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. 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.

  • Yoshihisa Nakano

    Evangelist

    Graduated from Chiba University of Commerce with a degree in Business and Economics, 1967.
    After working at Isetan Co., Ltd. (now Mitsukoshi Isetan Co., Ltd.), joined Suzuya Co., Ltd.
    After serving as Representative Director and Senior Managing Director, he moved to Taiwan in 1997, where he was COO in the department store division of a major Taiwanese corporate group.
    Joined Warehouse Terrada Co., Ltd. in 2011. Appointed President and CEO in 2012. Resigned from the company in June, 2019.
    In August of the same year, with a vision of enriching Eastern culture by fostering a sense of trust that transcends regions and national borders, he established the Eastern Culture Foundation as Representative Director.
    ( Photo by © ACT4 )

  • Hyoue 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

    Born in 1989. Completed the Department of Architecture Graduate School of Engineering the University of Tokyo. Swiss architectural design after graduation
    Established museums and brand shops as architects at Herzog & de Meuron
    Engaged in counting. Later, He turned into a management strategy consultant, and Bain & Company Engaged in management support for major companies at Tokyo and Dubai branch offices. Participated in Startbahn in 2019, Mainly driving business related to digital technology.

  • Tomotaka Goji

    Outside Director

    Tomotaka (“Tommy”) Goji is the Managing Partner of The University of Tokyo Edge Capital & The University of Tokyo Edge Capital Partners Co. Ltd. (UTEC), and the Managing Director of Japan Venture Capital Association. He co-founded UTEC in 2004, built the team, and raised four funds totaling over JPY 54 billion since its inception. 10 of his portfolio companies were acquired and 9 went public. He graduated from The University of Tokyo (UTokyo)’s Faculty of Law, and earned MBA at Stanford.

  • Ryutaro Katayama

    Outside Director

    He holds a BA in Economics and a Master of Sociology from Keio University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
    After regenerating many companies as president, he served as a representative of Giuliani Partners Japan and the president of Japan's oldest and largest art auction company Christie's Japan.
    He has also served as a number of prominent corporate outside directors and director of art groups. Participated in the creation of Whiz Partners, a leading venture capital firm, and is still a managing partner of international venture capital.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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 ]

  • 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.

  • Junqiang Lee

    Development Dept. Designer

    Born in Singapore. Graduated from Lasalle College of The Arts. Graduated from Asia Bunka Kaikan and Sokei Art Academy, he experienced publishing, creative firm that globally expands Japanese crafts and BtoB design consulting firm. Being recognized for his passion for UI, he entered Startbahn. Enjoys art, books, and Shunji Iwai movies.

  • Yumiko Horiguchi

    Development Dept. Project Manager

    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.

  • Risa Mizuno

    PR Officer / Business Development Dept.

    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.

  • Shintaro Sumimoto

    Art Integration Office

    Born in 1993. Graduated from Department of Arts Studies and Cultural Practices, Graduate School of Global Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts. Sumimoto specializes in marketing strategy and curatorial theory in the arts. He has been curating/directing exhibitions since he was a student, and has been involved with Startbahn since 2019, working as the art director of the company's exhibition, "FUJISANTEN 3.0" (2020). His main works include the exhibition "Count the Waves: Visualizing Invisibility" (2019, Chinretsukan Gallery Tokyo University of the Arts, cocurator) and "Welcome to Birdhead World Again - Tokyo 2019" (2019, kudan house, assistant coordinator). He enjoys going out in the city and watching dogs on their walks.

  • Noriko Kubota

    Development Dept. UI/UX Designer / Front-end Engineer

    Graduated from Faculty of Art and Design, Tama Art University. After being engaged in product developing and graphic work for a museum, she became a web designer and a front-end engineer. As being engaged in web and application design, worked as a staff in IT community. She concentrated on acquiring professional technology; co-written a HTML textbook. As her activities as an artist motivated herself to contribute to the art business, she moved from the front-end team at LINE Corporation to Startbahn. Presently being active as participating in exhibitions overseas such as in Paris. Enjoys art, photography, movie, IoT, anything about making, and old-style art.

  • 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.

  • Ayumi Kousaka

    Development Dept. Project Manager

    In 1990, born in Aomori, Japan. Graduated from School of Culture, Media and Society, Waseda University. After joining Hakuhodo I-Studio to build up a large-scale website and to work as a production director and producer for web applications, being engaged in establishing and carrying out digital marketing strategies as a project manager for CRM marketing. She joined Startbahn as wishing to have a connection with the people in “making” and “expressing”, and to work involved in the process around the value creation. Enjoys watching a russian animation, drumming and boxercise.

  • Chris Hatch

    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.

  • 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.

  • Masakata Tanaka

    Business Development Dept.

    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.

  • 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.

  • Sohee Yun

    PR Office Internship

    Born in 2001, from Tokyo. Sohee is a student at International Christian University who spent her middle school years in California. She has been working on creative projects since then, including her graduation dress from scratch. Sohee also loves nature and hiking, and has spent a month working at a mountain hut on Mt. Fuji. There, she came across the exhibition ‘Fujisanten 3.0’ organized by Startbahn; her interest in art and blockchain prompted her to join the team as an intern in 2020.

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