The Japanese startup scene is strong, with many startups and accelerators born in this country. In fact, there are so many incubators it can be difficult to choose which one to use. This list will help you decide which program would be best for your business and how they work:
1. Showcase concert
Showcase Gig is a venture capital firm that invests in early-stage startups. Formed in 2016, the firm has invested in over 300 companies since its inception and raised over billion in funding. The company is based in Tokyo, Japan.
The mistletoe is a Tokyo-based startup accelerator and incubator. The mistletoe was established in 2017 as a subsidiary of Good Moneyger, which is an investment company that promotes fintech startups.
The mistletoe accepts new and experienced entrepreneurs from around the world with its strong international focus, but it does not specifically focus on any particular industry or sector. In order to gain access to their network, you will need to apply for one of their free membership programs like Startup Garage or Program Accelerate before your application can be considered for any incubation or acceleration programs at Mistletoe.
3. Good Money
Good Moneyger is a startup accelerator program run by JFSA, the Japanese government agency responsible for financial regulation. It provides funding, mentoring and advice to fintech startups.
Good Moneyger is focused on providing support to companies developing financial services technology products. The goal of the program is to help startups grow their businesses and access new markets by working with government agencies in Japan.
Boostio is a startup accelerator that provides entrepreneurs with funding, mentoring, and office space. It was founded in 2016 by three former Hitachi executives who decided to invest in supporting Tokyo-based startups. Boosto offers a co-working space for its startups as well as investments of up to ,000 for around 1 year of time spent growing the business. The program lasts approximately 12 months and has room for five companies per cohort.
5. Samurai incubate
Samurai Incubate is a venture capital fund that invests in early-stage startups. Samurai Incubate has invested in over 200 startups since its founding in 2013, including FanStory and Minnetonka Studios. The company offers seed funding, office space, and mentorship to the startups it partners with.
The accelerator works with two types of businesses: new entrepreneurs and experienced founders who want to change direction or pivot their existing business model. Samurai Incubate offers both types of teams investments ranging from 1 million yen (,000) to 5 million yen (,000).
6. DG Ventures
DG Ventures is a venture capital firm focused on early-stage investments in Japan and the United States. It was founded by Digital Garage Inc, which is a Japanese internet company with revenue of over billion.
DG Ventures has offices in Tokyo and San Francisco, California, as well as New York. The company has made several successful investments, including:
- SimpleHoney (an online shopping site)
- Neurons Inc (a biotech startup)
Deepcore is a venture capital firm that invests in early-stage startups. They invest in startups that are building the next generation of AI and data science technologies. Deepcore was founded by former Softbank Ventures head Shunsuke Watanabe and former McKinsey & Company partner Kentaro Minami.
Deepcore’s portfolio includes companies like Sine Nomine AI which provides human conversation skills for Chatbots or Line Corporation which has built an ecosystem around its core product – Online Messenger as well as other business areas including games, e-commerce and marketplaces, etc.
Neoteny is a Japanese venture capital firm that invests in early stage startups. It was founded by Taizo Son, the son of Softbank founder Masayoshi Jr. The company has invested in more than 200 startups since its launch in 2016.
9. Starting Jr East
JR East Start Up is a program that aims to support startups with a solid business plan, which can be used for the development of the Japanese railway industry.
JR East selected several companies as part of its second batch of startups in 2019, which had the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of venture capitalists and investors at the end of this month.
Scala Partners is a venture capital firm that provides seed funding to startups with innovative ideas. The firm has offices in Tokyo, Singapore, and San Francisco, and it has invested in more than 200 companies since its founding in 2000. Scala Partners focuses on early stage (seed/series A) companies with the goal of eventually becoming in public or being acquired by large corporations.
Scala Partners’ investment amount varies depending on the size of your business and the phase you are in. If you are looking for an investor who can provide more than money, your best bet would be Scala Partners – they provide a number of services including initial business plans and product development support as well as legal advice on intellectual property rights issues related to your startup technology after investing money in your business
Archetype is a venture capital firm that invests in seed-stage startups. Archetype was founded in 2015 by Kenji Ishii, who also founded venture capital firm Global Brain. The company is headquartered in Tokyo and has offices around the world, including Singapore and Hong Kong.
In addition to its own investments, Archetype works with other funds and accelerators such as Accelerator Lab (Japan) and SXSW Accelerator (USA).
Insprout is a Tokyo-based startup accelerator that provides funding, mentorship, and office space to promising startups.
Insprout was founded by a group of investors and entrepreneurs who wanted to support Japanese startups.
Insprout’s program lasts eight months, with each cohort made up of 15 startups. Under their scheme, Insprout provides seed funding ranging from JPY 1m – 2m (USD 8k – 16k).
13. Anew Holdings
Anew Holdings is a venture capital fund and community of entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders. We invest in early-stage companies that are building the future of the internet.
We believe technology has incredible potential to improve our lives. That’s why we focus on startups that use technology for social good, fighting climate change, or improving healthcare — like Airbnb did with accommodation or Uber did with the transportation. And we do that by creating a community where people can share ideas and get inspired by each other.
14. Innovation for catering
Innovation Dining is a company that provides restaurant management services. The company was founded in March 2017 and is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. The main activity of the company is the management of restaurants.
15. Bornrex & Co., Ltd.
Bornrex & Co., Ltd. is a venture capital builder that provides seed-stage funding, business development, and mentorship to early-stage startups. Bornrex was founded in 2012 by two entrepreneurs who previously worked at NTT Docomo Inc., Japan’s largest mobile operator. The company operates several programs, including its Startup Accelerator Program which is only open to Japanese startups; And it also runs an incubation program for foreign companies interested in entering the Japanese market through partnerships with local brands.
I hope this article has given you some insight into the Japanese startup ecosystem. With so many incubators and accelerators to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. However, remember that these programs are there for a reason: they offer entrepreneurs the opportunity to take their ideas from concept to reality. And with Japan’s growing economy and interest in innovation, there’s never been a better time than now!