OSAKA, Japan, July 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Plug and Play Japan KK (Head office: Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; President: Philip Vincent, hereinafter "Plug and Play Japan") is pleased to announce the opening of its third office in Japan in Osaka City, Osaka prefecture, on July 21st, 2020.
Plug and Play Osaka will be located at Knowledge Capital in Osaka City and will carry out an accelerator program focused on Smart Cities. Together with founding anchor partners including Daikin Industries, Ltd., Kintetsu Group Holdings Co.,Ltd., Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc., Resona Holdings,Inc., Obayashi Corporation, DENTSU INC., and ecosystem partner TAKENAKA CORPORATION, we aim to contribute to the startup ecosystem in Keihanshin Metropolitan area.
Plug and Play is a world-class global venture capital/accelerator that partners with leading companies to support startups with innovative technologies and ideas. It carries out over 60 accelerator programs annually, providing more than 400+ companies with solutions to drive innovations. In addition, we have accelerated 2,000+ startups since its inception in 2006.
Plug and Play Japan was established in July 2017 and celebrated its third anniversary earlier this month. Plug and Play Japan has implemented five programs so far, and has selected and accelerated a total of 400 domestic and international startups in the programs, together with 43 corporate partners as of July 21st, 2020.
In addition to the Plug and Play Tokyo office, Plug and Play opened in Kyoto last year and is announcing their third location in Japan, "Plug and Play Osaka," with seven founding partners.
Osaka, a city that boasts a history of 1,400 years, has prospered as a gateway from other countries with foreign trades and diplomatic relations since ancient times. With the opportunity to hold global events such as Osaka/Kansai Expo 2025, Plug and Play aims to contribute to the development of Osaka's progress towards building a Smart City.
Currently in Osaka, various social issues, such as challenges associated with changes in demographic structure (declining birthrate/working-age population and increasing aging population), revitalization of urban infrastructure and new towns that were rapidly developed during the bubble economic growth period, and severe weather disasters etc, are becoming more and more apparent. There is a limit to the conventional solution methods, requiring new countermeasures utilizing advanced technologies.
To solve these urban social issues, the first program of Plug and Play Osaka will be carried out at Knowledge Capital in Grand Front Osaka, which is the most innovative hub in Osaka's startup ecosystem, under the theme of Smart Cities. The first program will focus on the following categoriese（1）Smart Life & Construction,（2）Travel & Experiences,（3）Urban Mobility & Clean Tech,（4）Hospitality & Health.
In addition, the program will be operated with the cooperation from Osaka Prefecture, Osaka City, Kinki Economic Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and Knowledge Capital.
Plug and Play Osaka's mission is to make the Keihanshin Metropolitan area one of the world's leading startup ecosystems. About half of the startups selected for the Plug and Play Japan program come from overseas. Leveraging their network spanning more than 30 locations in 16 countries around the world (as of July 21st, 2020), Plug and Play will hold their accelerator program in Osaka with companies who want to incorporate new urban solutions that utilize advanced technology.
Applications for the first accelerator program of Plug and Play Osaka will start from July 21st through September 7th. In addition, corporate partners are welcome to join at any time.
■ Comments from Founding Partners
Daikin Industries, Ltd. Deputy Director of Technology & Innovation Center and Director of CVC Office Mr. Taro Mitani We are committed to "open innovation" to create new value while actively incorporating external technologies and knowledge. We are currently working extensively with universities and companies. Also, we are working with startups to develop new products. Through working with external parties, we are seeing various possibilities creating innovative services and business models.
To accelerate the open innovation, we will collaborate with Plug and Play Osaka and create innovations under the theme of smart cities to reduce environmental damage and contribute to people's well-being. In particular, Osaka, where the program will be held, is home to the company's headquarters, production facilities, and the Technology Innovation Center. We aim to create global achievements by creating new internal contacts with startups around the world through Plug and Play Osaka.
Kintetsu Group Holdings Co.,Ltd., Director of General Planning Department President of Kintetsu Venture Partners Co., Ltd. Mr. Kazuhito Fujita I would like to congratulate Plug and Play on the opening of Plug and Play Osaka.
The Kintetsu Group has developed a wide variety of businesses that support the daily lives of various people, including railway, real estate, distribution, and leisure businesses.
In recent years, in order to provide new value to the local community, we are promoting business creation through the utilization of technology and open innovation such as realizing digital regional currencies, MaaS, and the establishment of CVC.
We are facing difficulties due to COVID-19 today. We would like to further promote collaborative creation with domestic and overseas startups and partner companies by joining Plug and Play Osaka in order to respond to the changes in society. We will contribute to the realization of a "rich-life" in the new era and the development of the global ecosystem in the Kansai region.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. Member of the Board of Directors,Deputy President Mr. Naoki Hori Congratulations on the opening of Plug and Play Osaka. In Osaka, which will continue to grow in the future, I hope Plug and Play Osaka will be the gateway for many startups. Despite the current instability on a global scale, MUFG will continue to contribute to the development of the startup ecosystem in Osaka with startups and other corporate partners.
