Shibuya City Office Appoints Ari Horie as a Startup Ecosystem DE&I Special Advisor to Promote the Diversification of the Startup Community

Shibuya City Office has appointed Ms. Airi Horie, founder of the Women’s Startup Lab, Silicon Valley’s first accelerator dedicated to women entrepreneurs in the tech sector, as a Startup Ecosystem DE&I Special Advisor.

Shibuya City established the “Global Hub City Promotion Office” in FY2021 to build an international startup ecosystem. It since has been involved in the “Innovation for New Normal from Shibuya,” a demonstration project for startups, and the “Shibuya Startup Deck,” a consortium that aims to build an ecosystem through a public-private partnership. It also started to issue Startup Visas for overseas startups to help establish their businesses in Japan.

In alignment with these initiatives, we aim to create an environment where women entrepreneurs and people from various backgrounds can equally take on the challenges of creating world-class companies, not just economic success. In this spirit, we are pleased to announce that Ari, who has worked hard to foster women entrepreneurs and create an environment for their growth in Silicon Valley, has joined our team as an advisor. Together, we will be promoting a diverse ecosystem.

Specifically, we will work with Ari to create a vision for creating a startup ecosystem from a DE&I perspective. We will clarify the goals we are aiming for and work with various stakeholders to create a diverse ecosystem in collaboration with the public, private, and academic sectors.

We will also formulate DE&I Guidelines to guide us in doing so. Even in Silicon Valley, the home of startups, the gender ratio within companies is an issue. Still, we believe that by creating guidelines, we can make each person more involved, including investors, entrepreneurs, and employees, and become more aware of DE&I.

** What is DE&I (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion)?

It is a vision that aspires for diversity, equity, and inclusiveness in society. It is also the effort to set up an environment that understands and appropriately supports the different needs of diverse people, regardless of gender, race, age, nationality, etc., to help them grow and participate in and contribute to society.

About Ms. Ari Horie
Representative Director of Women’s Startup Lab. She graduated from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, in 1997. In 2013, she founded Women’s Startup Lab, the first female-focused accelerator in Silicon Valley, based on her career at IBM and other startups. The company trains female entrepreneurs from around the world and supports their ventures. While maintaining a deep and dense network in Silicon Valley, she has garnered attention for her training programs based on a unique method that includes mindset change that encourages personal revolution. She has recently been involved in many corporate executive/leadership development programs to accelerate innovation and received much praise from participants. In recognition of her achievements, she has been chosen as one of CNN’s “10 Visionary Women,” Marie Claire’s “20 Women Who Are Changing the Ratio,” and Entrepreneur Magazine’s “100 Powerful Women of 2020.” On March 8, 2022, Mattel, known for its Barbie dolls, enlisted her in the “Role Models” line of dolls featuring women breaking boundaries to inspire the next generation of girls. In 2022, she will launch the project “Amelias” for women and high school students in Japan.

Comments from Ms. Ari Horie
I am honored to be the DE&I Special Advisor for Shibuya City Office, a city that values diversity. Having started my own business while raising my own children, and having supported women entrepreneurs from around the world, I hope to help create an environment where everyone living and working in Shibuya can pursue what they are passionate about, regardless of whether they are male or female.

Comments from Ken Hasebe, the Mayor of Shibuya City
As “a city where differences can become strengths,” Shibuya City has always wanted to create a diverse environment for startups. With Ari, who has supported women worldwide from Silicon Valley, the home of startups, we will make further efforts to create an environment where all people, including women with aspirations, can equally take on challenges.