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"You look at where you're going and where you are and it never makes sense, but then you look back at where you've been and a pattern seems to emerge."
― Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

The most important thing I look for in an early stage company?  Passion. 

Once you decide what you do, you should not look other choices and keep walking where you want to be.  This would be the hardest things – until the day you start, you are looking for other scenarios in many ways.    


What technologies will change the world in 5-10 years?

Data management.  Not data itself. 

Yamaha Motors’ core technology is small, lightweight and compact internal combustion engines.  We apply this technology to various mobility.  Motorcycle, Boat, Snowmobile, helicopter, ATV.  Data Management can be ICE for coming 5-10 years.  In the sea of the data, how we can compile, condense, clean and sort it in useful format?  That is what we would like to have.   

I have been mining industry.  It is very dangerous space for human being to work.  No air, too hot, too exposed….  That is why automation, big machines and equipment play significant role to extract more.  It was not replacing human-based operation with machines.  We got more material to be extracted.  I believe that this must happen in different industries.  Manufacturing.  Agriculture.  Healthcare.  We need to be good at using technologies, and to adapt ourselves to the technologies.    


My "superpower" is showing possibilities to grow by connecting to different industries, societies and people.


I love playing with gravity.  Riding MTB in the woods and forests.  In the past, I was playing more time with motorcycle, snowmobile.    I love the sounds in the woods – bird call, sounds of winds and water.  Calm down myself.  Look into myself.  Solicitude.  With our products, I can be in the woods as quick as possible.  These days, I was enjoying long-ride with my human power to climb up the hills.  I enjoy the gravity that I earn with only my power – no assist of the engine. 


Hajime “Jim” Aota is the Chairman of Yamaha Motor Ventures and Laboratory Silicon Valley (YMVSV).

Jim comes from Yamaha Motor Corporation, Ltd. headquarters based in Iwata, Japan.  Before being promoted to CEO, he led the Corporate Planning Division which is responsible for playing a crucial role in continuing the growth strategy of the entire global Yamaha Motor Group. Mr. Aota was also a leader in making Yamaha’s 2030 long-term vision "Art for Human Possibilities" and continues to inspire its success.

Prior to joining Yamaha Motor, Jim had been with Mitsui & Co., Ltd, one of the largest trading firms, with experience working in Tokyo, New York, Detroit and London.  Jim received his PLD from the Harvard Business School and graduated faculty of Political Science from Keio University.


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