We are seeking a Business Development Associate to join our Tokyo studio. A Business Development Associate helps us grow our business in Japan by facilitating the overall business development process, from qualifying and shaping business leads to supporting meaningful client relationships.

We are looking for a collaborative and business-minded individual, someone highly motivated by gettings things done alongside others. Our ideal candidate is someone who can professionally and creatively represent IDEO in Japan, remain calm under pressure while juggling multiple client conversations, and fluidly move between English and Japanese in order to solve problems and inspire clients.

IDEO Tokyo’s mission is to help Japan renew and reframe its creative and economic leadership position in the world by being a catalyst for change. As part of a small studio that is growing, this person must demonstrate a collaborative working style, great communication skills, and the ability to thrive in a flexible environment of innovation.

Strong Japanese (native) and English verbal and written skills are required.


We’re looking for a person who is able to:

  • Shape and qualify new leads from clients in collaboration with the leadership team
  • Initiate communication with potential clients to determine valuable opportunities to collaborate on
  • Gather robust market intelligence on the opportunity, and finding the appropriate person or persons to team up with
  • Directly create or enable designers to create / produce well-coordinated and compelling client project proposals, presentations and meetings
  • Be an active participant in developing new methods for engaging collaboratively with clients in an entrepreneurial way
  • Understand and communicate IDEO Tokyo's unique value proposition, but to also look for novel opportunities in order to advance our thinking
  • Take part in the creation and facilitation of memorable and valuable events to support existing and attract new client relationships and partnerships
  • Take the lead in keeping track of the source of leads, progress, and outcome, and periodically provide a synthesis of learnings in order to improve our Business Development process
  • Curate a bank of assets that showcase IDEO Tokyo’s value proposition and actively sharing these with colleagues, partners and clients


Minimum Requirements and Qualifications

  • Strong Japanese (native) and English verbal and written skills
  • At least 3 years of working experience, primarily with businesses located in Japan
  • Compelling interpersonal, networking, communication and presentation skills
  • Experience working with creative people in a support or planning capacity
  • Be self-directed toward excellent work outcomes, comfort level in ambiguous, non-rules based environments
  • Great flexibility, and an openness to new ideas. Comfort level with having clients and partners unfamiliar and sometimes uncomfortable with our process and way of thinking
  • Knowledge of Mac platform, be well versed in Microsoft Office / Google Docs, Keynote / Powerpoint, Gmail and very comfortable using the Internet as a research tool
  • Ability to travel occasionally
  • Be extremely detail-oriented, and have excellent follow through, devoted to seeing tasks complete
  • Be capable of working with a variety of personalities and work styles
  • Excellent discretion, demonstrating sound judgment in dealing with confidential dialogues and information



IDEO values people who are optimistic, collaborative, who take ownership, embrace ambiguity, talk less do more, can learn from failure, and have the want to make others successful.