Incubator programs are a popular way of nurturing fledgling companies in need of resources and experience to grow their business. In the US, UploadVR recently announced The Upload Collective based in San Francisco, and now Tokyo VR Startups (TVS) and gumi Inc. has unveiled a new virtual reality (VR) incubator for Japanese firms.
The incubator will invite Japan-based startup companies to develop prototypes of VR products and services for six months, between January – June 2016) with the potential to progress globally in the future. Firms involved will see support through dedicated seed funding, workspaces, and back-office services. TVS will also supply mentors and TVS staff, with gumi Inc. supporting participants with expert guidance, development and business support.
Hironao Kunimitsu, CEO of gumi Inc. and Tokyo VR Startups said in a statement: “With the rising demand for virtual reality technology across a wide variety of verticals and solutions, we believed it was the right time for us to support the advancement of this market by bringing together the financial and mentorship resources needed to accelerate open innovation in the Japanese technology industry. As such, we’ve brought together some of the leading minds in the industry to help Japanese VR upstarts expand globally, and we’re looking forward to the growth of this market in the coming years.”
Specialist mentors invited by TVS include: Kazuyuki Hashimoto, Senior Director, Entertainment Technology at NVIDIA Japan, Yoichi Wada, Former CEO at Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. and Shigeo Maruyama, Director at Two 4 Seven, Inc., Former Chairman at Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE), Inc. and former CEO at Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc., among many others.
VRFocus will continue to follow the progress of the TVS incubator and the projects that come out of the program, reporting back with any further announcements.