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Tokyo’s fintech startup accelerator opens for new entrants

Tokyo has launched the 2019 iteration of its accelerator program for fintech startups: FinTech Business Camp Tokyo.

The campaign is run by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and forms part of ‘Global Financial City: Tokyo Vision’.

The initiative, first launched in 2017, looks to encourage foreign companies to pioneer fintech solutions and business models not yet seen in Japan. Some of the advanced technologies the program cites as examples are AI, IoT, blockchain, VR/AR and robotics.

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The accelerator program promises successful applicants the opportunity to meet with mentor companies which operate in Tokyo, networking opportunities, PR, free office space and practical support with setting up in Tokyo, such as translation services and meeting facilitation.

TMG commented: “The program is targeted at foreign startup companies operating in the fintech industry and aims to provide them with mentoring from leading companies in Japan’s finance sector, as well as business matching with companies in Tokyo.”

Fintech in Japan has not taken off with the same gusto as other regions of Asia. For examples, cashless payments have seen relatively slow uptake: in 2016, only 20% of payments were cashless.

Applications for this year are now open, with a deadline of 5 July 2019. Up until this year, a total of 19 companies have been selected for the program. Around 10 companies will be chosen for the 2019 edition.  

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