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A Serial Entrepreneur Worthy Of His Title Dr. Takahisa Karita is one of those who not only make it through tough times but thrive because they use their grit, innovation and leadership

By Shishir Jajoo

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Dr. Takahisa Karita

The definition of a true entrepreneur is someone who keeps going no matter what. Most of us have a hard time getting back up after life gives us a left hook, but successful business owners not only make it through tough times but thrive because they use their grit, innovation and leadership. One such entrepreneur is Dr. Takahisa Karita.

In Japan, Karita is known as a 'serial entrepreneur' because of his extensive history of successful business alliances and business development across multiple industries in Japan, Asia, Europe and the US.

By combining his knowledge of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, information technology and finance, he has successfully managed numerous projects:

  • CFO and development director at CDTEC, a well-known education technology firm that supports over 5,000 kindergartens in Mainland China.
  • An advisory board member of Tsang's Group, a traditional family office operating in the UK and Hong Kong since the early 1950s.
  • An advisory board member of Safely2Prosperity, an IT innovation company of technology solutions for healthcare and infectious disease risk management founded by John Norris, a former second-in-command of the FDA in the US.
  • Co-founder of Unify Platform AG Switzerland, which creates and manages the UNIPLAT online platform for entrepreneurs and researchers.

How it All Started

With his father's research and development as the basis, Karita, at the age of 28, raised capital and founded a bio-venture company in Japan. However, after the Lehman shock of 2008, he had to sell the business. Even though he endured a lot of hardship during that time, he kept his head up and used his management skills to help several companies.

Thankfully, a Chinese firm specializing in educational software development saw steady growth and has since implemented the system in more than 5,000 mainland Chinese schools. To help other businesspeople and academics, he was inspired by this experience to found Unify Platform AG. The Japanese biotechnology venture company Chemiteras Inc., where he previously served as a corporate officer, investigates and develops drug candidates for neurological disorders.

The First Global Open-Source Resource for Independent Academic Researchers

When Karita was considering ways to assist Chemiteras Inc., he created an open, publicly accessible platform where the company's advisory board team and other interested parties could share knowledge about the latest developments in business and technology. He realized there was a demand for a system that could serve the company's needs and those of other ambitious people worldwide.

Since there are already many online support platforms for the medical field, such as ResearchGate, he decided to create an open forum called 'UNIPLAT' that is tailored to assisting researchers and entrepreneurs worldwide. It helps them gain more exposure and connect with others who want to aid in the betterment of global research and humanitarian projects.

Karita argues that finding funding, expanding into new markets, and connecting with suitable mentors are the three most difficult challenges facing today's researchers and business owners. So, supporters should confidently assess their skills, businesses, and intellectual property (IP), no matter their economic or geographical circumstances, to meet their demands and keep up with supporters globally.

However, he stresses that before public registration of know-how and ideas, researchers and entrepreneurs need schemes to prevent unauthorized secondary use and imitation of their intellectual property rights to gain support.

Overcoming Challenges

Every thriving business leader has their share of challenging moments. Their differences emerge, however, in how they deal with these challenges. Karita's biggest challenge was getting scientists, businesspeople and advocates worldwide to sign up for the platform.

The political, economic, geographical, cultural and religious circumstances of the UNIPLAT members vary widely. As a result, the organization plans to develop its frameworks, UIUX, and service structures to meet the requirements of its constituents.

An effective leader, in the eyes of the intrepid businessperson, can constantly weigh the pros and cons of any given course of action to find the best overall solution. With today's increasingly complex and diverse societies and economies, making everyone happy is difficult. But, in his opinion, leaders must strike a balance between the needs of different groups.

What the Future Holds

Dr. Karita defines success as the widespread adoption of UNIPLAT by businesspeople and academics worldwide, despite local norms and preferences. He hopes that UNIPLAT will provide a venue where innovators and researchers of all backgrounds (ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status) can be evaluated and supported on an equal footing.

He is pushing forward with plans to make UNIPLAT a more organized, user-friendly, and legally sound platform by adding more globally influential individuals to the advisory board.

Furthermore, he plans to strengthen UNIPLAT's ties to the world's leading entrepreneur support platforms like the Group of Nations, EUTECH, ACIC-KL, Sparkinov, etc., and recruit more large corporations interested in providing funding and other resources to startups, academics, and other stakeholders.
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