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  • Writer's pictureIgor Expeditus F. Garcia

Xploring Tokyo’s Startup Ecosystem

The Ateneo Intellectual Property Office (AIPO), in collaboration with Leave a Nest Japan, held the 2nd TechXplore Tokyo, last May 26 to June 2, 2024. in Tokyo, Japan. The educational tour immersed participants in the vibrant startup ecosystem of the country.


Photo: Xploring at Leave a Nest


The program provided a unique opportunity for 15 college students from the Ateneo de Manila University to gain firsthand insights into the journey of Japanese businesses from inception to becoming established corporations.


The tour was meticulously designed to showcase the various levels of business startups in Japan. The itinerary included visits to startup incubators, MSMEs (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises), startups, and established corporations, each demonstrating a different phase in the lifecycle of a business. The various stops included Sophia University, Hamano Products, Center of Garage, Flicfit, Euglena, Honda Innovation Center, Kirin, and Panasonic Center. The trip also featured several key speakers on each visit, including a speaker from Sony.


Photo: Xploring at Sophia University


The participants were able to observe how ideas are conceived based on societal needs, nurtured and developed by incubators, and eventually evolve into fully-fledged corporations despite the challenges and trials they face along the way.


Photo: Xploring at Hamano Products


Photo: Xploring at Center of Garage


A tour of the offices, facilities, and laboratories of the companies was also provided to the students. These tours gave a behind-the-scenes look at the operational processes and technological advancements driving these businesses. The exposure to research and development environments, state-of-the-art production lines, and innovative workspaces offered the students a comprehensive understanding of the Japanese approach to business and technology.


Photo: Xploring at Flicfit


Photo: Xploring at Euglena


Photo: Xploring at Honda Innovation Center


Moreover, the students also had the opportunity to try out the “in-shoe navigation system to support the visually impaired” from Ashirase to use throughout their stay. Afterwards, they were able to give invaluable feedback on improvement of the products on how it can be applied in the Philippine environment.


Photo: Xploring at Kirin


Photo: Xploring at Panasonic


Photo: Xploring at Leave a Nest


Towards the end of each visit, the participants had the avenue to pitch their own ideas to these Japanese startups, proposing potential collaborations that could pave the way for the expansion of these businesses into the Philippine market. A participant mentioned that: 


“The program was able to meet and even exceed my expectations. One great experience that I want to commend is the opportunity to have talks with different entrepreneurs from Center of Garage over a meal, making it feel very casual or natural.” 


This exchange not only allowed the students to practice and refine their pitching skills but also opened doors for cross-border partnerships, leveraging the unique strengths and innovations of both countries.

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The Ateneo TechXplore program is here to continue. Please check out our website for future announcements at https://www.aipo.ateneo.edu/aipotechxplore or email us at aipo@ateneo.edu. You may also check our Facebook and LinkedIn pages for the latest updates and announcements.


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