Japanese robotics entrepreneur forms $20M fund for bio and energy startups

Takashi Kato (picture from his website)
Takashi Kato (picture from his website)

Our readers may recall that Japanese robotics company Schaft was recently acquired by Google and won the DARPA robotics challenge trials. Bloomberg reported yesterday that the company’s co-founder Takashi Kato will form a new 2 billion yen fund (approximately $19 million) for Japanese startups focused on biotechnology and energy efficiency segments. It will be called 246 Capital.

In the process of negotiating with Google during the acquisition process, he tried to get funds from 10 investment firms and the state-run fund Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ). But his efforts didn’t work out. In response to this disappointing experience, he plans to launch a scheme to help Japanese engineers and scientists get funding to complementary to their research and development expenses. Kato hopes to invest in companies developing cancer treatment devices and analytics technology for genetics since his own mother died from skin cancer.

Efforts from successful entrepreneurs that help others in the ecosystem is really a great thing to see in Japan. Our readers may recall that we recently featured a number of up-and-coming robotics startups from Japan, many of whose founders grew out from the creative digital company TeamLab.

Via Bloomberg