This tech event in Tokyo was a great opportunity to better understand the role of Japan in the digital economy and meet some of its entrepreneurs.

“While technology always creates winners and losers, today the gap between them is widening at a rapid pace. Startups are the key vehicle by which regions and their citizens can take advantage of technological change”

JF Gauthier, Founder and CEO of Startup Genome

Attending Tech In Asia 2017 in Tokyo allows you to realize how dynamic are the start-ups in Japan and how serious is their influence in Asia. Taking part to the global startup revolution is obvious for the country which now benefits from job creation, innovation, and economic growth. Here start-ups connect, learn and grow as they do in the Silicon Valley and London i.e.

Almost 35.000 start-ups are registered in Japan, in 46 different verticals. Many investments into startups specializing Internet of Things, blockchain tech and artificial intelligence. Among the entrepreneurs I met at Tech In Asia 2017 many where specializing AI consulting, translation solutions, Educational plateforms or Finance services (payments, ICOs, etc.) The most experienced entrepreneurs urge fresh start-ups to go global!

« To go global you have to be able to count on partners and be clear with them while explaining your strategy »

Mark Wang, Head of Shopify

New investment trends such as ICOs (crypto currencies, Blockchain) is becoming a key element for funding start-ups. Japan’s financial services watchdog FSA intends to start monitoring cryptocurrency exchanges soon, while China’s complete ban announcement is still fresh.

“ Japanese entrepreneurs are eager to go outside and find new customers and investors”

Daniel Corbin, Head of Japan at Tech In Asia

Whereas China’s regional economic importance tends to be overestimated, Japan is often underrated while it is way headed of China when it comes to tech investments in Asia. While tech investments in Asia are growing, reaching $1,6 bn in 2015 for South-East Asia, Japan is getting more and more influential with a strong impact in this region.

In fact, Japan is the first tech investor in the region and is willing to do business with greater Asia. VCs prove it: ventures and strategic partnerships in India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Singapore… As an example, Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten is on the list of businesses and corporations with high interest in Asian start-ups, having pumped money into Singaporean online classifieds app Carousell and Indonesia’s ubiquitous ride-hailing app Go-Jek.

Let’s now present some interesting start-ups attending the event:

What we are talking about: A Social Learning Management System for a modern education

Mission: S.H. aims at providing learning opportunities to everyone by creating tools for teachers to easily create their own online lesson plans and expand their reach beyond the classroom.

What we are talking about: providing Products and Consulting Development services for Artificial Intelligence.

Mission: Cinnamon aims to extend human potential for more productive and creative work by utilizing the power of Artificial Intelligence.

What we are talking about: tailored solutions for translation A.I. for companies

Mission: If language barriers are eliminated, businesses would accelerate globally and innovatively.

What we are talking about: a platform that caters to your every need, regardless of income, age, or special needs – transportation.

Mission: Earn. Connect. Contribute to society.

What we are talking about: Choose and order your suits online or through the App. No need to go in a store, do it online.

Mission: Making it simple to get a tailored suit.

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