Japan is a global technology and innovation leader, ranking 15th on the Global Innovation Index 2019. In 2018, Japan was ranked sixth globally based on number of papers filed, and third for the number of patents filed annually. The startup ecosystem in Japan has grown over the years. Investments into startups in Japan have increased from US$586 million (S$795 million) in 2012 to US$3.5 billion (S$4.7 billion) in 2018. Over the same period, the number of startups have also increased almost 40% from 1,060 to 1,426. There is also strong government support such as the J-Startup Programme, launched by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).
According to StartupBlink, which ranks cities according to the strength of their startup ecosystems, Tokyo ranks as the top city in Japan. Startups tend to have a higher chance of securing a corporate client when based in Tokyo as most of the large Japanese corporations are headquartered in Tokyo. The ecosystem is further strengthened by the presence of tertiary institutes such as the University of Tokyo and Keio University, contributing talent to the city workforce.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government also provides support through Business Camp Tokyo, an accelerator programme for non-Japanese startups to accelerate their business expansion into Japan via Tokyo. Additionally, they have launched FinTech Business Camp Tokyo, a fintech-focused government accelerator programme that supports the financial sector in Tokyo, which is home to Japan’s largest banks including Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, and Mizuho Financial Group.
Leave a Nest Singapore (LAN) is Enterprise Singapore’s Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) partner for Japan. LAN was established in 2010 as the leading deep tech innovation platform in Southeast Asia. Since 2014, the company’s flagship programme, TechPlanter, an annual seed accelerator programme, has been expanding rapidly across the region with the aim to discover and nurture startups in the deep science and technology space. As of August 2019, a total of 568 teams have participated in TechPlanter. LAN has supported over 70 startups since 2014 by assisting them in the areas of collaboration for R&D, investment opportunities, and partnership with large corporates.
LAN has an extensive network across the world including Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, the UK and the US. Notable international partnerships include Bloom Space and Deep Science Venture from the UK, Focus Tech Ventures from Singapore, and SMECorp from Malaysia. Their Japanese network includes large corporates such as Japan Tobacco (JT), Mitsubishi Electric, Japan Unisys, and Mitsui Chemicals. LAN connects these corporates to startups and facilitates open innovation opportunities.
For more information on LAN, please visit www.en.lne.st.
LAN is partnering Enterprise Singapore to run a GIA Acceleration Programme that will support Singapore-based startups in entering Japan through Tokyo.
The programme to Tokyo has two stages.
Startups interested in applying for the GIA Acceleration Programme to Tokyo can contact the key personnel below, with the email subject title “Interest in Japan GIA Programme”:
Leave a Nest can also provide tailored support for Singapore corporates, SMEs and startups interested in engaging the Japan startup ecosystem. Please reach out directly to the same key personnel above to find out more about their tailored service offerings.