Japan has a long history of small shopping streets and tiny markets. In fact, despite the population density, American-style mall culture never took off here. The back streets of even the most crowded downtown office districts are filled with little specialty stores and vegetable stands.
Akiko Nishiura, the CEO and founder of Nokisaki, wants to see that culture spread even further in Japan, and her company is helping small merchants find physical spaces for pop-up shops, vegetable stands and food trucks. Nokisaki is connecting these small merchants, who need just a little bit of space, with commercial landlords who have a little bit of free space and are looking for some additional foot-traffic.
It’s an interesting business model, and Akiko and I discuss how it will work outside of Japan or even outside of Japan's big cities.
She also explains how Nokisaki survived a crisis that would have bankrupted almost any other startup — at least any other startup outside Japan.
It’s a great