We assisted a tech startup accelerator in Japan by undertaking Japan market startup training for innovative foreign startups aiming to capture the Japanese market.
Tokyoesque loves working with startups: we started out taking on projects helping Japanese startups coming to Europe. This was followed by conducting extensive research for major Japanese corporations interested in European tech solutions. On this occasion, our CEO Natalie Meyer, was introduced to Rainmaking Innovation Japan which runs Startup Bootcamp Osaka, a major worldwide startup accelerator supported by large Japanese firms. The focus of the accelerator was on smart cities and smart living, two potential areas for growth in Japan.
What was the initial challenge?
The programme recruited 13 startups from several countries including; Spain, Australia and Hong Kong with different business areas and different experience of Japan.
They needed to understand how to communicate with Japanese business partners but also the importance of taking cultural differences into account. They also wanted to see where their solution would fit into the Japanese market and what had already been done within the domains of smart cities and smart living.
What did Tokyoesque offer for Japan market startup training?
We designed two separate presentations—one focusing on culture and business , and the other covering smart cities and smart living specifically. These were delivered to the startups during the programme. Each presentation was 2 hours long. Finally, we offered one-to-one assessments of each startup’s solution, compared their offering with what was already present in Japan and matched these with the requirements of the Japanese market.
What type of methodology did we use?
Our consultants have prior experience of delivering presentations on the topic of doing successfully doing business in Japan, but in each case we make sure the content we use is up to date and relevant to the audience we are addressing. For example, we reached out to our network in order to deeply understand what Japanese investors were looking at when investing in tech startups, as funding is often a major pain point for startups.
We mainly conducted desk research both in Japanese and English in order to prepare the presentation about smart cities and smart living. We always strive to provide on overview of the bigger picture before delving into the sub-sectors relevant to each startup in the accelerator programme.
The afternoon consultation session followed our Market Readiness Framework (MRF) methodology covering competitor, audience and cultural analysis in order to understand how each solution was likely to be received in Japan.
What were the main benefits?
The day was intensive in that it featured two 2-hour presentations followed by 30-minute private consultations for each startup. The startups were able to gain precious information and practical tips that would ultimately support their expansion in Japan. This information not only included advice for navigating the complex corporate structure in Japan, but also shed light on recent developments in smart cities and revealed the names of noteworthy startups operating in the smart living sector. We were also able to tailor our advice to each specific startup through our focused individual consultations.
Testimonials from Participants
It was great meeting you yesterday. Thank you very much for taking the time to educate us on Japanese culture. It was super helpful!Sitata
I thought that your presentation was excellent and there is some content that was especially relevant to us.Soundpays
I was very impressed by your knowledge and I am sure that startups from the program will benefit from your mentorship.Japanese mentor
If you’re running a startup in the UK or Europe and are interested in expanding your offering to the Japanese market as a next step, please feel free to get in touch—we’re more than happy to discuss how we can help, whether in Japan market startup training or market feasibility testing.