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Japan's Accelerator LPT and Mt. Fuji Innovation Engine Visit i2i for Next Steps

The 2024 IP2 Launchpad’s Demo Day hosted by i2i concluded successfully in early May. Following this event, i2i recently (on May 10th) joined forces with partners from Landing Pad Tokyo (LPT), including Chairman Inone Hirotaka, Executive Director Kato Kiyotaka, and Business Manager Kyoda Joseph. They invited Japanese startups, such as Mayai founder Yokoyama Miki and SchooMy representative Shiojima Ryosuke, as well as Toda from the Japanese startup association Mt. Fuji Innovation Engine, to discuss opportunities for Japanese startups to enter the Taiwanese market and explore potential collaborations with Taiwanese companies.

Ongoing Dialogue Between i2i and Landing Pad Tokyo

In this meeting, i2i shared their plans to send a delegation to North America’s largest tech event, "Collision," in Toronto, alongside Canadian accelerators CTA and DMZ, to establish partnerships.

LPT’s Executive Director Kato Kiyotaka suggested that while DMZ supports a wide range of industries and collaborates with the Japanese government, as well as the University of Toronto, it typically focuses on regional cooperation. He noted that Taiwan and Canada have different startup ecosystems, and the unique collaborative models across Canada’s vast regions should be considered for future i2i partnerships.

i2i Facilitates Connections Between Japanese Startups and Taiwanese Companies

i2i elaborated to Mayai and SchooMy representatives that their services include two main areas: "inbound" assistance for international startups entering Taiwan, and "outbound" support for Taiwanese startups expanding abroad.

SchooMy’s representative Shiojima Ryosuke expressed gratitude for i2i’s help in connecting with Might Net. They have established a clear path for collaboration and hope i2i will continue to assist in finding Taiwanese partners aligned with their industry, strategy, and technology.

Mayai’s representative Yokoyama Miki shared their excitement about participating in i2i’s IP2 Launchpad Demo Day and the subsequent interest from two Taiwanese companies. One potential collaboration involves AI voice technology for medical services, helping Taiwanese firms expand internationally. The other involves applying Mayai’s voice system to AI chatbot products.

i2i advised that Japanese startups entering Taiwan should carefully plan their target customers and business models. When facilitating connections with Taiwanese companies, it’s essential to consider whether the collaboration aims for product co-development or market expansion to Japan. If the partnership is limited to data sharing, it might not be as impactful.

Introducing Mt. Fuji Innovation Engine and Exploring Collaboration

Toda from Mt. Fuji Innovation Engine joined the meeting online to discuss potential collaboration and learn about i2i’s activities. He expressed interest in the 2024 IP2 Scale Out Program and their startup mentoring courses. i2i suggested further discussions to share more details, including budget and industry specifics, to better plan the mentoring sessions.

LPT’s Kato Kiyotaka highlighted the importance of leveraging connections between Taiwan and Japan’s ecosystems. He cited the long-term collaboration between LPT and i2i as a model for building trust and a positive brand image before entering the Taiwanese market. He also suggested considering various activities, like mentoring courses and one-on-one meetings, for maximum benefit.

Toda asked whether Mt. Fuji Innovation Engine could invite i2i to provide advice for Japanese startups pitching to enter the Taiwanese market and addressed concerns about potential challenges due to differences between Taiwanese and Japanese startup ecosystems.

Kato Kiyotaka noted that Taiwanese and Japanese business cultures share many similarities, and i2i’s thorough event preparations reduce obstacles compared to other markets. The main challenges are meeting Taiwanese companies’ needs for scalable solutions and identifying truly promising and technologically advanced startups.

i2i added that when fundraising, Japanese startups should maintain at least 50% ownership to avoid decision-making issues with large investors. They invited Mt. Fuji Innovation Engine to stay in touch to explore future collaboration opportunities.

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