 2020, he became a venture partner at the University of Tokyo Edge Capital Partners Co., Ltd.

  • Miwa Taguchi

    Senior Advisor

    Born in 1967. Graduated from the Department of Social Work, Graduate School of Sociology, Meiji Gakuin University. Around 2013, she succeeded to the management of her father's art collection, Taguchi Art Collection. Taguchi has visited numerous exhibitions, art festivals, and art fairs in Japan and abroad to enhance the collection. In 2019, she established the Arts Plus Institute of Contemporary Art, a general incorporated association, and has conducted seminars and other activities to bridge the information gap between Japan and the rest of the world regarding contemporary art.

    [ Arts Plus Institute for Contemporary Art ]
    https://www.facebook.com/artsplus2019/

    [ Taguchi Art Collection ]

  • Kodai Kimura

    Legal Advisor

    Attorney admitted in Japan and New York (Partner at Kobayashi & Yugeta Law Office). As a specialist in the field of Art Law , Mr. Kimura advises artists, art galleries, art related start-ups, curators, art consultants, collectors, public art consulting firms and various companies involved in art projects, and has contributed articles to reputable media such as Bijutsutecho and Forbes JAPAN. He received a Certificate in Art Business from Christie’s Education, New York, and a Diploma in Art Law from Institute of Art and Law, UK.

  • Kensuke Ito

    Blockchain Reseacher

    Graduated from Department of Economics, School of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University. Graduated from Socio-Information and Communication Studies Course, Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies, The University of Tokyo. Being interested in modern art market, he is studying about an incentive design to decentralize the managing activities for intellectual property. He has been participated in Startbahn before the establishment.

  • Aiko Konabe

    Art Integration Office

    From Tokyo. After working as a sales manager in a long-established gallery that deal in major pop art, she opened her own space “AI KOKO GALLERY” focuses on contemporary art. Working as a gallerist on weekends, she was also working for a trading company on weekdays. She was recognized for her attitude to actively deal in cutting-edge art pieces, while having experienced a mainstream art market.

  • Yumiko Horiguchi

    Development Dept. Customer Support / Operation

    From Fukuoka, Japan. Graduated from Oil Painting Program, Faculty of Art, Aichi University of the Arts. After working at modern art gallery, entered Startbahn. Her favorite artists are Thomas Cyrill Demand and David Hockney.

  • Chris Hatch

    Development Dept. Blockchain Engineer

    Chris has built software across a diverse range of industries spanning renewable energy, education, human rights, telecommunications, health and finance, working in the regions of Asia, Europe and Australia.
    Focusing on blockchain for the last 5 years he has developed smart contract protocols, DApps, open source tools and libraries for the Ethereum and Stellar networks and launched a fiat gateway in Australia.
    Chris is excited to see blockchain technology changing the world and to continue contributing to that change.

  • Wataru Shinohara

    Development Dept. Blockchain Engineer

    After working in several companies as a backend developer, he joined DMM.com, where he worked on building a big data infrastructure, improving computational resource efficiency, continuous delivery, and deployment. He has continued his research and development on blockchain and is interested in sustainable social system design.

  • Daniel Lui

    Business Development Dept.

    Daniel is a specialist in alternative investment and securities exchange. With over 10 years of experience in the financial industry, Daniel served as the vice president at Merrill Lynch (London) and as the head of business development at SBI Japannext. Daniel joined Startbahn in Jan 2021 with the vision to make art a more reliable and accessible asset for everyone.
    Daniel received his BSc. from UCSD, MSc. from Cass Business School, and MBA from Hitotsubashi ICS. Daniel also speaks Chinese Mandarin and Cantonese.

  • Risa Mizuno

    Public Relations

    Born in 1997. Spent her childhood and adolescence in Germany. Graduated from Faculty of Environment and Information Studies, Keio University. While studying in the university, she had been arranging exhibitions of photos that children overseas took, and that interests her in giving a new value to something. Had worked as an intern for one and a half year as Startbahn, and officially entered as a new graduate; which is the first time for the company. Enjoys traveling, and especially loves the countryside of Laos.

  • Toshiya Matsumoto

    Development Dept. Blockchain Engineer

    Graduated from Faculty of Economics, Keio University, and Diversity Management, University of Leeds. Started his career as a web engineer, he participated a project for rebuilding a web application for in-house system in a venture company. Having a vision to connect the art world and blockchain technology, he entered Startbahn. he prefers to go watching Kabuki and to take a lesson for Japanese dancing.

  • Hasnaeen Ferdous

    Development Dept. Blockchain Engineer

    Born and raised in Bangladesh. B. Sc. & M. Sc. in CSE from United International University(UIU) Dhaka. Performed as a full stack software developer in fin-tech companies & lead a start-up company for few years as CTO. Handled several web development frameworks, has good amount of enthusiasm in DevOps & cloud infra.
    Recent years become a passionate blockchain technology explorer who did RnD in both public and private blockchain with specialized in smartcontract development.
    Moved to Japan in 2018 with a vision of connect blockchain with art and joined Startbahn as Blockchain RnD Engineer. Love to scout through new tech and books. Inside a foodie who like driving and traveling.