Resona Holdings, Inc. Executive Officer (in charge of Group Strategy Department) Mr. Gen Nakahara Congratulations on the opening of Plug and Play Osaka. In the Osaka and Kansai region, there are high expectations for the creation of innovation aiming at the Osaka, Kansai EXPO 2025. The Resona Group will accelerate its efforts for open innovation to provide new value through co-creation. We will contribute to the sustainable development of the economy of Osaka and the Kansai region.
Obayashi Corporation Executive Vice President, General Manager of Osaka Main Office, General Manager of Yumeshima Development Division Mr. Isamu Kakeno Congratulations on the opening of Plug and Play Osaka. With the advance of innovative technologies such as AI, IoT, and Mobility, we are seeing the creation of new innovations. We have high hopes for the creation of new innovation through collaboration between the unique construction and urban development technologies we have cultivated over many years and the excellent smart technologies that startups own.
TAKENAKA CORPORATION Managing Officer, Director of Technology Division Mr. Rikuta Murakami I would like to congratulate Plug and Play on the opening of Plug and Play Osaka.
Our company has challenged the construction and town development by inheriting the mastermind since it was founded in 1610 and actively incorporating new technology and advanced design.
It's been four years since we've been involved in Silicon Valley launched your construction and real estate program.
We are looking forward to the open innovation from Osaka through the smart city program based in Osaka. Even with the new lifestyle of during/after COVID-19, we would like to work together with new initiatives that can contribute to the development of society.
We pray for your continued growth and look forward to your partnership.
■ Comments from related parties
Governor of Osaka Prefecture Mr. Hirofumi Yoshimura I would like to congratulate Plug and Play on the opening of Plug and Play Osaka.
We are pleased to announce the opening of an innovation hub in Osaka where we aim to create a "smart city" on the Osaka Model. I hope the opening of this office will attract more smart city related startups in Osaka for the local issue resolution in the post COVID-19.
Mayor of Osaka Mr. Ichirō Matsui Congratulations on the opening of Plug and Play Osaka.
We are proud to announce the opening of the new office of Plug and Play, an innovation-driven company which has offices in major cities around the world. Because the Osaka, Kansai EXPO 2025 is coming up, I hope this would be a great opportunity for innovative startups to aim global expansion from Osaka.
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Officer of Kansai Bureau of Economy,Trade and Industry Mr. Takeshi Yonemura We congratulate you Plug and Play on the opening of Plug and Play Osaka.
The Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe area was recently selected as a "Central Japan Startup Ecosystem Consortium" by the Cabinet Office, and we realized that Osaka has the potential to become one of the top cities, accelerating innovation. Because the Osaka, Kansai EXPO 2025 is coming up, I hope Plug and Play Osaka will strengthen the venture/startup ecosystem.
Knowledge Capital Association Representative Director Mr. Hideo Miyahara We are very happy that Plug and Play, which is one of the leading accelerators in the world, will open a new base, Plug and Play Osaka, in Knowledge Capital.
To open the base, we have concluded a comprehensive agreement between Knowledge Capital and Plug and Play Japan to support startups and develop human resources.
In the future, we will work together in various fields such as accelerator programs, intellectual property utilization, human resource development programs for young people, and strive to form the core base of the startup ecosystem in Kansai region.
■ Plug and Play Osaka Overview Date of establishment: July 1st, 2020 Address: Knowledge Capital, 8th floor, Grand Front Osaka, 3-1 Ofuka-cho, Kita-ku, Osaka 530-0011
■ About Knowledge Capital Name: Knowledge Capital URL: https://kc-i.jp/ Date of establishment: April 2013 Address: Grand Front Osaka, 3-1 Ofuka-cho, Kita-ku, Osaka 530-0011 Business description: Management of places for intellectual creation and interaction (coworking, shared offices, business-supported programs, etc.)
About Plug and Play Japan Accelerator Program Plug and Play Japan works with our corporate partner companies to support startups in Japan and overseas to grow up as global startups by providing a 3-month accelerator program which focuses on themes from different industries.
Through this program, startups can leverage the resources of multiple corporate partners and have the opportunity to work with a large number of different corporations. Startups from Japan aiming for global expansion can obtain pitch opportunities in our Silicon Valley HQ, and access to the global market while overseas startups aiming for Japan market entry will gain related support and resources as well. In addition, corporate partners will be provided with opportunities such as individual interviews, networking and deal flow sessions (business matching) with selected startups.
About Plug and Play Plug and Play is a global innovation platform. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, we have built accelerator programs, corporate innovation services, and an in-house VC to make technological advancement progress faster than ever before. Since inception in 2006, our programs have expanded worldwide to include a presence in over 30 locations globally, giving startups the necessary resources to succeed in Silicon Valley and beyond. With over 30,000 startups and 400 official corporate partners, we have created the ultimate startup ecosystem in many industries. Companies in our community have raised over $9 billion in funding, with successful portfolio exits including Danger, Dropbox, Lending Club and PayPal.
Plug and Play Japan KK
〒150-0043 Shibuya Center Place 3F, 1-16-3 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo