Michelin Chef Joins Former Banker to Sell $9 Lunchboxes


The trend of crowdfunding and crowdsourcing is growing in popularity since the birth of the internet age. Websites incorporating these methods help businesses that are too small to receive adequate financial support seek support from a large number of different contributors. Crowdsearching LLC has a research website named ‘Massolution’ that stated crowdfunding platforms managed to raise around $5.1 billion last year,

When interviewed in Tokyo, Ino stated, “I am only interested in projects that will set the trend in the new era… I want my investors to feel and be excited about how they can change the world with their own investments.”

Japan’s Financial Services Agency has been looking into make it easier for crowdfunding companies to register as well as balancing this with being able to protects investors’ investments. The USA’s level of entrepreneurship is double that of Japan’s four years ago, mainly due to the lack of risk money that people were willing to contribute to new businesses in Japan. These findings come from a recently published report by the group.

Ito said that the plan between him and Esaki was to sell 50 million yen worth of diet lunch boxes (or bentos) that involve a low sugar & low calorie lunch. He predicted they would sell 80-90 million yen worth the following year, moving up to 120 million yen in the third year. Over the first six years of the project investors are set to make around 10-13% of the total sales per annum. The starting figures for investors is 500,000 yen.

Once Ito has registered the company to a Japanese financial watchdog, they will begin selling an “Oishi Plus” bento for 880 yen per unit in Tokyo.

Ito has made it clear he wishes to expand on this venture by finding new entrepreneurs with fresh ideas. He did not specify future targets or plans, but he recognised the rapidly evolving market and will keep his options open.

Ito is seasoned in his field, having been VP at MUFG in Tokyo as well as a salesman at Nomura Holdings Inc. In a statement he said, “Providing capital to those who are in dire need at appropriate times is the role of financial firms”. He added that a lot of firms are unwilling to give financial backing to newer companies and often favour ones that have had time to mature.