28-year-old launches $4.5M startup fund for western Japan city of Fukuoka


See the original story in Japanese.

Japanese seed startup incubator Samurai Incubate was founded in Tokyo, back in 2008. Since then this incubator has relocated its headquarters to a new building called Samurai Startup Island in Tokyo’s waterfront. Shota Morozumi, now 28 of age, had until recently been serving as a director for its incubation initiative. He started becoming involved in the startup scene through interviews on his personal blog Entrepreneurs’ Mind while attending university. After graduation, he continued to spend a lot of his time following Japanese entrepreneurs. He quit Samurai Incubate in January to move on to the next stage.

Morozumi announced the launch of his own first startup fund called F Ventures today. The size of the funds is expected to be 500 million yen (about $4.5 million). He will spend almost a full year from now to raise more funds from investors.

f-ventures_logoF Ventures, derived from the initial letter of Fukuoka where Morozumi was born and raised, is focused on participating in seed round investments, with amounts ranging from 5 to 15 million yen ($4.5 to $13.4 million) per investment deal. It sees local entrepreneurs, startups with a plan to relocate to Fukuoka and Asian startups working closely with Fukuoka as their investees. They have already decided to invest soon in two Japanese startups and several Korean startups.

Leveraging the ability to act rather than experience or knowledge, Morozumi claims that he will be committed to providing investments in startups with hands-on support for public relations, not to mention human resource inculcation and development through partnership with programming schools and by holding hackathon events.

For the time being, he will spend half a month at East Ventures office in Tokyo and spend the remainder at Startup Cafe, a startup incubation hub run by the local city government in Fukuoka. Futhermore, CEO Shogo Sato of Tokyo-based producer nurturing company Qreator Agent, known for ex-manager of popular Japanese comedy duos Ninety-nine and London Boots Ichi-gō Ni-gō, will participate in the funds as an advisor upon finding promising startups and in supporting entrepreneurs.

Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy