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Are there still Samurai in Japan? Yes, but in the startup scene.

In the previous posts, I introduced a new white paper regarding the actual startup condition in Japan reported by the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency.

The paper depicts that still there is a huge gap between ideal and reality with regard to the startup rate, funding, support system, etc. This also creates the stereotype that Japan still falls behind the rest of the world in terms of the startup eco-system.

The other day, a friend of mine asked me why there is no strong startup supporter here like Samurai. Well, it’s not true. Obviously, the number of startup incubators, accelerators, investors and co-working spaces has increased.

Furthermore, we even have a Samurai who has supported entrepreneurs as a seed accelerator. So today, I’d like to introduce the coolest startup accelerator in Japan.


Samurai Incubate

Samurai Incubate is a Japanese leading startup incubator. They are also known as a seed accelerator investing ¥ millions in a number of early (seed) stage startup companies in a year.

A founder Mr. Sakakibara realized that the startup eco-system was terribly weak in Japan 7 years ago.

Since the foundation of Samurai Incubate, they branched out in Israel, have organized more than 1,000 startup events, attended more than 50,000 startup events, helped over 50 companies start up new businesses as their new divisions.

In addition, they’ve supported 100 startups (85: Japan/ 15: Israel) both in Japan and overseas, and 13 startups succeeded in “exit“.

Beside the investment, they also run a share office (SSI) where over 150 startups are working on their entrepreneurial projects. Samurai incubate organizes several startup events a week and basically SSI members are able to join them for free.


Samurai Venture Sammit

What I have to mention is that they are the host of Samurai Venture Sammit (SVS), the biggest startup event in Japan where more than 1,000 startups, incubators, VCs, medias and famous foreign guests (entrepreneurs) join.

Unfortunately, I’ve never had a chance to attend this event, but according to attendants, SVS is very unique compared with other startup events in japan since a lot of startup participants are wearing costumes at their booths and the audience are allowed to heckle speakers (entrepreneurs) during pitch.

So, some people even compare the event to a school festival. Anyway, it must be so fun even if you’re not considering starting up new businesses.

Most importantly, Samurai Incubate holds the event all over Japan from Hokkaido to Okinawa because they consider the information gap between Tokyo and the rest of Japan to be one of the biggest matters for any entrepreneur here.


How crazy are they?

So, they open up a number of new startups to invest, mentor startup firms that they’ve already supported, run the share office (SSI), hold several startup events a week and organize SVS a couple of times a year.

Actually, everything has been completed by just the 12 of them. So, you can tell how energetic and efficient they are. They’re like superhuman beings for startup companies in Japan.

A number of Samurai Incubates events are facilitated in English. So, event if you’re non-Japanese, it’s not big deal.

Samurai Incubate is definitely the coolest startup accelerator in Japan. Join their workshops in order to know how Japan’s actual startup eco-system looks like and how cool our Samurai is!!

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