KDDI joining forces with 13 top Japanese companies to launch incubation initiative



Japan’s Nikkei reported today that Japan’s second largest telco KDDI will join forces with 13 Japanese established companies to launch a startup incubation initiative. The initiative will choose five candidates for the next batch of KDDI’s entrepreneurship program Mugen Labo.

Participating companies include Seven & i Holding (parent company of Seven Eleven convenience store chain and Ito Yokado supermarkets), Mitsui & Co. (trading), Kokuyo (stationery manufacturing), Dai Nippon Printing, Bandai Namco Holdings (game), Tokyu Corporation (railway), Mitsui Fudosan (real estate), Plus (stationery manufacturing), Kintetsu International (travel agency), Softfront, Parco (department store), TV Asahi, and Toppan Printing. They will give qualified startups not only funds but also intangible resources through the program, such as sales marketing data (Seven & i) or design knowledge to develop products (Kokuyo).

Because this is in addition to Open Innovation Fund, the company plans to form a new fund to invest in high-profile startups born out of the new initiative.