Mitsuru Nakayama

About me

Professional with extensive experience in investment, entrepreneurial management, international business development, and international management consulting projects. He also co-founded a company and created award winning service in the interior retail industry.

shapeMitsuru Nakayama
case2Founder at Brazil Venture Capital
InfoSao Paulo, Brazil
InfoInternational MBA 2011

"Change the world, starting by changing your environment"

Mitsuru Nakayama


Define your experience in IE in one word.


How did your experience at IE prepare you for your professional career? In what ways do you think program has changed your life professionally and personally?

IE made me ready to work with colleagues from various and different cultural background. Many groups work with different classmates gave me opportunity to understand where I fit and where I would not.

What is your favorite memory from your time at IE?

All the trips to all the different places with friends.

You followed an unusual career path by starting your own Venture Capital firm in Brazil and supporting South American start-ups. How has the experience been thus far?

Amazing. I can leverage my experience as an entrepreneur in Japan and help entrepreneurs grow their businesses. Keeping in touch with the latest technology and new businesses in the region is very much exciting.

How challenging has it been to adapt to the Latin American work culture?

Nothing was challenging from my personal experience.

What’s the importance of cultural immersion when doing business?

Enormous! You should learn from local colleagues a lot.

How is the Latin American Start-up ecosystem different from that of the US, Europe, or Asia?

Very new ecosystem with few people with experience. Huge potential to grow forward.

What is the key element that will convince you to invest in a start-up?

Entrepreneurs capability to change the world.

What advice can you give to entrepreneurs looking for their first rounds of investment?

Focus on your business and let it grow. Think twice if you should go after external investors’ money.

You were recently featured in Nikkei, Japan’s largest financial newspaper. Tell us about your experience being featured in such a prestigious paper.

Mixed feeling. It was too honest an article and it included some private matters and various failures I made as a businessman. However, as not many Japanese leave Japan to work abroad I hope the article stimulates some young professionals to accept new challenges.

If you had a billboard you could display to the entire world, what would you put on it?

Change the world, starting by changing your environment.