Interview with Ms. Hiromi Sakamoto, the founder and president of M.I-Story Co., Ltd., a Yokohama startup that will debut its first product, the “Hammock Pillow,” internationally at TechDay New York in May, 2019.
Introducing the “Hammock Pillow,” an invention that relieves neck tension and stress.
Our company, M.I-Story, is developing and marketing a product intended for self-care, which benefits the body and mind. As Japan becomes increasingly more aware of its “hyper-aging” society, health has become an important topic for many. With longer lifespans in mind, I believe that if people had more of an ability to take care of themselves and their own health, perhaps lessening the reliance on medication, they would be able to live every day with less worry.
The modern person is always under various stresses that they are sometimes unaware of. For example, consider the neck: there is a great strain place upon the neck from extended use of computers and smartphones. I searched for a product or remedy that might help with the various pains I felt in my own body, like stiff shoulders or headaches, but I couldn’t find anything really effective that suited my needs. Deciding to take matters into my own hands, I invented and developed the Hammock Pillow.
The Hammock Pillow supports and cradles the weight of the head, which removes the load from the neck, and is an effective way to relax those muscles. After just 7 minutes of following the gentle “Hammock Pillow Exercises” routine (see below video), the autonomic nervous system is activated, and stress is reduced by approximately 39%. Verified through the research of Dr. Motoharu Takao of Tokai University’s School of Information Science and Technology with a reliability of 98.88%, these results will be applicable for virtually all users.
Expanding into the North American market was a consideration from the start
The City of Yokohama’s funding program for startups is excellent. There’s a support system for new business enterprises that consists of resources like conferences, seminars, incubators, and grants, which has been invaluable in gaining traction and advancing the company. I’ve had to travel to Tokyo fairly often for business meetings, but traveling from Yokohama to Tokyo is easy and quick, so it’s very convenient. As of now we’ve been focusing on online sales, but we’re currently in the process of expanding into mail-order and physical retailers. In addition, expanding into the North American market was a consideration from the moment I chose the name for this product and the company itself. I’ve always felt that many advancements in the healthcare industry have been propagated globally by the U.S. We’re hoping to use the opportunity we have to debut the Hammock Pillow at TechDay New York this year as a preliminary test to gauge U.S. market interest and valuation.
Interviewed on April 3, 2019.
|Company Name||M.I-Story Co., Ltd.|
|Headquarters||3-21-2 Motohama-cho, Naka-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 231-0004, Japan|
|Management||Hiromi Sakamoto, Founder & President|
Comfort and relaxation product