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How can academia research seeds benefit society?
One way is through startups.
UTokyo IPC assists potential entrepreneurs with an open submission program called 1stRound.
We provide advice and support on creating business plans, establishing a company, procuring funding, and more.

About 1stRound

1stRound assists academia startups procure initial funding.

1stRound applications are open to teams that have not yet received funding from outside sources, such as venture capital firms, as well as startups established within the last three years.
Teams selected by the program receive activity funding, support from specialists, and various resources such as offices, labs and cloud services in order to procure initial (1stRound) funding from investors in the most ideal form.

We provide the resources that startups and researchers require in the initial stages of establishing a company

One of Japan's Largest incubation programs spanning leading universities and research institutes

1stRound is organized jointly by UTokyo IPC, universities and research institutes in Japan. The program is held twice a year, in June and December.

  • the University of Tokyo
  • University of Tsukuba
  • Tokyo Medical and Dental University
  • Tokyo Institute of Technology
  • Kobe University
  • Hitotsubashi University
  • Nagoya University
  • Hokkaido University
  • Kyushu University
  • Waseda University
  • Keio University
  • Ritsumeikan University
  • Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University
  • Tokyo University Of Science
  • Kanazawa University
  • Kindai University
  • JAES
  • OIST
  • QST

Hands-on assistance from specialists and up to 10 million yen in non-equity funding that does not involve stock issuance

Teams that pass 1st Round screenings and are selected by the program receive extensive support from UTokyo IPC and our corporate partners. This includes receiving up to 10 million yen in non-equity funding without limits on how the funds are used, development tools and facilities such as cloud resources and offices, and six months of hands-on assistance from venture capitalists and other specialists.
Teams also get the chance to connect with executives from other academia startups, which can become great assets.

Consult us at any time about starting a company or commercializing your ideas

Even when 1stRound applications are closed, venture capitalists and 1st Round staff welcome consultations from researchers who want to start a business or teams preparing to launch a startup.
Feel free to contact us at any time, regardless of whether or not you are a member of the University of Tokyo.
We can also connect you to specialists from inside or outside the university depending on the topic of consultation.
Furthermore, since you can apply to 1st Round as many times as you like, we are always open to consultations on refining business plans.

Corporate partners and sponsors

1stRound is made possible with cooperation from our corporate partners and sponsors representing Japan’s industrial world.
We have seen many collaborations between our corporate partners and startups stemming from 1stRound, leading to the acceleration of open innovation.
When companies selected by 1stRound collaborate with a corporate partner and conduct verification tests within the support period, the expenses will be provided separately (maximum of five million yen).

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