Board Member

Taihei Shii

Chief Executive Officer

Taihei Shii is the founder and the CEO at Startbahn. Prior to Startbahn, he has served as an Adjunct Professor in Tokyo University of the Arts. Taihei is a contemporary artist, with works focusing on art of the information age and have been exhibited in various galleries and museums. Taihei formulated the original idea of Startbahn and filed patents for the royalty fee system in Japan and US back in 2006. Startbahn as an organization was then later founded during his graduate school years in 2014. More recently, Tahei became the CEO of Tokyo Art Beat in 2020 when the NPO relaunched as a new company. In addition to these activities, Taihei also serves as a research fellow at Interspace Research Center, Institute of Industrial Science, the University of Tokyo, and a director of Eastern Culture Foundation from 2022. Taihei holds BA in oil painting from the Tama Art University and MS in interdisciplinary information studies from the University of Tokyo.

https://taihei.org/biography

Tomohiro Nakamura

Chief Technology Officer

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.

Sadegh Nobari

Chief Information Officer

Sadegh is a computer scientist whose passion is to find potential improvements for a business/problem. His expertise is in creating feasible, efficient, scalable and maintainable solutions, and has more than 15 years of experience in the field, including serving as a Research Scientist at Rakuten. PS. he holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the National University of Singapore. Algorithm is his hobby.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/nobari/

Keisuke Ota

Chief Strategy 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.

Daniel Lui

Chief Financial Officer

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.

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.

Hyoei Noto

Chief Administrative 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.

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

https://instagram.com/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.

https://citylights.law

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.

Advisors

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/

https://taguchiartcollection.jp

Kodai Kimura

Legal Advisor

Attorney admitted in Japan, New York & Washington D.C. (Partner at Kobayashi & Yugeta Law Office). In the field of Art Law , Mr. Kimura advises artists, art galleries, art related start-ups, museums, curators, art consultants, collectors, public art consulting firms, art media and various companies involved in art projects, and has contributed articles to reputable media such as Bijutsutecho and Forbes JAPAN.

https://artlawworldjapan.mystrikingly.com

https://www.artlawworldjapan.net/

Kensuke Ito

Blockchain Researcher

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.

https://knskito.com

Development Dept.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Ankit Kumar (अंकित कुमार)

Development Dept. Frontend Engineer

Ankit Kumar is from India. He is very curious, and his curiosity drove him to establish an IT startup in India. He ran the startup for almost 4 years and then moved out to explore different sectors. He loves contributing to open-source projects and has been maintaining a few open-source projects. He enjoys breaking and building things (He is an engineer!).

https://ankdev.me

https://github.com/ankitskvmdam

Prachi Potdar

Product Manager

Prachi is a product manager who was a former software engineer. Her prior experience has helped her become a tech-savvy, detail-oriented product manager. She has experience with building high-quality products and scaling them. Her attention to detail is crucial as it helps to work through models, prototypes, requirements, and manage cross-functional teams. Born & raised in India and moved to Japan in 2015. Enjoys traveling, trekking, music and cooking.

Septian Tama

Development Dept. Frontend Engineer

Born in Indonesia in 1998. Tama has been passionate about computers since a young age. He started as a freelance web developer during his vocational school years. After graduating, he continues gaining experience as an Instructor in a leading coding bootcamp in Indonesia and as Software Engineer in multiple startups. Specializing in Frontend Engineering with more than seven years of experience, he joined Startbahn to explore the wonder of blockchain technology and help build high-quality product to empower artists and society. He enjoys cooking, poetry, karaoke, and sports in his spare time.

Nguyen Hoang Anh

Development Dept. Senior Full Stack Engineer

Anh is Full Stack Engineer with experience of data warehouse, credit card payment, crypto trading platform, crypto payment, and telemedicine platform. After working for 9 years as a lecturer at HCMC University of Science, Anh worked for some startup companies in Japan. Anh joins Startbahn with the vision of contributing the art blockchain. Anh received his MS in Computer Science at HCMC University of Science, Vietnam.

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.

Business Development Dept.

Aiko Konabe

Business Development Dept.

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.

https://aikokogallery.tumblr.com

Yumiko Horiguchi

Business 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.

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.

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.

Keigo Okuda

Business Development Dept.

Born in 1999, from Tokyo. Graduated from 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.

Ryunoshin Hori

Business Development Dept. Intern

Born in Hokkaido in 2000. Currently studying mechanical engineering at the University of Tokyo. He genuinely likes the concept of blockchain and web 3.0, where the value of the individual is becoming more important, and he wants to realize the web3.0. After working as an intern at a consulting firm for two years, he joined the business development department of Startbahn in February 2022. He is majoring in robotics at university, and is exploring the possibilities of robotics and blockchain. He likes Japanese rock and trainers.

Corporate Planning

Josephine Yamada

Corporate Planning

Specialises in regulatory strategy and new business promotion at the intersection of art and finance. Prior to joining Startbahn, she served as a core member of Deloitte Art & Finance Japan, assisting FSIs in developing collectibles wealth management services based on global leading practices. Holds B.A. LL.B and MSc Corporate Governance

Yogen Furukawa

Corporate Planning

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.

Kei Ichikawa

Intern

While studying Complex Science, he began studying aesthetics and became interested in NFT. After working as an assistant at a FabCafeNagoya, he joined the business development department of Startbahn. He has an aspiration to compound the intersection of NFT, AI and art. Kei holds Bachelor of Informatics, Nagoya University. Currently studying at a Graduate School of Environment and Society, Tokyo Institute of Technology.

Yiqiao (Ariel) Zheng

Intern

Born in Beijing, China. Yiqiao is currently studying at the Graduate School of Economics, University of Tokyo. Her research is about DAO and blockchain governance-related organizational issues. Has interned at international organizations, investment banks, consulting firms, and internet companies. Growing up in an artistic family, she started practicing piano at the age of 3. She also loves appreciating and collecting artworks, and in the future she hopes to help her father, who has been working on cultural heritage preservation for 50 years, to build a museum. She has lived and traveled in nearly 20 different countries before her four years in Japan.

Public Relations

Risa Mizuno

Public Relations Officer

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.

Andrew Grosvalet

PR / Marketing

Andrew Grosvalet is a creative and strategic leader with international experience working in both APAC and the US. He is passionate about products, web3, and art - and is currently leading Startbahn’s efforts in product marketing. Prior to this, Andrew was a product manager at Singapore-based Mighty Jaxx helping scale their phygital experiences, including playing a key role in establishing their metaverse and NFT business. While in the US, he was a senior management consultant at Nomura Research America advising manufacturing and automotive clients. Andrew holds an M.A. from Waseda University, and is a cum laude graduate of Stony Brook University.

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).

Sohee Yun

Public Relations Intern

Born in 2001 in Tokyo, Japan. Sohee spent his middle school years in California, USA. Currently a student at International Christian University, majoring in Public Policy and minoring in Arts and Cultural Heritage. Her interest in art x blockchain drove her to join Startbahn asn an intern since 2020. Enjoys traveling.

Administrative Dept.

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.

CEO's Office

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.

Keika Kobiyama

CEO's Office Intern

Fom Fukushima, Japan. In middle and high school, Keika participated in a project for reconstruction of Fukushima. Now as a third year student at Rikkyo University, majoring sociology, Keika researches the relationship between art and sociology, and the art communities. She also studies for a curator’s certificate. Her interest in art festivals and gallery management brought her to Startbahn. Enjoys visiting art museums or exhibitions in her free time.