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Yasuyuki Motoyama, PhD

  • Assistant Professor, City and Regional Planning Section
298 Knowlton Hall

Yasuyuki (Yas) Motoyama is an Assistant Professor at the City and Regional Planning of the Knowlton School. He conducts research about regional economic development and urban vibrancy through innovation and entrepreneurship.

He is the author of two books and twenty one journal articles in economic development, geography, regional science, and business journals.

Motoyama has presented at numerous conferences in Japan, Germany and the UK. In the U.S., he has presented, for instance, at the Seattle Economic Development Commission, Committee on California State Assembly, National Governors Association, Council of State Governments, Harvard Business School, World Bank and Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Prior to joining the Ohio State University, Motoyama was a postdoctoral fellow with the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at the University of California, Santa Barbara (2008-2011), a Research Director at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation (2011-2017), and an Assistant Professor of Geography and Business at University of Kansas (2017-2018).

Motoyama earned a Bachelor of Arts with triple majors in History, International Relations, and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. He earned a Master of Public Administration from Cornell University, and a PhD in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley. 


CRPLAN 2100: Reading the City through History and Law 
CRPLAN 3100: Analyzing the City

Recent Work

Analyzing Twitter following patterns of entrepreneurs in Kansas City

Entrepreneurship is not only an individual journey, but also a local community phenomenon. In other words, most entrepreneurs get plenty of helps from people and supporters in the local area. Academic studies on this subject have uncovered that those helps are more than financial ones from venture capitalists, and it’s everything you need to learn about running a company, managing employees, refining business plans, etc. However, they often rely on a small number of interviews and point only to generic categories, such as mentors, economic development agencies, etc.

My work, collaborated with Stephan Goetz and Yicheol Han at Penn State, expanded the scope of analysis, mapped in social networks, and identified specific sources of information based on Twitter following patterns of entrepreneurs in Kansas City.

Selected Publications

Malizia, E. and Motoyama, Y. Forthcoming. Vibrant Centers as Locations for High-Growth Firms: An analysis of Thirty U.S. Metropolitan Areas. Professional Geographer.


Motoyama, Y. and K. Knowlton. 2017. Examining the Connections within the Startup Ecosystem: A Case Study of St. Louis. Entrepreneurship Research Journal. 7(1): 1-32.


Motoyama, Y. and K. Knowlton. 2016. From Resource Munificence to Ecosystem Integration: The Case of Government Sponsorship in St. Louis. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development. 28(5- 6):448-470.