Organised by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) and powered by Accenture, Mr Shohei Michael Maekawa (Director, Leave a Nest Singapore) was invited to speak at the Access2Tokyo event. The event was held on 25th July 2019, 6pm to 9pm at INSEAD Asia Campus in Singapore. The event was to publicise the Invest Tokyo initiative by TMG on attracting startups and investors into the Japan market.
The event consisted of four main segments:
- Why invest in Japan
- Where to invest
- How to enter the Japanese market
- Introduction to Leave a Nest
The talked opened with Mr Joshua Chia (Accenture) on a broad overview and statistics of the Japanese market. The aim was to explain why the Japanese market instead of other markets. Some key points were access to a large market (as compared to Singapore) and high profitability. He emphasised on the concerns such as language barriers, or high operating costs are warranted, but the returns are tenfold.
The next segment talked about where should investments be placed in Japan. One area to look at is the pension fund. Japan is ranked at the top as the largest pension fund in the world. With this, he emphasised on the wealth of untapped funds Japan has to offer, on top of the growing interest in alternative investments such as Venture Capitalists and Private Equities. Furthermore, there is a shortage of risk capital, which targets earlier stage startups and the opportunity to network with Japanese Multinational Corporations (MNCs).
Now, people will be asking ‘How do I enter the market?’. Here, some sample industries categories and their needs were laid out for the audience. In the Fourth Industrial Revolution businesses involved in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics are the current areas of interest in the Japanese market. Ms Maya Ibrahim elaborated further on the Invest Tokyo initiative, which aimed to alleviate the hurdles required to enter the Japanese market. At current, three programmes fall under the initiative, a Business Camp in Tokyo, Free Consultation services, and the Tokyo Financial Awards.
At this event, Leave a Nest was invited to speak to showcase to the audience on what we as a company are doing to bridge business and researchers in Southeast Asia to Japanese corporates. Mr Maekawa highlighted on ACSLs growth through Leave a Nest’s network and eventually into a listed company in the Japan Stock Exchange. He further elaborated on the support provided such as incubation support by Centre of Garage, investment arms such as Real Tech Fund, and new business creation via the TechPush programme. Japanese corporates often have patented technologies and are seeking out new ideas for its applications. Furthermore, the Japanese market has a large number of institutions which equates to securing of share prices when opting for IPO.
At the end of the talk, the audience became interested in talking to Leave a Nest members to find more about our vision and core business.
Access2Tokyo is an event to attract and facilitate the entry of foreign FinTech and Industry 4.0 companies into Japan. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) has launched the Invest Tokyo 2019 initiative.