  • Mitsuhiro Matsumoto

    Development Dept. Project Manager

    Born in 1989, grown up in U.S.. Graduated from School of Fundamental Science and Engineering, Waseda University. He studied software defined radio and DTN. After graduation, he served as a web marketer, a sales manager, and personnel affairs. Entered Startbahn as a project manager. His hobbies are movie-watching, studying language, and trail running.

  • Akihiro Kato

    Development Dept. Front-end Engineer

    In Aichi, Japan, born in 1992. He went from graduating from university to web creation company and then Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences (IAMAS). Graduated from The Department of Media Creation. Believing that blockchain has the potential to create a new society, he created a board game “TRUSTLESS LIFE” in order to express the belief. He was highly recognized by people from every walk of life, including the special prize at CREATIVE HACK AWARD 2018 SONY. He has been participated in web service and application creation in Startbahn since 2018.

  • Sona Ko

    Development Dept. Project Manager

    Graduated from Department of Spanish Studies, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. She studied history of modern and contemporary Western art while in Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. Having her roots in Korea, able to speak Japanese, English, Korean and Spanish. After being engaged in management for several projects such as developing a billions-yen-scale software at PwC consulting LLC, moving to personal group to be in charge of development for new businesses. In Startbahn, she manages the project for blockchain development. Enjoys Korean dancing since the age of 10.

  • Taro Shirakawa

    Business Development Dept.

    B.A. in Philosophy and International Relations from the College of William and Mary with Phi Beta Kappa. As we have many unresolved global issues nowadays, he has an interest in building a better society with every individual positive action. Learning real-life solutions with my idea by building a learning community and working in educational business and think-tank, he came to think that blockchain technology has a potential to let every individual to have more positive influence on a society with its decentralized system. He has participated in Startbahn from 2020 as he was attracted by its idea: promoting a value of art as a public good with blockchain while growing as a unique “Art x Blockchain” Startup.

  • Masataka Tanaka

    Business Development Dept. Customer Support / Operation

    Born in 1994, from Shimane. Graduated from Department of Photography, College of Art, Nihon University. After working as a university research assistant, worked as a photographer. He is also working on art production, received the Dean of the Arts Award for university graduation work and held a solo exhibition in 2018. Currently, as a photographer, he shoots portrait, bridal, and movie etc. He has participated in startbahn in 2019. Enjoys reading books.

  • Tobias Vielhaber

    Development Dept. Front-end Engineer

    Born and raised in Germany. B. Sc. & M. Sc. in Business Informatics from Trier University of Applied Science. During his study time, he spent semesters abroad in China and Japan.
    He performed as a full stack developer in several projects and as a lead front-end developer at companies in the ETC sector.
    He moved to Japan in 2018, passionate about new technologies and exploring different cultures. Enjoys traveling, rock music, books and sports.

  • Brynna Hohl-Perrie

    Development Dept. UI/UX Designer

    Born in 1994 in America. From a young age, Brynna had an interest in both art and technology, learning to code during her Elementary school years. She graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Design and has since been living in Tokyo for the past four years, working in the field of UI/UX design. She is currently a Master's student, studying for an MA in User Experience Design.

  • Nadim Hussain

    Development Dept. UI/UX Designer

    Nadim specializes in digital product design. With over 5 years of experience in this industry, he worked at several top companies in Bangladesh and freelanced as well. Graduated from East West University in 2017 with a degree in computer science and engineering. He was more interested in designing so kept himself on this track. Loves to spend time gardening, traveling, and watching football.

  • Yogen Furukawa

    Business Development Dept.

    ex-KEARNEY consultant. “Panacea” to medicate patients was what he was after as a student studying pharmaceutical sciences. However, a variety of philosophical thoughts have steered his attention to “a single drop of poison” to modulate people’s minds entirely. He has an aspiration to compound technology into the toxicity of art to innovate “good medicine” that perpetually offers humans a chance for introspection. Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Tokyo. Master of Engineering (Technology Management for Innovation) with highest distinction, The University of Tokyo.

  • Alisa Watanabe

    Business Development Dept.

    Born in 1990, grew up in the neighbor of Ohara Museum of Art in Okayama, my favorite art museum of all time. B.A. in International Liberal Studies at Waseda Univerisity. Studied Film and minored in Aesthetics. Join Mitsubishi Corporation in 2013 and worked mainly for logistics business. Also had experience in working in Russia. Joined Startbahn from April 2021.

  • Michiyo Nozawa

    Administrative Dept.

    Born in Saitama Prefecture. After working in accounting and finance at an accounting firm and a listed company, she worked as a manager in the corporate planning group of an IT venture company and as a business administration manager of a pharmaceutical R&D venture company with subsidiaries in the United States and Taiwan. After working in accounting for many years, she joined Startbahn in 2021. Her hobby is to grow vegetables in a community farm. She is also interested in supporting shelter dogs, as her current dog is a shelter dog.

