Startups and entrepreneurs from all over the world, rejoice! A new generation of global entrepreneurs is emerging in Japan. We were very happy to take part in the first startup event organised by Skyland Venture on the 21st of June: Skyland Venture Fest Tokyo (#SVFT) under the theme “Global STARTUPS meet Global TALENTS”. This event held at Microsoft office, gathered prestigious speakers, global startups and attracted a diverse community of entrepreneurs and startup aficionados. The talks were entirely held in English which is rather new for startup events held in Japan and we were very impressed by the courage of the speakers who talked in front of a big audience in their non native language.
The organiser, Skyland Venture led by Max Kinoshita (@kinoshitay), has already garnered some successful startups in its portfolio including the app game Brainwars, the Fresh Fish marketplace Hachimenroppi and the curation media platform Kaumo.jp.
The VCs won the adhesion of a hundred volunteer staff for the event whose members were made up of a diverse and energetic team of young entrepreneurs and students. #SVFT began with a talk between Max Kinoshita (@kinoshitay) and Mr.Morikawa (@moriakit), former CEO of Line and now CEO of C Channel, a new type of broadcasting company focused on young women. Mr.Morikawa welcomes the change brought by newly created companies which make Japan more dynamic and able to move away from the traditional model. He also stresses the change of speed brought about by tech and the need to find a customer niche value and to move quickly – not only for strategic decisions but also for global talent search.
If you would like to read more about Mr.Morikawa’s talk and morning sessions, please read this post on The Bridge blog (in Japanese).
#SVFT featured numerous talks all day which included POWER CORE CEO (Rok you co-founder) Jia Shen who introduces his new smart toy startup,serial entrepreneur Oscar Yasser Noriega about his new video app and personal experience as a startup entrepreneur, Antti Sonninen from Slush Asia about creating a global startup and more global speakers from all over Asia. As for the main stage talks, visitors could also attend fireside chats led by founders, CEO, investors and tech press. The startup booths were pretty busy all day with tech companies offering diverse solutions from virtual reality, robotics, education, recruitment and personal finance. Startup teams spent all day showcasing their products and services including Justa, an online platform for those wishing to find a startup job in Asia, the personal finance app Quick Money Recorder, a user generated content platform called Kaumo and the English learning tool BeNative.
The day ended with a fierce startup battle featuring 5 international judges and 10 global startups. Each presentation was inspiring and all participants spoke with passion about their startups and projects in English. The winner came all the way from Los Angeles with a platform dedicated to maritime shipping. We invite you to read the Tech in Asia article to get to know more about each startup.
#SVFT was a very successful event and we believe that it will continue to grow in the future. A new session of #SVFT will be held in December, we cannot wait for more global startup action!