During the last quarter of 2021, ERA Global accelerated six Japanese startups’ expansion to the US market during an intense, three-part virtual program: “X-HUB Tokyo Global Startup Accelerator Program.” ERA Global partnered with JETRO New York and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to execute this unique program that spans over five months’ time.
In late October, seven companies attended a ‘bootcamp’ week to kick off the program through workshops on US business culture and insights, pitching to investors, tracking KPIs, and 1-1 board meetings with the ERA Global team.
For the following four weeks of the main accelerator program phase, companies attended 22 workshops. Participating team members met with lead mentors, expert mentors, and the Global team with a focus on their product, go-to-market strategy, and KPIs. At the end of each week, companies participated in a two-part session of 1) pitch practice to investors and venture partners and 2) reporting KPIs and their past week’s activities and results.
The interactive workshops and specialized mentorship effectively advanced each company’s goals. Teppei Konishi, CEO and Founder of Biomy, believes that the ability to “connect with influential mentors and learning how to properly communicate with them was the most helpful aspect of the program.” Their product was complex and specialized in the biotech industry, and they were able to refine the pitch for non-experts to understand. Konishi now feels prepared for US expansion through the mentors that he met and the potential customers that he can reach through his new US network.
On January 12, the companies shared their accomplishments and next steps with ERA Global’s network of investors and corporate guests, who tuned in from Japan, Spain, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and throughout the US. After the pitches, the audience had the exclusive opportunity to meet with the startups and ask questions in breakout sessions. High energy filled the virtual “rooms” between the guests and the companies as they discussed their products, market strategies, and US expansion.
After the pitch event, the companies entered the post-program phase, which consists of three monthly group calls and three one-on-one meetings with the Global team. During this phase, the companies will reinforce the skills and tools they learned during the program, report back on new learnings, and seek advice on their next steps.
Kenya Tamura, CEO and Co-Founder of Eukarya, believes that the Eukarya team learned more about their strengths, how to overcome challenges, and how to concisely articulate their company. The feedback from various mentors and investors, Tamura says, “helped us understand our strengths. Thanks to this, we have achieved sales of 200 million yen (~2,264,620 USD) in the last six months.” They plan to establish a US corporation early in this year and to initially pursue the government and non-profit sector.
Throughout the post-program phase, companies will continue to move forward with their US and global expansion plans with the ERA Global team. The companies’ progress verifies the importance of actionable feedback, all-around support, and founders’ persistence and open-mindedness toward a new ecosystem.
Read more about the participating companies below:
Biomy Inc. provides innovative services for pharmaceutical companies through AI and biological technologies. Biomy Inc. has developed an AI platform that maximizes medication efficacy by selecting the appropriate cohort through unsupervised AI analysis of past patient information. Biomy Inc. can predict the prognosis of anti-tumor drugs by picking up various information in the test results using AI, and support decision making on medication.
EAGLYS strives to create secure computing systems that can process over always-encrypted data, ensuring that no information is exposed until the process is complete and keeping data safe throughout its lifecycle. EAGLYS builds on the system to develop high quality AI systems by enabling access to knowledge contained within data without revealing the contents - giving back control to its owners and creating a more sustainable data ecosystem.
Eukarya Inc. is the geospatial tech startup behind Re:Earth, an easily integrated, no-code platform that makes 3D map-based data visualizations shareable with one click, on any browser.
Lemin is a cybersecurity company that aims to provide user-friendly security tools for all internet users. Their main product is the award winning Puzzle Captcha which only requests a user to solve a game-like verification to protect web service from password brute-force attacks. Lemin is improving usability by utilizing all kinds of sensors on smartphones to enhance ambient security scoring.
VISITS Technologies has developed a unique online product - The Design Thinking Test - using patented technology that enables companies to quantitatively measure the value of human creativity and ideas. The Design Thinking Test is the world’s first online test to measure people’s creativity.
ZeBrand Co., Ltd. is a brand-building platform built to help emerging businesses brand their way. After completing a 5-minute questionnaire, ZeBrand’s AI-based algorithm generates a set of original brand guidelines and brand assets. ZeBrand also provides brand strategy frameworks and brand coaching sessions.