Japanese entertainment retail conglomerate launches startup incubation program



See the original story in Japanese.

T-media Holdings, the internet business-focused intermediate stock holding company of Japan’s largest bookstore chain operator Culture Convenience Club (CCC for short, TSE:4756), held a briefing with their subsidiaries IMJ and IMJ Investment Partners on Friday. CCC is Japan’s largest bookstore chain operator.

The internet business-focused company group announced that it has launched a startup support program called T-Venture Program. Under this program, every participating startup can integrate T-site user accounts and fundraise up to 100 million yen ($894,000) from IMJ Investment Partners when necessary.

Making full use of the strength of their assets, such as a database of 50 million members of CCC’s cross-industry loyalty program, a database of films and music titles available in Japan, as well as their rewards point system, T-media Holdings wants to help startups market their apps or web services by driving user traffic and cross marketing between T-media holdings’ media portal T-site and its affiliated web services.

T-Media Holdings will give these startups the convenience of testing integration with the T-site platform in advance, which the company thinks will differentiate them from similar incubators. On a related note, they will release a T-site mobile app in early November.

Through this program, T-media Holdings aims to invite web services other than what the company provides, such as services for pets, cooking, health and beauty, cameras, kids, and bicycles. It will add them into their service line-ups for consumers in partnership with participating startups. Applicant startups must be younger than five years, but not only consumer-focused services but also tools or technology-oriented projects are welcomed.

To take part submit an application via this form by November 28. About 40 teams will be selected in the first screening, which will be narrowed to 10 finalists during the second screening process based on a face-to-face interview. Finalists will be presented at an event to be held on 20 January 2015 at Shibuya Hikarie, Tokyo. CCC founder and CEO Muneaki Masuda will take part.

In November, T-media Holdings plans to hold briefing events in Kyoto, Osaka, and Fukuoka. If you reside outside Tokyo but are interested in participating in the program, check out these opportunities.

Q&A session with entrepreneurs at a briefing on Friday. L to R: T-media Holdings CEO Toru Sakurai, managing director Hiroshi Nemoto, oprating officer Shinga Sakata, IMJ Investment partners' Japan office manager Hiroshi Oka
Q&A session with entrepreneurs at a briefing event on Friday.
L to R: T-media Holdings CEO Toru Sakurai, managing director Hiroshi Nemoto, operating officer Shinga Sakata, IMJ Investment partners’ Japan office manager Hiroshi Oka