Realizing the Dream of Starting a Business

Tastuya USUDA

President and Representative Director,
Lorem Ipsum Co.

Mr. Susukida majored in Engineering
(Information and Management Systems),
Information and Management Systems Engineering,
while at the same time starting his own company.
He is currently busy as the president of the company.

ーToday I would like to hear from you as an entrepreneur. Please give me your best regards.

Thank you very much.

ーFirst of all, please tell us about the company you founded.

The company I founded develops computer software. In particular, we specialize in developing software that uses the Internet, like Facebook and Amazon. I founded my company in 2011, when I was a second-year student in my master’s program in Management Information Systems Engineering.

ーWhat is your daily life like now?

I get up at 4 or 5 in the morning and try to arrive at the office by 6 as much as possible. After arriving at the office, I study mathematics, which is my hobby, for about an hour, and then work from 7:00 to 10:00 a.m. I take a one-hour break at 10:00 a.m. During the break, I go to the swimming pool for a quick swim. During my break, I go to the pool for a light swim; I resume work at 11:00 and continue until the end of the day’s work. During work, I am often working on programs, but I am also meeting with people outside the company and writing documents such as specifications and contracts.

When we were first established, most of our work orders came from universities. We mainly received software development work; midway through our first year, we started getting orders from local companies in the manufacturing and telecommunications industries. Currently, I am working with a local organization to develop products to revitalize the town. I am currently in the middle of a very interesting project, which I would like to talk about, but I will try to restrain myself today (laughs).

Also, since establishing my company, I have come to associate with a wide range of entrepreneurs of all ages, mainly in my hometown. Even now, I have exchanges with entrepreneurs a couple of times a month where we have dinner and drinks together.

My research has not progressed much at …… to be honest (laughs), but running a company can be beneficial because I get data that I can use for my research and I have many opportunities to hear from different people’s perspectives.

ーWhy did you start your own company?

I worked part-time developing computer software at FUCO Inc. from my junior year when I transferred to the undergraduate program until my second year in the master’s program. I stayed in the office until late at night to work on the program, and this experience is still very useful to this day.

FUCO was also founded by President Taku Fujiwara, a graduate of this field, this program, and this major. President Fujiwara is my senior, having graduated eight years earlier than I did. He is one of the people I respect the most. Seeing President Fujiwara’s success in Nagaoka made me want to start my own business, which led me to establish my own company.

In choosing the path of entrepreneurship, I did not receive any particular encouragement from the people around me. However, when I consulted with my parents, they gave me the OK. Thanks to them, I was able to establish my company without hesitation.

My company is very small. There are many challenges in running such a small company. There are many things that make me anxious and make me feel pain. However, I can assure you this. You can grow as a human being. I am able to deeply interact with many people and learn a lot. I will realize that I have the support of many people, and I will be able to thank them from the bottom of my heart.

ーWhat were the advantages of studying in the IMSE?

The IMSE courses teach not only technology, but also the knowledge of law and money that is necessary to run a company. Also, from my perspective as a software developer by profession, the programming practice in this course is amazing. It is both easy to understand and interesting, yet teaches the important parts well.

One of the greatest advantages of studying at Nagaoka University of Technology is the “Jitumu-Kunren” Internship, which I received from a local machine tool manufacturer. During the practical training, I helped to create programs to control machine tools using computers. At the time, I didn’t really feel that I had grown much after the practical training was over. However, now that I am running a company, the social experience from the practical training has become my bread and butter. I can also understand the effect of the program by seeing the amazing mental growth of the younger students in my laboratory every year, both before and after the training.

In addition, compared to other universities, our university has an extensive system to support entrepreneurship. NTIC is an organization within the university that supports entrepreneurship, and I have been a part of it since before I founded my own company.

—Lastly, do you have any comments for the juniors and prospective students of this program?

Nagaoka is in a basin, so the differences between the seasons are very distinct. The heat of summer, the cold of winter, and the snow can sometimes give a harsh impression. However, it is a very nice place with very good sake and food, and the local people are very friendly. I like Nagaoka and consider it my second home. There are many nice bars in front of the station, so let’s go drinking together after entering the school! I look forward to having a drink with you all.

—Thank you very much for your time today.

Thank you very much.