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Scrum Ventures launches new program to connect startups with Japanese corporations

Masami Takahashi, the president of Scrum Studio. Image Credits: Scrum Ventures

Headquartered in San Francisco and Tokyo, Scrum Ventures is known for its accelerator programs focused on sports, food and smart-city tech. Today it announced the launch of a new incubator program that will help startups form business partnerships with Japanese corporations.

Called Scrum Studio, it will be spun out as an independent entity from Scrum Ventures, and headed by Masami Takahashi, who was previously chief strategy officer and general manager for WeWork Japan. Before that, he led Uber’s operations in Japan.

Takahashi told TechCrunch that Scrum Studio is currently focused on the startups in its current accelerator programs (Sports Tech Tokyo, SmartCityX and Food Tech Studio), but plans to launch new programs in the future that also center on specific verticals. Through Scrum Studio, startups will be able to establish subsidiaries in Japan, or form joint ventures with Japanese companies.

Scrum already has more than 50 Japanese corporate partners, including Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance, energy company Idemitsu Kosan Co and East Japan Railway Company for Smart City X, and Fuji Oil Holdings, Nissin Food Holdings and ITO EN for Food Tech Studio.

“We are looking to work with startups and technology that can help solve some of the challenges that our society faces today,” Takahashi said in an email. “These include, but are not limited to, sustainability, health, safety, waste reduction, and efficiency of cities and their people.”

Early Stage is the premier “how-to” event for startup entrepreneurs and investors. You’ll hear firsthand how some of the most successful founders and VCs build their businesses, raise money and manage their portfolios. We’ll cover every aspect of company building: Fundraising, recruiting, sales, product-market fit, PR, marketing and brand building. Each session also has audience participation built-in — there’s ample time included for audience questions and discussion.

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