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Techstars Launches New Accelerator Program in Japan in Partnership with Mitsui Fudosan and JETRO

Techstars, the largest pre-seed investor in the world, Mitsui Fudosan, a leading global real estate developer headquartered in Tokyo, and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), are partnering to bring a new accelerator program to Japan.

Techstars Tokyo will unlock new opportunities for early-stage entrepreneurs worldwide, providing them access to Japan’s dynamic tech ecosystem while also creating fresh avenues of value that contribute to the growth of the Japanese economy and benefiting broader society.

“Japan’s startup ecosystem is undergoing a significant transformation. The dynamic and technological spirit that has characterized Japan for decades is reemerging thanks to significant support from its government as well as initiatives by domestic corporations,” said Charlotte Bruce, Techstars General Manager for EMEA. “It is an exciting time to be on the ground with JETRO and Mitsui Fudoson to foster entrepreneurship through the Techstars Tokyo accelerator program.”

According to PitchBook, the number of venture-backed companies in Japan has steadily increased in recent years, with data pointing to a 6x increase from 2015, which can be attributed to government initiatives and backing from domestic corporations. The partnership between Techstars, Mitsui Fudosan and JETRO, marks a collaborative effort to support the continued growth of Japan’s startup ecosystem.

While Techstars Tokyo is Techstars’ first equity-based accelerator in Japan, it builds on Techstars’ ecosystem development work which has supported entrepreneurs at the earliest stages through Founder Catalyst and Startup Weekend. More than 100 founders in Japan have participated in the Founder Catalyst pre-accelerator program in partnership with JETRO, gaining essential startup education, mentorship, community-building skills, and access to Techstars' global network over the course of a 10-week intensive program. Further, over 27,000 entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs have participated in Startup Weekend events in Japan.

Mitsui Fudosan supports startup innovation through its corporate venture arm, 31Ventures, by engaging global startups to provide funding, develop workspaces, and connect startup and mentor communities.

JETRO has helped thousands of Japanese startups scale globally since 2013. In collaboration with the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, it has driven efforts to bring global startup accelerators and venture capital funds to Japan.

Applications for the program are now being accepted through March 27, 2024. Techstars Tokyo will select 12 early-stage startups for its inaugural program, which will invest in companies across a range of industries, with a focus on Japanese-based startups as well as global startups that are looking to expand into the Japanese market. Selected startups will come to Tokyo, receive access to funding, training and mentorship over the course of the 13-week program, which will be held at Innovation Field Yaesu at Tokyo Midtown Yaesu. Startups interested in applying should visit Techstars Tokyo to learn more.

Following the inaugural program in 2024, Techstars Tokyo will conduct a series of this program roughly once yearly from 2025 onward, with plans to continue holding the program over multiple years.

About Techstars

Techstars is the most active pre-seed investor in the world having invested through its accelerators in more than 3,800 companies. Founded in 2006, Techstars believes that entrepreneurs create a better future for everyone and great ideas can come from anywhere. Now we are on a mission to invest in an unprecedented number of startups per year enabling more capital to flow to more entrepreneurs around the world. We do this by operating accelerator programs and venture capital funds, as well as by connecting startups, investors, corporations, and cities to help build thriving startup communities.

About Mitsui Fudosan

Mitsui Fudosan is a global leading real estate developer, publicly listed in Tokyo. It has developed a wide range of urban development projects, including office buildings, retail properties, logistics properties, hotels and resorts, and residentials, in major cities of Japan, the U.S., Europe, and Asia. The Open Innovation Department, as its venture arm established in 2015, aims to generate new social values and bolster existing businesses, and promotes open innovation through co-creation with various partners including startups.


JETRO, or the Japan External Trade Organization, is a government-related organization that works to promote mutual trade and investment between Japan and the rest of the world. Originally established in 1958 to promote Japanese exports abroad, JETRO's core focus in the 21st century has shifted toward promoting foreign direct investment into Japan and helping small to medium size Japanese firms maximize their global export potential.


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