Shigeo Ozeki

Back to Contents of Issue: September 2000


by Kyoko Fujimoto

Shigeo Ozeki is keeping his eyes on the prize. Or prizes, which he thinks are one of the few things interesting enough to keep Japanese surfers coming back to a site. That's the idea behind the sites MyPrize and MyID, launched by his company MyPrize ( helps companies advertise their give-away campaigns or other products, while MyID ( tells Japanese surfers which prizes are available online and lets them register just once for all of them.

Axiv, of which Ozeki is both founder and president, will expand beyond prize sites, though. The company has about 50 domain names registered, and "those are the list of things we want to do," Ozeki explains. "They're all secret -- but I can tell you that we have"

The name "Axiv," Ozeki says, is a combination of the English words axis and active, which he feels is a good fit for an active person like himself: "I'm a risk taker. I couldn't have started a company if I wasn't active."

Ozeki's first Net biz experience was at online ad firm CyberSpace, where he worked part time while still a student at Senshu University. After graduation he joined CyberSpace and then NetAge, where he got involved in starting NetDealers, a company later sold to Softbank and renamed CarPoint (see "Roadmap 2000: Japan's Online Auto Market"). Incubator NetAge at the time was a six-man shop: three salespeople, president Kiyoshi Nishikawa, Ozeki, and Taiga Matsuyama. Ozeki says that after about six months he'd learned enough about Net startups to leave NetAge and found

Ozeki is a core member of the Bit Valley Association, of which NetAge is a prime mover. He says the name Bit Valley originally came from one of the server names at NetAge. "We were using place names in Silicon Valley, but we ran out of names and used Bitter Valley, the direct translation of Shibuya," he recalls. (See "Bit Valley Unzipped".)

He was also around when the Bit Style party was a small meeting at a bar in Shibuya, not a packed event at Tokyo's premier disco (see "Bit Valley Mania," page 12, April 2000). "I couldn't believe it became so huge," he says. "As Bit Style became bigger, the meaning of the party got lost somewhere. The one in February was the worst -- it was such chaos. I'm relieved it's over now. Instead, we plan to do more seminars and small meetings."

Although Ozeki is a core member of the BVA, he says his involvement there only occupies a small part of his total work time: "I have so many things I want to do and need to do with" What's his next move? That's a secret, but no doubt the answer lies in one of the domain names he's registered.

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