Born in Dorms: ORIGAMI Brings Japanese Art Shock to the World

3 Day Startup explores the journey of student entrepreneurs from all over the world in the ongoing blog series Born in Dorms. Universities are ripe for more innovation: the combination of bright students, open information, and more accessible tech creates an environment where student companies can flourish better than ever before. These highly motivated and driven students share their successes, failures, and everything in between as they navigate the fast-paced world of entrepreneurship in their local communities. Read more about each student’s unique perspective on building a viable company in and around campus.

origami startup team

Co-Founder of ORIGAMI, Hirokazu Morita and team at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Hirokazu Morita, a MBA student at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, co-founded ORIGAMI with Yuto Ezure in 2012.

ORIGAMI brings Japanese Art Shock to the world by connecting Japanese art to the global market, especially the online game industry. ORIGAMI offers character designs, animations, 3D arts, and other creative artworks through their online stock and direct sales services. Their mission is to bridge the huge gap between individual Japanese artists and the global market.

Morita attributes ORIGAMI’s success to the Polsky Accelerator Program and The New Venture Challenge, a class at Chicago Booth. He says, “Through the class and program, I received a lot of useful advice from mentors and professors, and acquired skills and knowledge required to develop the venture.” Participation in the accelerator allowed ORIGAMI to raise funding necessary to develop the beta service and operate the startup during the initial phases of the venture.

ORIGAMI is off to a running start: they have a large fan base on Facebook as well as an initial stockpile of art pieces. Morita says, “I have learned that one of the most important things for developing a venture is establishing a process to verify the assumptions for the success of the venture by looking at potential customer feedback and by running experiments. Then the venture must quickly adjust its model accordingly.”

ORIGAMI’s goal for this year is to launch a beta of its online stock service while continuing to obtain Facebook fans. When the beta goes live they hope to have 10 projects in their direct sales service.

Morita’s last piece of advice for student founders is, “A student can and should leverage their student position, ask for support, and receive a lot of advice from experts,” he says, “You should listen carefully to an expert’s advice and various opinions with modesty. However, it is nothing more than advice. You have to have your own foot in your venture and a passion for your business. You have to be responsible for your own decisions. I believe that this is the needed stance for a successful student startup.”

About 3 Day Startup

3 Day Startup (3DS) teaches entrepreneurial skills to university students in an extreme hands-on environment. In addition to supporting budding entrepreneurs, 3DS programs cultivate entrepreneurial communities that contribute to the growth of entrepreneurship ecosystems in the regions surrounding these university programs. This proven program provides students the tools they need to start successful companies. To date, more than 39 companies have come out of 3DS to collectively raise $9.5 million in investor capital and more than a dozen have been accepted to prestigious incubators and accelerators such as Y Combinator and TechStars.

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The Lean Startup Lessons Learned series features Intuit leaders, including CEO Brad Smith, Founder Scott Cook and Vice President of Design Innovation Kaaren Hanson, who sit down with author Eric Ries to expand on some of the themes in his best-selling book “The Lean Startup.” Watch the complete series.

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