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FinTech Conversation Open Innovation

Profile

Zanma Kotaro's photo

Kotaro Zanma
Head of Open Innovation and Business Emergence, Innovation Promotion Department, Financial Business Promotion
Department
NTT DATA Corporation

Personal History

1988: Graduated from Hokkaido University and joined NTT Data the same year working in systems development
1990: Business management at NTT DATA INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT CONSULTING, working to establish new business and consulting to support marketing
1996: Returned to NTT DATA, deployed in multiple projects to establish and promote payment services in the formative period of the Internet/mobile banking and established joint private and public innovative services
2014: Appointed to current position. While supporting the establishment of new businesses, currently working on business matching and the creation of a community with the establishment of the open innovation forum "Toyosu no minato kara (From the Port of Toyosu)" , and the open innovation business contest "Saa, tomoni sekai o kaeyou (Let's Change the World Together)"

abe Nobuhisa's photo

Nobuhisa Abe
Project Team Leader, Incubation Project Team Mizuho Financial Group, Inc.

Personal History

1992: Graduated from Osaka University, School of Engineering and joined the company
1995: Worked for more than 10 years in developing retail products and services
2006: After working in the Management & Planning Department for about 7 years, became Branch Manager of Mizuho Bank Nagano Branch in 2013
July 2015: Appointed Project Team Leader of the Incubation Project Team newly established by Mizuho Financial Group, Inc. as well as to the Incubation Team newly established in Mizuho Bank, Ltd. Currently in that position.

In October 2015, Mizuho and NTT DATA Corporation (hereinafter, NTTD) jointly convened the" Mizuho FinTech Forum". NTTD commenced initiatives for open innovation from 2013, inviting many start-up companies through "Toyosu no minato kara", and holding forums and contests. These activities have recently expanded globally through partnerships such as with the British Embassy, Tokyo and the Embassy of Israel in Japan, etc. In this conversation, Abe, the head of Mizuho's Incubation Project Team heard from the leader of such initiatives, the head of NTTD's Open Innovation and Business Emergence, Innovation Promotion Department, Financial Business Promotion Department Kotaro Zanma (hereinafter, NTTD's Mr. Zanma).

Mizuho Abe

Thank you for taking part in this first Conversation. In October 2015 we jointly convened the Mizuho FinTech Forum taking the opportunity provided by "Toyosu no minato kara". Thank you. "Toyosu no minato kara" has been going for more than 3 years. Please tell us how it came into being.

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NTTD's Mr. Zanma

It is a great honor to be invited to participate in this first Conversation. We also really appreciate the opportunity to have jointly convened the Mizuho FinTech Forum. This was a valuable experience for us. "Toyosu no minato kara" came about first because we felt it was difficult to launch an innovative business model beyond the traditional framework through new business creation activities within the company. Second, developments such as the cloud, Internet and smartphones, etc. mean we are also in an era when anyone can quickly and cheaply turn an idea into a business as a venture company, etc. The future will no longer be a period when battles are fought on one’s own. We started to think about another pillar of which business of "venture companies" that are being created one after another, the "customers", who are the actual users, and we the company can use "open innovation" to bring about business for a "Win-Win-Win", which would be the basis of our competitive strength as a company.

Mizuho Abe

If you don't mind, would you please tell us about any obstacles that you have faced.

NTTD's Mr. Zanma

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Initially, we wondered if venture companies would come. We wondered if customers would come. We wondered if employees would come. We wondered if this would really provide an opportunity to create business. We started paddling our boat regardless of these many uncertainties. Then the first positive response came from venture companies. We were very pleased when a number of venture companies said that they wanted to participate because it sounds interesting. So I talked to 10 or so in-house core members who I knew well and who were proactive towards innovation, then I narrowed down customers who I had close relationships with and started on an extremely small scale. After repeating this process a number of times, customers such as your company said it was "interesting" and the rumors spread. We now attract 200 participants each time, and we are also starting to gain a result in creating a number of businesses. We are very grateful.

Mizuho Abe

In the summer of 2015, we used the Accelerate Program of your company. This program comprises "Convening a Forum" and "the creation of a new business model in partnership with start-up companies", so please tell us about the latter aspect.

NTTD's Mr. Zanma

This is the Accelerate Program that we have established with the name Digital Corporate Accelerate Program (DCAP). Previously, "Toyosu no minato kara" had promoted open innovation particularly targeting our company, but this can be provided to individual customers. Separating into 3 main steps, the first step is to thoroughly discuss the issues that the customer is confronting to find out which sector or category of business to be focused based on global advanced examples. The second step is to search the world for venture companies with solutions that would be useful for related businesses in accordance with such focus. We use "Everis Digital" as a tool to crawl more than 500, 000 venture companies around the world daily and analyze using AI. This allows for efficient collation of what appear to be suitable venture companies. The final and third step is to propose a valid and viable business model by narrowing down the information of the collated venture companies to businesses that really should be considered in future. Our company has about 300 staff in a working group that looks at new businesses, which is a force whose every day role is to create businesses as lean start-ups. If considered necessary the proposal is made by combining our company's solutions with this group to formulate a more feasible proposal.

Mizuho Abe

Thank you. We have had firm discussion under this program for 3 months. SharingMizuho's strategy, we extracted 30 start-up companies to find a solution and had specific service models built with 5 companies. While I cannot talk about the details (laughs), we look forward to your ongoing support in bringing about the realization.

Mizuho Abe

Please tell us about the initiatives for and the aspiration of future open innovation.

NTTD's Mr. Zanma

We spent an exciting 3 months with the opportunity to work with your company on creating a new business. The draft business model that emerged will be further refined and we are very much looking forward to the realization of an innovative business that will really change the world. Thank you very much.

In terms of future initiatives for open innovation, we would like to develop this globally.
Under the twice yearly open innovation contest, our company will continue to propose new businesses that target the future and create the world's first business models in coordination with the business of venture companies. While we are currently focusing on events in Japan, from next fiscal year we will use our company's overseas channels and hold presentation meetings in about 8 locations around the world such as the UK, Spain, Israel, and Brazil, and if possible we will hold our first inspection. In our core Japan market we would like to have many venture companies that are foreign entities. Conversely, we also want Japanese venture companies to provide proposals to overseas markets.
For DCAP, we are partnering with foreign subsidiaries such as Everis. We are also thinking of partnering with overseas accelerators such as Everis for the Accelerator Program itself and will possibly even contemplate becoming an accelerator overseas. Furthermore, we are also thinking about adding new menus such as expanding the DCAP menu, zero-to-one ideation, and beyond future POC created for draft business models, etc.

Overseas accelerators often talk about the great importance of continuing to implement the innovation program, so we look forward to creating innovative businesses that will make major change to the world through our company's open innovation activities, as well as continuing the future innovative partnership with your company such as with DCAP.
Our slogan is “Saa, tomoni sekai o kaeyou (Let's Change the World Together)”, and we look forward to working together in future.

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Mizuho Abe

Thank you very much for your contribution on this occasion. Mizuho also wants to initiate open innovation, and to create and provide services with true value for customers. We look forward to your ongoing cooperation.

(As of May 1, 2016)