This Japanese-Inspired Creator Platform Inspires Meaningful Connections – In Real Life And VIrtually – Using Time As Its Superpower

PechaKucha was born in 2003 because people talk too much. That’s what happens when passionate people gather together to share ideas and creations.

PechaKucha, which means “chit-chat” in Japanese, was founded in Tokyo by architects Mark Dytham and Astrid Klein of Klein Dytham architecture. It originated as a “20×20’’ live presentation format that consisted of 20 image-based slides, each automatically advancing every 20 seconds. In 400 seconds of visual content, it’s what “show and tell” always dreamed of becoming.

PechaKucha now is the world’s fastest-growing social storytelling platform around the globe.

More than 50,000 people present at 1,100+ global PechaKucha Nights every year – including Chicago’s very own music bar Martyrs’ in Northcenter, which hosts quarterly PK Nights. Organically, the time-based talks grew into a global live event series attended by three million people in 140 countries and more than 150,000 presenters.

Coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic, PechaKucha launched a virtual storytelling platform that grew to over 100,000 beta users within nine months. Fueled by Seed funding to innovate its presentation format into a digital connectivity and social story platform, PechaKucha exists to inspire enthusiasts with a simple way to produce, record and share visual, time based talks at both live or offline events and build communities about niche or popular topics.

Today, global innovators use PechaKucha’s platform to create powerful, visually-compelling stories that move audiences to greater awareness and action in less than 7 minutes.

From world governments and NGOs (The United Nations and UNESCO) to leading universities (Stanford and Harvard) to technology leaders (Facebook and Accenture) and design leaders (Kohler and BMW), PechaKucha is the platform that creators, professionals and brands use to connect with others in uplifting ways, motivating people to do great things – for themselves and the world.

At A Glance
Headquarters: Tokyo (programming) and Chicago (software development and marketing)
Team: 14 people with additional hires in 2022
Well-known people who have given a PechaKucha talk: Joe Gebbia (founder of Airbnb); Shantell Martin (famed British visual artist); Daniel Pink (best-selling author); Yves Behar (award-winning design entrepreneur); Carl Bass (former CEO of Autodesk); Morgan Fisher (founding member of rock band Mott the Hoople)

Use case: company onboarding. Table XI, a Chicago-based software developer that employs about 30 people, uses PechaKucha for company meetings and onboarding. “In 400 seconds, we learn about new co-workers’ backgrounds and interests and what brought them to Table XI,” says Mark Rickmeier, CEO. “It serves as a great bonding experience and gives everyone great insight into their exciting new co-workers.”

Use case: education. Hundreds of published studies at CORE – the world’s largest collection of open-access research – reference PechaKucha’s positive impact on learning, speaking and communication. In February 2020, a 10-year-old Indonesian student gave a global talk about the wonders of bamboo as part of International PechaKucha Day.


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