Kyoto’s Makers Boot Camp accelerator launches $17.5M fund to back IoT startups

From left: Shingo Nadaka (Deputy Director of Kyoto Shisaku Net), Masatoshi Takeda (Director of Darma Tech Labs/ Director of Kyoto Shisaku Net), Narimasa Makino (CEO of Darma Tech Labs), Masahiko Naka (Executive Director of Kyoto Bank)
Image credit: Darma Tech Labs

See the original story in Japanese.

Kyoto-based Darma Tech Labs, which runs the Makers Boot Camp (MBC) hardware startup-focused accelerator, announced in Kyoto on Tuesday that it is forming an investment fund worth 2 billion yen (nearly $18 million US) with having Kyoto Bank (TSE: 8369) as an anchor limited partner.

In addition to Narimasa Makino, CEO of Darma Tech Labs, Shingo Nadaka the Deputy Director of local manufacturing organization Kyoto Shisaku Net, and Director Masatoshi Takeda (also Director of Darma Tech Labs), and Masahiko Naka, the Executive Director of Kyoto Bank also attended the press briefing held on that day.

The fund is called MBC Shisaku No. 1 Investment LP and its redemption period is 10 years. They will intensively invest in early stage hardware startups in Japan, North America, and Europe. Priority investment areas include IoT, robotics, sensing, networking, big data analysis, medical devices, nursing care, lifestyle, environment and energy.

Along with forming this fund, Mikuni Kimura, the former chief investment officer for Future Venture Capital, along with certified public accountant Manabu Kuwahara will participate as managing directors at Darma Tech Labs, and expanding their field of partners by joining with New York City-based FabFoundry, the CEO Nobuhiro Seki will be appointed as a director of Darma Tech Labs.

Darma Tech Labs, the facilitators of MBC, also regularly holds Monozukuri Hub Meetup at the co-working space MTRL Kyoto (Material Kyoto) to focus on creating a community of hardware startups. At the Monozukuri Hardware Cup, held for the first time in Osaka in February, eight hardware startup teams from Japan came, with the three teams of QD Laser, PLENGoer, and VAQSO, being invited to the Hardware Startup Pitch Competition put on by the Pittsburgh-based hardware startup AlphaLab Gear.

Translated by Amanda Imasaka
Edited by Masaru Ikeda