  • Bee Li

    Development Dept. UI/UX Designer

    Bee is a product designer with over 10 years of experience, came into digital UI/UX design by way of Programming Art and Visual Communication Design. Now, she specializes in integrating a problem-solving approach to adapt to human behaviour with technology in everyday designs. Outside of work, she enjoys movies, museums, games, 90's indie rock, and coffee addiction in Tokyo city.

  • Vivek Vikani

    Development Dept. Product Manager

    Vivek is passionate about building great, user friendly products and solving real world problems using technology. While doing is graduation in IT engineering from India, he worked as an android developer and freelance consultant for technology startups and small businesses in rural India. He also explored entrepreneurship by launching a photography competition website. He came to Japan after graduating in 2016, and worked as a backend developer and technical product manager in e-commerce and fintech industries for 5 years. He enjoys cycling, photography, trying new food and discussing about technology products.

  • Lian Hoy Lee

    Development Dept. Tech Lead

    Lian brings with him the experience building solutions across the direct marketing, tourism, education and location based analytics industries. He enjoys working through ambiguous problems, iterating through them to produce outcomes that improve our quality of life. Outside of work, he enjoys snowboarding, video/board games and cars.

  • Jens Dehnert-Winkler

    Development Dept. Back-end Engineer

    Jens graduated in 2012 from Clausthal University of Technology in Germany in Business Information Systems. In his thesis he focussed on complexity theory considerations in game theory. At IBM Watson Health he lead an agile team to develop solutions for state agencies. In 2018 he became a freelancing software architect and consulted his clients in agile software development practices. He believes that the team is more than the individual and each team member plays an important role in delivering a great solution to the client.

  • Param Pon

    Head of Quality Assurance

    Param started as a freelance developer after his Computer science graduation in 2007 and evolved as Quality Assurance professional. For over 15 years, Param worked on various organizations and International Clients on various roles, mainly focuses on Building and maintaining the internal quality assurance tools, processes and teams for assuring and controlling the quality of large complex systems. He believes in concept of Quality by Design, which will result in returning consumers and continuous growth of the business.

  • Sophie Mayuko Arni

    Public Relations

    Sophie Arni is a Swiss-Japanese editor, curator, and founder of art publication Global Art Daily. She is also the curator of the East-East: UAE meets Japan exhibition series (2016 - 2021), which she has brought to independent art spaces in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Tokyo. Her previous experiences in the arts industry include interning at Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and the American Friends of the Musée d’Orsay. Sophie graduated with a B.A. in Art & Art History from NYU Abu Dhabi (2017) and obtained an MPhil in Arts Studies and Curatorial Practices from Tokyo University of the Arts (2020).

  • Riko Ahmad Maulana

    Development Dept. Internship

    In 1994, born in Indonesia. Graduated from Department of Computer Science, IPB University, Bogor Indonesia; studied about “agriculture × IoT”. After experiencing internship for project engineering and data engineering, presently studying at International Agro Informatics Laboratory, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo. Being interested in Smart Agriculture, he is researching into the potential of “agriculture × IoT × blockchain” as studying about blockchain at Startbahn. Enjoys listening to Japanese rock or jazz music, and visiting Japanese gardens.

  • Keigo Okuda

    Business Development Dept. Internship

    Born in 1999, from Tokyo and currently a student at Keio University. Over 4 years of student life in London, European art has become familiar to him. In the university, he worked for an NPO who runs international internship for 3 years and sensed that observing the shift of the market is the most essential element in the work. Under that understanding, he chose to work as an intern from April, 2021. Outside of work, he enjoys playing any ball game and studying other languages.

  • Nao Hosogi

    CEO's Office Intern


    Born in Kyoto. Since childhood Nao has maintained a strong interest in painting, contemporary dance, and music creation. Nao majored in art history during her undergraduate studies, during which time she wrote several articles for the Google Arts and Culture project. Nao is currently attending the University of Melbourne. There she studies about problems facing the modern art industry as well as the management skills required to succeed in the field.
    Startbahn's vision of democratising art attracted her to join Startbahn as an intern, where she has now been involved since July 2021.

COMPANY PROFILE

  • COMPANY Startbahn, Inc.
  • ESTABLISHED March 26, 2014
  • CEO Taihei Shii
  • BUSINESS Startbahn is a company that aims to realize a richer society by providing the technology needed by artists and people involved in art all over the world. We are promoting the development of Startrail, a blockchain infrastructure for art distribution and evaluation. We are also developing Startbahn Cert., a service using Startrail, and working on joint projects with other companies.

DIRECTION

  • ADDRESS #255 South Clinical Research Building, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8485, JAPAN
  • DIRECTION 6 minutes on foot from the Oedo line “Hongo Sanchome”
    7 minutes on foot from Marunouchi Line “Hongo Sanchome Station”
    7 minutes on foot from Chiyoda line ‘Yushima station’
    Nanboku Line “Tokyo Univ. Station” 19 minutes on foot