When Satoshi Miyagawa founded the Los Angeles branch of the Tokyo-based startup that he was working for in 2019, he had to jump through a series of hoops just to get to the starting line.

While getting a visa is a time-consuming process, other practical matters, such as finding a reliable lawyer and tax accountant as well as opening a corporate bank account, were protracted processes.

Although he had acquaintances in San Francisco from his days working toward an MBA at Stanford University, he “didn’t really know any Japanese entrepreneurs (in the Los Angeles area), so it took a lot of legwork to gather information for practical tasks,” Miyagawa recalled.