The Germany (Berlin/Munich) Expansion Support Course has ended. This 3-month-long acceleration program, organized by X-HUB TOKYO, offered various support for companies looking to expand to Germany, including mentoring and instructions on formulating pitches for overseas investors, or matching sessions with potential business partners. But how did this intensive course help its participants? Let’s take a closer look at the participating companies of the Germany Course at the X-HUB event held on April 16th.
1. Tokyo Hearth
It’s said that about 80% of real-estate owners in Japan don’t accept foreign tenants. Tokyo Hearth has taken it upon themselves to address this problem and “globalize Japan from Tokyo” by providing an online rental management service that takes care of rental agreements, insurance, and payments on behalf of the owners in a variety of languages. Tomonari Kino, the company’s CEO, is currently planning various new business developments, like specialized concept houses, based on customer needs determined by examining Tokyo Hearth’s user data. He used the X-HUB program to look for business partners and obtain information about the German market. Going forward, he’s planning to develop closer ties with foreign companies and VCs.
2. Ascent Robotics
Ascent Robotics envisions a future where AI is just as intelligent as humans and can perform complex tasks. Currently, they are developing AI software for industrial robots and cars using deep learning while providing a framework for training AI more efficiently. Ascent Robotics is also venturing out into car design. To that end, they’re conducting cooperative research with European companies and planning on selling their products on the European market. The company has joined the X-HUB program in anticipation of establishing a base of operations overseas. Fred Almeida, the company’s CEO, said that “Throughout this year, we will continue negations with BMW and other German businesses,” confirming that the program has helped Ascent Robotics kickstart their expansion into Europe.
Originating at Tokyo University, LPixel is a startup that’s bringing innovation to the fields of medicine, pharmaceuticals, and life sciences by using image analysis and diagnostic imagining assistive technology. They’ve developed highly-precise AI software by partnering up with a number of research institutes like Tokyo University, and IT companies like NVIDIA or Microsoft. Currently, they’re working on “EIRL,” an image diagnosis support software developed for use in the field of diagnostic radiology where it will help read MRI brain scans using AI. Nozomi Takino, a senior sales manager at the company’s R&D division, said that, going forward, LPixel will focus on their European expansion. On the topic of the X-HUB program, he recalled that: “It helped us put together all the necessary data for pitching the idea of us developing our products on the European market. We also learned a lot about Europe’s local startup ecosystems.”
In Japan, over 70,000 people die every year due to sudden cardiac arrest. In many cases, bystanders don’t know how to perform CPR or use an AED before the ambulance arrives, making this a huge social problem. The situation is especially bad in Tokyo, which has the lowest percentage of CPR attempts in the entire country. In 2020, with the influx of tourists to Japan, the need for first-aid will only increase so it’s of the utmost importance to address this problem now. According to Coaido, the solution lies in the brand-new field of “Survival x Technology.” The company aims to create a “free network of assistance” with the development of their “Coaido119” emergency information sharing app, which contacts 119, Japan’s emergency services number, while sending an SOS signal to anyone in the vicinity who’s certified to provide medical assistance. Makoto Gensho, the company’s CEO, said about the X-HUB program: “By opening up serious dialogue with potential business partners, the program helped us confirm that there is a real need for our services in Europe and that expanding there is a definite possibility for us.” Going forward, the company will continue to conduct verification tests in Japan while accelerating their overseas expansion efforts.
While the world waits for connected and self-driving cars to become the norm, nothing decisive is being done to stop those technologies from being hacked while you’re driving them. “Hacking is a real concern in those areas,” said Sossna Adrian V. J the Manager, Strategic Business Development of Trillium. The company is developing and providing durable and lightweight multilayer cybersecurity software solutions for implementing encryption and key management technologies in IoT devices. By doing so, they hope to bring about safe and reliable connected cars and self-driving vehicles. Trillium has already grown their business by partnering up with a number of European companies in Japan and is looking at Germany as a foothold for a full-scale European expansion. Thanks to the X-HUB program helping them open negotiations with potential business partners, the company now has a real chance of establishing a base of operations in Europe.
Thanks to the X-HUB program, the five companies challenging themselves on the Western startup scene have become more certain about their decision to expand overseas and have already started moving decisively towards the next stage of their plan. We are looking forward to the day when their services become available in Europe.