A Major Banker Takes on the Challenge of a Space Startup! What is a New Way of Working that Transcends Corporate Boundaries?
This is the 18th interview with a member of BizDev, Mr. Taguchi. Taguchi joined WARPSPACE in April 2022 after being transferred from MUFJ Bank.
-You joined WARPSPACE from MUFJ Bank in April. I think joining a company on secondment is a unique way that has never been a member before. First of all, please tell us about your history as a banker.
I was born in Tottori Prefecture and started working at MUFJ Bank after graduating. For about 20 years, I mainly worked in the corporate sales division, providing support for corporate clients in areas such as financing, foreign exchange, and helping them solve problems. I dealt with companies of all sizes, from start-ups to medium-sized and large corporations. I have also worked with manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and service providers in a variety of industries.
Banking is not just about lending money, it is also about connecting to solutions for the management issues of the companies in my charge through the power of the bank’s overall network and matching with other related companies, with myself as the contact point. I was able to stockpile knowledge and experience related to management by being exposed to such workplaces and many managers.
-How did you get the opportunity to work for a startup company?
I took advantage of a new secondment program at MUFJ Bank in order to develop my ability to adapt to a rapidly changing business environment. By joining a new startup, we aim to acquire a culture different from that of a bank and to create new businesses.
-I think it was a big challenge for you. What was your mindset when you participated in this project?
I had always liked trying new things, and I wanted to try out the experience I had gained at the bank.
But that was not the only reason I wanted to join WARPSPACE. In fact, I have loved space since I was a child, and although I have no expertise or skills, I have always wished to be involved in space in some way.
So I am very excited to be able to work in the space industry, which I have longed to be involved in, and to be able to work in Tsukuba, where the latest research is being conducted close at hand.
I am most motivated by the fact that I am in an environment where my own interests and values are in contact with those of a new business like WARPSPACE, which solves major issues and contributes to society.
-Your dreams are growing!
It’s exciting to be in the space industry with so many differences.
-Please tell us about the work you are working on now.
I am in charge of the financial affairs of the company, utilizing my experience at the bank, and I am working under CFO Kitahara to communicate with financial institutions and investors in order to raise funds. I also negotiate with correspondent banks and utilize banking services.
-Is it difficult to study trends and keywords in the space industry?
Yes, it is. There are still so many things I don’t know, and it is very exciting every day. For that reason, I have study time every day from company members to get in touch with various information related to the space business. I hope to catch up with the team members as soon as possible and contribute to the future that the company is aiming for.
-Do you feel there are any differences from the financial industry?
There are so many differences already, everything is so new! Not only the work content, but also the internal infrastructure, corporate culture, and various rules as a startup, all of which are new to me. I don’t find anything wrong with that at all, and I am enjoying my work.
I have the impression that WARPSPACE is a company that is just now growing, and there are many people like myself who have been with the company for a short time. I feel that I am able to grow with such people while facing challenges on a daily basis.
-What kind of challenges do you want to take on in the future?
After joining the space industry, I realized that there are many people who love space but are not able to work in this field or are not able to jump into it. I think there is still a high hurdle to the space business.
Compared to ten years ago, space startups are attracting more attention in the Japanese business scene, and I am wondering if we can create a system that will attract even more investment and people.
Since the industry tends to require a large initial investment, I hope that more diverse businesses will be born, increasing the distribution of the overall market and expanding the resources provided to those who will take up the challenge and pursue their dreams.
Compass of Behavior
Finally, I would like to ask you about the most important Compass of Behavior for you.
The most important one for me is “07. Love Family”.
It is only with the support of my family that I can take on challenges with peace of mind, and it is only with the foundation of my family that I can continue to take on challenges.
Fortunately, my family understands that I am the kind of person who likes to take on challenges, and they are happy with the fact that I can work in the space industry, which I have always been interested in.
I believe that the happiness of those closest to me is the first step toward contributing to society.