Samurai Incubate Launches 2nd Fund To Invest In 10 New Tech Start-ups

Samurai Incubate, a Tokyo-based seed accelerator aiming to bring up many Japanese tech start-ups, announced today the launch of its second fund which is worth 62 millon yen (=USD755,000).

With its first fund launched in 2009, the firm invested in nine tech start-ups including social translation service Conyac (refer to this Asiajin story), smartphone ad-optimizer Nobot (refer to this), Sassor and Rei Frontier.   (Refer to the Asiajin story via the link in the “See Also” section below for more details about Sassor and Rei Frontier.)

Mr. Kentaro Sakakibara, the firm’s CEO, says, it will complete investment in new ten tech start-ups by this coming March, and some of those will be registered as companies in the US to intend to compete in the international arena from their seed rounds to exits.   He told us that eight of the ten start-ups has not yet been introduced to the public, and they are brand new from the categories of share, cloud, lifelog and social services.

See Also:

Samurai Incubate Holds Annual 1-Day Camp For Young CEOs

Samurai Incubate, a Tokyo-based seed accelerator aiming to bring up many tech start-ups, had the second edition[J] of their annual showcase event in late November, which is called Samurai Venture Summit (for short, SVS) and showed us their investing portfolios and pitch presentations by CEOs of tech start-ups.   It was an one-day event using a several-story office building located in the heart of Shibuya, Tokyo, a number of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, media reporters and more came together to see the team’s presentations and discuss the future of Japanese start-up scenes.

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Picture: Taizo Son(left) (@taizoson[J]), a serial entrepreneur and the chairman of GungHo Online Entertainment[J], making a keynote speech and Kentaro Sakakibara(right), the founder/CEO of Samurai Incubate.

Their pitch presentations, each of which is ruled to be completed in a few minutes, are called “shout”, and start-up executives literally present very loudly what they are doing on their businesses and services.   It’s a funny experience and might look so strange for Westerners, but shouting something in front of a large audience means the expression of presenter’s hell-bent determination to make things happen.   35 start-ups pitched their presentations, I cannot cover them all but just pick up three excellent award winners in this story.

For those who are interested in watching the 35 presentations, check out our YouTube channel via this link.

3rd award winner: Granma

Tokyo-based start-up Granma, named after the yacht that was used to transport the fighters of the Cuban Revolution from Mexico to Cuba in 1956, develops a business for resolving poverty-related issues (causes) in South Asian countries and the rest of the world.   They recently launched a lodging facility called “Cause Village[J]” in Tokyo’s suburb, where start-up companies can have their brainstorming camps for developing future business plans.

2nd award winner: Sassor[E/J]

“Sassor” is a Tokyo-based group specializing in interactive and service design.   They are working on developing the Energy Literacy Program, ELP for short, that can help control daily electric power consumption of each home appliances.  The service consists of modules, receiver and website, and it can visualize the electric power consumption of each home appliances for grasping data easily.

(Sassor also presented at Infinity Venture Summit 2010 Fall in Kyoto as Serkan Toto reported here on Asiajin.)

Energy Literacy Platform from sassor on Vimeo.

1st award winner: Aiia Corporation[J]

Aiia is a Tokyo-based company publishing puzzle magazines and managing apparel brands.  They introduced their brand new magazine “Chakra[J]“, that earns more than USD100,000 ad revenue for an edition and brings readers their peace of mind, dream and happiness.   They’ve got a number of complaints from the readers that it has not helped to be happier. Aiia is currently seeking someone who is good at handling complainers. (Kidding us?)

Samurai Incubate was founded in 2008 by Kentaro Sakakibara (@samurai_ken[J]) who has previously worked with Shibuya-based web service conglomerate EC Navi (previously known as Axiv.com).