Nobuyuki Idei once embodied Japan’s corporate establishment, the leader of technology giant Sony Corp. Now 75, he’s aiming to reinvent himself as a cross between a Silicon Valley venture capitalist and Hollywood mogul.

The former Sony CEO describes himself as the “executive producer” behind a long list of projects, including a venture fund, a design consultancy and a salon for entrepreneurs. They’re all designed to boost start-ups in Japan, a country the World Bank ranks behind Ghana and Tanzania in ease of starting a business.

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