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Japanese corporations want to do business with European startups – here's how to get in on it

Established Japanese corporations will be presenting themselves as potential collaborators to startups at the JETRO reverse-pitching event that will happen online from March 7-9.
Japanese corporations want to do business with European startups – here's how to get in on it

From Fujifilm to Mitsubishi, major Japanese corporations are looking to boost their innovations, and they're looking to Europe to do just that. 

On March 7-9th, Japanese corporations will be reverse-pitching – presenting themselves to startups – in an effort to find collaborators that will add fuel to their rocketships. The event will be held online, with startups from all over Europe invited to take part, in verticals such as cleantech, mobility, healthtech, biotech, life sciences, and more. Startups are invited to apply until March 3rd

Over the course of three days, 9 corporations will be presenting. Each will host a 15-minute Q & A, and startups will be able to request to set up a meeting following the session, which JETRO, Japan External Trade Organization, will coordinate. 

What Japan's corporations are looking for

Japan is home to many world-class global companies; the number of Japanese companies in the Fortune Global 500 is the third highest in the world. Japanese companies are looking for new ideas for future growth, and for this, they are setting their sights on Europe. More than 50 of these corporations have established “innovation-focused” offices in Europe, thus indicating an increased interest from Japanese businesses in collaborating with European startups.

Each corporation that will be presenting at the reverse-pitching event has its own focus and interest. Startups can take a look, assess the potential, and apply to participate in the reverse pitching to get the ball rolling.

Astellas - a pharmaceutical company developing medicine for out-of-the-box challenges

  • Areas of interest: Drug discovery and development programs including new biological insights, platforms, and modalities across multiple therapeutic areas, from the discovery stage to clinical stages
  • Open to: research collaboration, licensing, public-private partnership, asset/technology acquisition, co-development and co-commercialization, investment

Shionogi - a pharmaceutical company focusing on combatting infectious diseases from forecast, and treatment, to prevention

  • Areas of interest: infectious diseases, neuroscience, pain management, vaccines, healthy aging, digital health
  • Open to: co-research, co-development, investment, in-licensing

Fujifilm Europe - imaging, diversifying to total healthcare, and investing in life sciences 

  • Areas of interest: accelerating innovation in the life sciences field, including early-stage biotechnology
  • Open to: investment, co-development, licensing, etc.

Dynamic Map Platform - 3D high-definition map data provider

  • Areas of interest: smart mobility, autonomous driving, drones, mapping, airport automation, road maintenance
  • Open to: proof of concept, investment

Venture Lab - NGK Spark Plug Europe - business creation & investment hub with a $100M fund

  • Areas of interest: establishing new businesses in mobility, utilities, foodtech & medtech. Investing in pre-seed to series F
  • Open to: PoCs, business alliances, technology alliances, joint R&D, investment, JV, M&A

NEC Corporationa leading IT company with technology and services ranging from telecoms, AI, biometrics to cyber, systems integration, and more

  • Areas of interest: announced at the event
  • Open to: business alliances, technology alliances (including joint R&D, technology transfer, etc.), capital transfer (investment), JV establishment, LP investment in VC, M&A

F.C.C. Co - automotive clutch manufacturer

  • Areas of interest: mobility, MaaS, SmartCity, Cleantech, Agritech Biotech, New Materials, carbon fiber, ceramic, casting, energy management
  • Open to: co-research, investment, technical alliance, JV

Mitsubishi Corporation - global integrated business enterprise

  • Areas of interest: EX, DX, SeriesA, SeriesB, SeriesC
  • Open to: any type of collaboration is possible

ENEOS - Japan's largest oil company

  • Areas of interest: decarbonization (hydrogen, battery, biofuels, carbon credits, etc.), circular economy, mobility and community (EV charging, shared mobility, robots, drones, etc.), data science and deeptech (AI, digital twins, robotics, blockchain, satellite, etc.)
  • Open to: investment, business alliances (co-development, technological collaboration), JV etc.

Each corporation will present during a 45-minute session, which will be followed by a round of Q&A. After the sessions, startups will be able to sign up through a form that may lead to a one-on-one meeting to discuss potential collaboration.

Harnessing the opportunity of collaboration

It's not every day that a startup has the opportunity to gain direct access to major corporations that are actively looking to partner with innovators. With a GDP of over $5 trillion, the Japanese market is massive and holds many benefits. By working directly with corporations through JETRO, startups can look forward to potentially reducing trade barriers, accessing a huge market, and having doors opened through collaborations with highly-respected corporations.

Startups that may be interested in finding out more about future collaborations are able to sign up for the online reverse pitching event by applying online by filling out this form until March 3rd.

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