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Applications open for support under ZENTECH DOJO NIHONBASHI
accelerator program for life science startups (until 12/6)

November 10, 2016
INDEE Japan Ltd.
Life Science Innovation Network Japan, Inc. (LINK-J)
Mitsui Fudosan Co. Ltd.

Tokyo, Japan, November 10, 2016-INDEE Japan Ltd., a company providing support for entrepreneurs, in-house venture businesses and other startups, and Life Science Innovation Network Japan Inc. (LINK-J), an incorporated association founded by Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd. (Mitsui Fudosan) and a group of volunteers from academia, are working together to organize ZENTECH DOJO NIHONBASHI, an accelerator program aimed at entrepreneurs, for the second time in 2017. Applications for participants seeking support under the 2017 Phase I (January - March) will be open until Tuesday December 6, 2016.

Unlike conventional venture capital or other forms of startup support, the ZENTECH DOJO NIHONBASHI accelerator program places greater importance on intangible support in areas such as knowledge, experience and networking, than on financial support. The aim of the program is to help entrepreneurs to explore the first steps of starting up a business, at the stage before they have formulated a business model. That means intensively plotting and developing with a concrete business model in a short period of time, so as to generate the greatest possible value from each entrepreneur’s vision, new ideas or new technologies. Funding is provided from an early stage as the program being their “angel investor,” before handing over to venture capital or other more suitable support organizations capable of providing funding on a larger scale.

Support under the ZENTECH DOJO NIHONBASHI accelerator program


  • The process of converting ideas and technology into “value”
  • How to devise an effective business model
  • Silicon Valley-style “Lean Startup”
  • Choosing an effective area of business as a startup
  • Fundraising


  • Mentors with startup experience
  • Networking with venture capitalists
  • Fellow entrepreneurs
  • Space to work, IT infrastructure
  • Initial funding to explore business potential (¥3 million)

Lowering Risk

*Main risks for startups

  • Investing massively in developing a product with no demand
  • Being caught up by major companies and losing your market
  • High development costs
  • High product costs
  • Poor fundraising strategy
  • Incompatible with investors/banks

The first batch of this program, from July to September 2016, led to the creation of MiCAN Technologies, a company that is aiming to harness iPS cell technologies to develop drugs that will combat infectious diseases such as Malaria in developing countries.

Over the course of the three-month program, the entrepreneurs behind the company were able to refine their grand vision of developing new drugs for infectious diseases to set out specific milestones at each stage. Having conducted interviews with actual researchers based on their technology, the entrepreneurs were able to map out a realistic business strategy for new drug development and enter into partnership negotiations with overseas organizations. The program will once again be actively supporting entrepreneurs who have issues that they want to solve using their own new ideas or technologies, even if they are yet to work out any concrete business plans.

Applications guidelines are as follows.

Program Outline / Application Guidelines

Organizer INDEE Japan Ltd.
Co-sponsor Life Science Innovation Network Japan, Inc. (LINK-J)
Applicants Persons looking to start a business, or who have already started a business, in areas of the life science industry such as medicine or healthcare (no restrictions on age or affiliation)
Stage: “Pre-seed” to “Seed” (prior to “Seed A”)
Criteria Applicants should have an issue that they are determined to resolve
The issue should be of real significance, and be related to medicine, lifestyles, and education (“life science” in the broader sense)
There should be potential for this program to add significant value to the applicant’s ideas
*Maximum of four companies (numbers capped since this is our hands-on implementation targeting initial-stage companies.)
Selection process Review of documents and discussion (sharing ideas and thoughts)
Matching interview with candidate mentors who will be in charge of the support Decision made by panel of mentors
Schedule Application deadline: Tuesday December 6
Applicants selected: Friday December 16
Main support Mentoring by experienced entrepreneurs
Space to work, IT infrastructure
Network of venture capitalists
Initial funding to explore business potential (¥3 million)
(*Funding will be provided to companies immediately after successful applicants have been selected. Entrepreneurs who have not yet set up a company will receive funding when they establish a company.)
Curriculum January 2017
  • Kick-off meeting
  • Weekly mentoring
  • Weekly teaching
    • What is value
    • What is a business model
    • Risks associated with starting a business
    • Capital policy
February 2017
  • Networking
  • Weekly mentoring
  • Office hour
    • Business domain/products
    • Lean startup
    • Financial models
    • Fundraising
March 2017
  • Gathering
  • Weekly mentoring
    • Pitch training
  • Demo day (pitches)
Mentors Shingo Tsuda (Technical Director, INDEE Japan, Ltd.)
Tatsuro Tsushima (Managing Director, INDEE Japan, Ltd.)
Yusuke Kohno (CEO, JITSUBO Co. Ltd.)
Pete Bonee (Partner, Innosight Ventures)
Piyush Chaplot (VP, Finance & Investments, Innosight Ventures)
Advisors Akihiko Soyama (President and Chief Executive Officer, LINK-J)
Nobuyuki Nitta (President, Dai-Ichi Kangyo Credit Cooperative)
Hiroaki Tanaka (Chief Advisor/Attorney, Startup Support Division, Dai-Ichi Kangyo Credit Cooperative)
Venue Nihonbashi Life Science Building, 10F (2-3-11 Nihonbashi-Honcho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo)

About INDEE Japan, Ltd.

INDEE Japan provides acceleration in areas such as medicine, healthcare, renewable energy, nursing care services and education, to startups and corporations with an emphasis on turning ideas into something effective. INDEE is a partner of Innosight, founded by Professor Clayton Christensen from Harvard Business School, the renowned author of “The Innovator’s Dilemma”.

About Life Science Innovation Network Japan, Inc. (LINK-J)

LINK-J is a general incorporated association established by Mitsui Fudosan and volunteers from academic circles. With its base in the Nihonbashi area, where a number of pharmaceutical companies are clustered, LINK-J aims to promote open innovation in the life science realm through industry-government-academia cooperation and extend support to the creation of new industries. Across the entire life science area, i.e., the area where all sciences are combined, ranging from medicine to science and further to engineering or new technologies, such as information and communication technology (ICT) or artificial intelligence (AI), it will accelerate interdisciplinary human and technological exchanges.

Nihonbashi Life Science Hub

Mitsui Fudosan has created the following life science bases in Nihonbashi.