Experiments for Our Future

Experimenting fast lies at the heart of Moon. It’s a necessary part of the journey for our ventures to develop, grow, and move towards making a real difference in the world. And Moon itself is no exception! We can’t just teach others how to experiment fast – we have to try and do it ourselves, too. 

As true pioneers of Moon’s values, we have to set the example of what it means to “experiment fast.” With an eye towards the future of what is possible for Moon, we experimented with our own passions, turning them into potential businesses. From creating a new outlet for storytelling to developing new ways to inspire innovation, we’ve spent this past year pushing the boundaries of what it means to be a venture studio. 

Experiments for Our Future

Moon Creative Toolkit

51 Toolkits printed

34 Cards per toolkit

163 People who have used the toolkits

Moon Media

554 Minutes of raw footage for Moon Media

4,923 Minutes editing for Moon Media

14.06 Minutes for the final film

Moon Media

This year, we experimented with a new way to share stories of innovation and inspiration through unique storytelling by creating Moon Media. Through Moon Media, we want to showcase inspiring stories of people and places that fall at the intersection of creativity x entrepreneurship within Japan. These stories can be found throughout Japan, and our goal is to bring these narratives to life so that we all can nourish our creative souls and begin turning inspiration into innovation.

Moon Media’s first production: “Kamiyama: A Small Town With Big Ideas”


In the small town of Kamiyama, located deep in the mountains of Tokushima Prefecture, Shikoku Island, local industries were struggling due to declining domestic demand, causing young people to leave in search of better opportunities. But thanks to the town’s initiatives to interact with the outside world, the 5,000-person town not only survived, but is now known as a thriving hub of creativity and innovation.

Filmed in the summer of 2022, “Kamiyama: A Small Town With Big Ideas” traces the town’s trajectory through interviews with local business owners, artists, and entrepreneurs. The short film from Moon Media was created to inspire others to cultivate a similar spirit of creativity and entrepreneurship in their own communities.

Creative Toolkit

Coming up with new business ideas is challenging! So, after countless ideation sessions and working with hundreds of individuals trying to build new startups, we experimented with a new way to think of ideas and get creative.

Moon’s Creative Toolkit is an easy card game that helps you come up with innovative business ideas. It provides an easy framework to inspire new ideas and help make ideation sessions easier and more fun. Each deck contains cards in three categories that you can easily mix and match to inspire your teams to think of new business ideas: Emerging Technologies, Business Models, and Design Philosophies. The Toolkit also includes a companion site that has the latest examples and keywords, easily accessible with a QR code.  

Opening Moon to All

This coming year, Moon will be introducing its biggest experiment to date by opening Moon to everyone, even to those outside of Mitsui. This new program will help expand Moon’s ability to launch new ventures into the market and help unlock the creative potential of even more individuals and teams.

Available to any corporation, startup team, or individual, Moon's new program will teach you how to turn problems into tangible ideas that can be shared, show you how to turn an idea into a startup, and provide an opportunity to pitch your idea for possible investment. To learn more about Moon’s new program, please visit Moon Creative Lab.

Letter From Our CEO

This year was filled with a lot of unexpected delights — what I call “products of chance.” Tennis Bear was officially launched as a NewCo and to everyone’s surprise, the Japan Pickleball Association started using the platform. Lullaby was seeking out the sale of its business, but landed a collaborative business partnership with Pigeon, one of the most prestigious childcare companies in Japan. We developed a completely new fashion supply chain system, which creates opportunities for recycling never seen before in the fashion industry. We have started to build partnerships with companies, individuals, and academies around the world to further these goals. When a “0 to 1” concept with one of Mitsui's Business Units was about to fold, a Moon Mate proposed a novel business idea. MetaJob developed many new initiatives with Mitsui's business partners. The list goes on and on.

Mark Twain famously said, "Name the greatest of all inventors. Accident." It is interesting to note that many of the inventions and innovations that we are all familiar with, such as the Post-it, the microwave oven, cornflakes, pacemakers, champagne, etc., all happened by accident.

I am often asked, “How do you create a successful business from 0 to 1?” and, “How exactly does Moon create a 'unicorn' company?” This is how I like to think about this, while I am sitting here eating my favorite potato chips (potato chips are actually a product of chance, which came from a user’s feedback on french fries!).

The ideal process and correct answers to these questions can always be sorted out and added with hindsight. But what Moon can offer, and will continue to create, is an environment that induces “products of chance” or “accidental innovations”. This is exactly why “Experiment Fast” is one of Moon’s 5 Values. We want as many people as possible to do as many fast experiments as possible. We want as many people as possible to try things that no one else is trying. I believe that the essence of Moon is to continue to build and evolve such an environment for innovation.

This next fiscal year, Moon will open its doors to companies and entrepreneurs outside of Mitsui & Co. to innovate together with the Open Moon Program. This is an experiment for Moon itself (sorry if we mess it up – we’ll fail fast and experiment fast).

I am excited imagining just how many new partners, ideas, and innovations this will bring.

To my fellow Moon Mates, let’s remember to enjoy this new challenge. To future Moon Mates, let’s set our sights beyond the normal horizons and make something exciting!

Kaichi Yokoyama