Supporting a wide array of diverse founders across the globe has always been at the heart of our mission here at 500. We’re proud to be one of the most global VC firms, with an active presence in 5 of the 7 continents worldwide. This month we’re focusing on a slice of the world that you may already know for their world-renowned beef—but what we’re most excited about is tapping into their under-the-radar tech scene. This December, get ready to meet the top startups from our Kobe, Japan accelerator.
Our Kobe program kicked off in October, and will conclude with Demo Day in Tokyo on December 10th. For the three months in between, the companies accepted to the program have been immersed in a growth marketing bootcamp led by industry leaders and mentors from 500’s San Francisco team. This is 500’s third year in Kobe, and we’re excited about the opportunity to continue boosting Japanese and international entrepreneurship in the region.
We have 18 companies participating in the Kobe program this year, from an application pool that is becoming increasingly more competitive since we first opened the program two years ago. 72% of the companies accepted are local to Japan, with additional representation from China, Singapore, South Africa, and the United States. The sectors we’ve placed the largest focus on are Transportation/Real Estate and IT/Security, representing 22.7% and 18.2% of the companies respectively. We’ve also seen a large shift towards B2B, with 72.7% of our Kobe companies operating a B2B model.
We hope you have the chance to meet these companies in person at their upcoming Demo Day; but just in case you can’t swing the tickets to Japan, check out the stars of our Kobe accelerator below:
ELXR is the first DNA-based training system in Asia, combining both online and offline engagement.
Visual Design Cafe creates 3D content and developer tools for game developers to accelerate their development and increase the quality of their games.
Jenio Inc. is a video conferencing tool with built-in translated subtitles for over a hundred languages.
Tokyo Techies provides professional training services for companies in data science and AI, cyber security, robotics, computer science, and software development.
T-ICU offers 24/7 monitoring care to intensive-care patients via telemedicine technology.
Bonyu created a kit to analyze and supplement breast milk levels for new moms.
ExCAMP is the first comprehensive search platform for campsites.
Clarity allows people to find and review companies based on their work style.
OKKO creates interactive character stories for mobile.
NOBORDER makes it possible to recommend and match the right talent with the right jobs and teams.
Lizuna has developed an app called Beacon to help merchants reduce fraud and chargebacks using big data.
Pisces’ communication platform uses AR to give the experience of everyone being in the same office, no matter where in the world they are.
Pegara offers virtual servers with AI Chips and tools to reduce the tasks of machine learning developers.
Shokunin-san created a jobs board for craftsmen to solve a shortage in Japan’s construction industry.
Web2ship helps ecommerce sellers easily find and book postal couriers to expand their businesses internationally.
Buyandship is an integrated marketing and logistics platform that services cross border e-commerce connecting the world to Asia.
Doot rewards locals for offering tourists local food experiences, giving locals a chance to earn a small income and practice English.
SAgri is developing agriculture software for experienced farmers that gathers satellite data and ground data using their proprietary technology to help farmers increase their harvest yields.