About my entrepreneurial journey

Honestly speaking, I did not think about becoming an entrepreneur seriously until my Cambridge Judge life started. Before joining the Cambridge MBA, I was working in the public sector, providing international cooperation in the Japan International Cooperation Agency. My career goal after my MBA was a career change to work in a tech company as I thought leveraging the resources of the tech giants could bring a bigger social impact in the 21st century.

But, during my MBA, my thoughts about my career path changed radically. I really loved talking with entrepreneurs and start-ups in Cambridge. Through a year of exposure to the rich entrepreneurial environment in Cambridge, building my own start-up became my clear short-mid term career goal, and so I started applying for business competitions with the EdTech start-up idea while still at CJBS.

Cambridge MBA Class of 2018 Team Competition

Although I wanted to launch my own company, I also thought gaining work experience in a tech company would help my business idea grow, and so I joined SoftBank Robotics in Japan directly after my Cambridge MBA.

However, I could not forget my passion to start my own business and to initiate a new kind of education. So I started providing online leadership education programmes to high school students under the restriction of COVID-19, and the fledgling company was given an award in the Japanese business competition 0->1 Start 2020. This made me decide to go ahead and launch my education startup “MIRAIing”.

MIRAIing is an education startup providing an online leadership program “TOPPA!!”.

“TOPPA!!” is a systematic online leadership programme for G7-12 students that focuses on high-quality inputs and outputs for three months, which reflected my own experience on the Cambridge MBA programme in 2018/19. 

We had been providing the programme in Japanese, successfully attracting more than 100 students and achieving a high satisfaction rate among the participants.

With this success, we are now launching a global version of the TOPPA!!, which takes place all in English.

In TOPPA!!, through interactive lectures by global young leaders including CJBS faculty and Cambridge MBA alumni, our students will be challenged, encouraged and inspired to become global leaders.

Meanwhile, by forming a group of about five students to address a project, they develop collaborative skills and the leadership skills necessary to play a globally active role in the 21st century, as well as developing individual problem-solving skills.

For instance in the programme from September 2021, students will be assigned to a project creating social innovation in the medical field. They will be challenged by the healthcare start-up OUI Inc. to propose a “New project idea to radically reduce the loss of eyesight”.

My experience at Cambridge Judge and on the MBA definitely changed my life and set me on the path of an entrepreneur. Embracing what I learned in Cambridge, MIRAIing will help to fill society with outstanding leaders and innovators who change the world, and support the move to create a bright future today.

Kei Ikegami, Founder, MIRAIing

The TOPPA!! global programme starts in September for those teenagers wishing to embark on a leadership future.

For more about Entrepreneurship on the Cambridge MBA visit our webpages here>