The latest batch of startups to join the San Francisco-based 500 Startups incubator has been announced, with 28 companies coming into the program. We’ll refrain from repeating them all here, as other blogs will take care of that. Did any Japanese companies make the cut this time? Two, in fact.
Whill, who we mentioned was a finalist at the SF Japan Night back in February has joined the program. The startup has the lofty goal of trying to help physically challenged individuals get around a little easier with its futuristic electric wheelchair add-on.
The other Japanese startup to join this batch is growth platform App Socially. We spoke with its founder Yusuke Takahashi earlier today to find out a little more about his move to join the ranks of 500 Startups. He explains:
This is like a new form of business school […] Mentors are really great and they come to meet us at the office and when we ask them, always happy to help us.
As for App Socially, he notes that up until now they have just been working with large Japanese companies like Recruit or Excite Japan. But from here they’ll try to create a ‘self-serve’ product that helps smaller businesses, like startups or individual engineers. They will also work towards improved user interface and customer development.
Citing Silicon Valley entrepreneur Steve Blank as a big inspiration, Yusuke’s efforts so far have not gone unnoticed, as his story was featured by the BBC last year. He has landed some contracts in the bay area from people looking to use their growth platform, and that’s a promising start.
To learn a little more about the service, you can check out App Socially’s slide deck below.