Hirofumi Uchida is a professor of Banking and Finance at the Graduate School of Business Administration, Kobe University, Japan. He received his MA in Economics in 1995 and his PhD in Economics in 1999, both from Osaka University. Prior to joining Kobe University in 2009, Professor Uchida was with the Kyoto Institute for Economic Research at Kyoto University, and the Faculty of Economics at Wakayama University. He was also a visiting scholar at the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University as a 2003 Fulbright Scholar. His research interests focus on banking, financial institutions, and financial system architecture. His research has been published in International Economic Review, Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Journal of Financial Intermediation, Economica, and Journal of Banking and Finance, among others. He is also an associate editor of Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking.
The aim of this project is to understand the current status of startup finance in the United States. Startup firms play an integral role in energizing the economy, and there are typically three requirements for the success of start-ups: manpower (talented entrepreneur), goods (prospective goods or services), and money (fund raising). Among these three, money is the chief obstacle because start-ups are rarely creditworthy, and have a significant asymmetry of information on its repayment ability with lenders. In this project, I will first compare the different sources of finance for startups by collecting as much data for various types of firms: from traditional small firms or sole proprietorships, to high-risk and high-growth venture firms, and further to other types of firms such as firms resulting from divestitures or spin-offs. I will also examine the presence or absence of financial constraints on startup firms, and the importance of the finance to the performance of these firms and the economy. In this area of research, studies take place in different fields independent of each other, and each study focuses on a specific type of firm and its means of financing. For example, banking studies examine lending to small firms and sole proprietorships, and entrepreneurship studies deal with a transfer of capital from venture capital to venture firms. If firms are not of these types, then little research exists. Also, currently no research exists that compares the financing of different types of startups from an inter-disciplinary viewpoint. Since I was a graduate student, I have been conducting research in the field of banking and financial institutions, and have sufficient expertise on small business finance. Through this project, I will expand my knowledge to studies in the field of venture finance and corporate finance, and compare different types of startup finance from an inter-disciplinary viewpoint. This research is COMPARATIVE and POLICY RELEVANT. I will conduct this project with keeping in mind a comparison with Japan. As the principal investigator for a large-scale research grant in Japan (Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A): 2016-2020), I am in charge of a similar project with respect to startup finance in Japan. Through the two-country comparison, I want to produce important policy implications for the measures to promote startups in the two countries, especially Japan. The project is also CONTEMPORARY, because recently Japan suffers from a declining population and increased aging, and thus the promotion of startups is an urgent policy issue. On balance, my work and interest match the second research agenda of the Abe Fellowship Program: "Growth and Sustainable Development."