Jul. 28, 2020
HAX Tokyo Batch2 Opening Event
“HAX Tokyo”, an accelerator program (＊1) operated by Sumitomo Corporation jointly with SOSV (＊2) and SCSK (＊3) , held an online opening event on July 10 to announce the Batch2 participants of the program. At the event, five startups selected for the program were introduced, and they shared their enthusiasm to grow their businesses.
- Accelerator program: A program which provides startups that have innovative technologies and business models with know-how on how to create business and develop products, with the aim of accelerating their growth.
- SOSV: A US-based venture capital investor which operates HAX
- SCSK: A global IT service company of Sumitomo Corporation Group
The following five startups with unique characteristics were selected for the program.
- LexxPluss: Studies and sells automatic transfer robots used in warehouses that are highly customizable and low-priced
- Con-Tact: Studies sensors that give robots a human-like sense of touch and enable ambidexterity for industrial robots
- Zenco: Develops a robot arm system that can be controlled remotely
- CuboRex: Studies and sells add-on crawlers that can travel on rough terrain/roads such as farmland
- ORLIB: A venture originated from the University of Tokyo which develops new light-weight/high-capacity batteries
HAX is a global accelerator program with a proven track record, supporting startups that specialize in hardware such as robotics and IoT. The program consists of three stages, and startups selected as participants complete each stage through trial and error to grow their businesses. In Stage 1, also known as “HAX Shenzhen,” participants develop prototypes and prepare for manufacturing in Shenzhen, China. Stage 2 is called “HAX San Francisco.” In this stage, participants work on fund-raising and marketing in San Francisco, U.S.A. HAX Tokyo, which hosted this online event, is the “Stage 0” of the program. The objective of Stage 0 is for seed-level startups to establish their business ideas and core technology. Through these activities organized by HAX, we, Sumitomo Corporation, encourage Japanese startups to expand their business globally and support their growth.
Last year’s opening event for Batch1 was held at an innovation lab called “MIRAI LAB PALETTE” in Otemachi, Tokyo; however, we decided to hold this year’s event online in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the next three months, all stages of the program will be held online in preparation for Demo Day (achievement reporting session) scheduled for the end of September.
During the opening event, under the main theme of “How large companies should engage with startups,” we invited notable figures who support startups, including former Professor Jun Murai and Professor Hiroya Tanaka who taught/teaches at Keio University, as well as Dr. Tomy Kamada, CEO of TomyK, Ltd., who gave words of encouragement to HAX Tokyo and the five selected startups.
Ishikawa, a member of the Innovation & Investment Department in Sumitomo Corporation who is involved in the operation of HAX Tokyo, shared his/her views, saying “HAX Tokyo was able to launch Batch2 of the program amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the current situation, all stages of the program will be conducted online. While this is the first time for us to do it online, we hope to leverage the merits of hosting the program online and make it into a program in which startups can participate proactively. We believe HAX Tokyo can create a business model that will bring out a new world view that transcends existing industrial concepts. We are planning to host various events that will lead to open innovation, where not only the business units of our company will be able to participate, but other large companies as well. If you encounter issues such as, “we are facing challenges in our existing businesses” or “we want to start a new business but haven’t found any opportunities,” please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
HAX Tokyo shares their activities and various information on how to enable startups to succeed on its website, Facebook, Twitter and official note.
Startups with world-changing ideas and technologies may emerge from HAX Tokyo in the not-so-distant future. Please keep your eye on HAX Tokyo.