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Director Profiles

Naoki Yamada

Founder & Chief Executive Officer

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Naoki Yamada was born in Hyogo Prefecture's Kobe City in 1982. After graduating from high school, he went to the United States alone with limited English. Upon arriving at Los Angeles International Airport, he took a taxi and was promptly scammed, opening his eyes to the harsh realities of society.

While studying accounting and management at California State University, Long Beach, he got to know several classmates who were entrepreneurial and was inspired to start his own business. 

After graduating in 2005, Naoki returned to Japan. Recognizing that knowledge of IT would be advantageous for his entrepreneurial ambitions, he sought to first gain experience by working at a company in a technical position. After securing employment as a systems engineer at NTT PC Communications, he took night classes at a local university to obtain a US CPA.

While visiting India for training with NTT in the spring of 2008, he witnessed children growing up in poverty without access to education and was inspired to do work on a project that would provide opportunities to people regardless of their background. Immediately after returning to Japan, he submitted his resignation and left NTT.

Naoki came up with a plan for Conyac, a translation crowdsourcing platform, and entered it in Skylight Consulting's incubation program, Entrepreneurship Challenge. After winning their highest award, he established anydooR, Inc. on February 9, 2009. On May 11 of the same year, the service was released as "Social Translation Conyac."

As Japan's capital markets were still suffering from the fallout of the 2008 financial crisis, it was tough to raise funds. Nevertheless, anydooR managed to persevere and continuously evolve its offerings. In August 2016, anydooR was acquired by Rozetta.

In 2019, anydooR merged with QuickTranslate and changed its name to Xtra. The company continues to operate Conyac, which has since expanded into a crowdsourcing service matching companies with talented freelancers from around the world that specialize in a broad range of work categories.

As an angel investor, Naoki has participated in the funding rounds of over ten Japanese startups, including Voicy and Whosecacao.

You can follow Naoki's ongoing adventures and thoughts on Twitter (in Japanese) @naokey.
 

Takehiro Hasegawa

Chief Operating Officer

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Takehiro Hasegawa was born in Koganei City, Tokyo in 1981.

After graduating from the Faculty of Business & Economics, Kaetsu University, he joined Invast Securities and worked in the Customer Management Department. He later transferred to the Compliance Department, where he engaged in auditing operations (internal audits and audits of subcontractors).

In August 2015, Takehiro joined a web production company called Fork in Tokyo's Shibuya City, where he engaged in internal controls and audits as part of the Internal Control Unit. Subsequently, he was transferred to the Corporate Planning Unit, where he was involved in management activities, including improving the corporate branding and internal communications.

He joined Rozetta in October 2017 and was primarily engaged in internal control and auditing within the CEO's Office. He also worked on various administration and HR items.

In March 2019, Takehiro was transferred to Xtra, a subsidiary of Rozetta, and assumed the post of director. He currently oversees operations and the servicing of enterprise clients.

Hirokazu Ikezawa

Chief Revenue Officer

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Hirokazu Ikezawa was born in Fukui Prefecture in 1981.

After graduating from the Acoustic Design Department, Faculty of Design, Kyushu University, he served as the director of the art gallery Mitsubishi-jisho Artium in Fukuoka City.

Based on the principle of "Transmitting various artistic expressions without being bound by established reputations or genres," he was in charge of planning exhibitions centering on modern artists, such as Makoto Azuma, Asami Kiyokawa, Hideki Inaba, Makoto Tanijiri, Naoki Honjo, Mamoru Fujieda, and Janaina Tschape. He also co-authored the records of the 2010 exhibition, "Tale of Tales — Yury Norshtein and Francheska Yarbusova."

Hirokazu collaborated with various artists to launch local arts projects in Fukuoka City including the Art Space (Kyu-Ohga-AP Studio) and the "Haruyoshi Art Survival" event. He also coordinated the visits of foreign Artists and wrote a series of articles on the arts in the magazine "Kyushu Walker."

In 2010, he joined Apollo Planning, Inc. and engaged in design planning, project coordination, and production management. While he was in charge of web projects and online marketing, he was involved in the launch of product brands, regional branding projects, the operation of commercial facility campaign sites, and campaigns using mascot characters.

Since 2014, Hirokazu has served as a university lecturer. He strives to make his classes interesting for students by using frameworks such as Design Thinking and Sprints. Students learn to work through the process of ideation through to project design.

In 2017, he co-founded IRIS, a social venture focused on LGBT real estate issues and engaged in the launch of an LGBT-friendly share house. In addition, as an LGBT project, Hirokazu participated in the 100BANCH accelerator program (powered by Panasonic Corporation, Loftwork Inc., and Cafe Company Inc.) which aims to facilitate the creation of new value by the upcoming generation to guide the next 100 years. Furthermore, under the mentorship of Ken HASEBE, Mayor of Shibuya City, he participated in various activities including the "Japan Dilemma 2018 New Year Special" aired on NHK.

Since joining Xtra (formerly anydooR) in 2016, Hirokazu has engaged in operations and enterprise sales, centering on proposing solutions that utilize crowdsourced resources. He was appointed a director of the firm in September 2019.