JETRO Partners with Top Accelerators for Startup City Acceleration Program

Sep 22, 2021

JETRO will host an online acceleration program in partnership with the Cabinet Office of Japan from October 2021 to March 2022.  In this program, JETRO will collaborate with 6 major accelerators to cultivate the growth of Japanese startup ecosystems - serving as an entry for Japanese startups within the global market. Startups will receive firsthand mentorship, matching opportunities with foreign investors, and new business partnerships.

This year JETRO will select 100 top startups from innovation hubs across Japan. JETRO will support their global expansion by providing specific courses in specialized areas such as B2B, bio-healthcare, Climate/Cleantech, and University-based deep tech. Each course will be administered by a top accelerator which specializes in each area. Techstars, Alchemist, Cambridge Innovation Center, Plug and Play, Berkeley SkyDeck, and World Innovation Lab will all support startups of various growth stages via these courses.

An introductory boot camp followed by weeks of in-depth sessions will be culminated in a demo day when each startup showcases what they have built to a global audience of investors.  


This cohort will be sector agnostic and will feature a wide range of startups from various verticals and stages. This cohort will be run by Techstars.


This cohort will be comprised of startups engaging in the verticals relating to Climate Tech, Cleantech, energy, green-tech, materials, and sustainability. This cohort will also be run by Techstars, who have been focusing on Cleantech and sustainability with their own new programs and initiatives.

About Techstars

Founded in 2006, Techstars began with three simple ideas - entrepreneurs create a better future for everyone, collaboration drives innovation, and great ideas can come from anywhere. Techstars has invested in more than 2,300 companies and has a portfolio valued at more than $185B.


This cohort will consist of startups focusing on primarily health and biotech in verticals such as digital health, medical devices, healthcare services, life sciences and pharmaceuticals. Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) will run this course with their extensive knowledge of the US medical and bio landscape.

About Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC)

Founded in 1999 in Cambridge, MA, CIC has supported over 7,500 startup and technology companies, and over $13.5 billion has been invested in companies that began within CIC spaces. At CIC, we believe in the power of innovation to build a better world. More info at



This cohort will consist of startups that solely focus on business-to-business (B2B) models. These sectors include B2B, B2B2C, and SaaS (software-as-a-service), as well as any other service type businesses. This course will be run by Alchemist Accelerator, an industry leader in supporting B2B startups.

About Alchemist

Alchemist is a venture-backed accelerator focused on the development of seed-stage ventures that monetize from enterprises (not consumers). CB Insights rated Alchemist the top accelerator based on median funding rates of its grads. Learn more at or email


This cohort will consist of various startups of all stages and will be industry agnostic. The purpose of this cohort is to target Japanese startups who  are very early in thinking about global expansion. This will be the largest cohort and will be handled by two Silicon Valley and Tokyo based accelerators equally. These are WiL (World Innovation Lab) and Plug-and-Play, both of whom have extensive experience supporting Japanese startups in particular and have a vast native Japanese staff of business experts.

About World Innovation Lab (WiL)

World Innovation Lab (WiL) is a US & Japan-based VC with capital from governments and leading global corporations in Japan and throughout Asia. WiL helps US startups expand to Japan and Asia, and Japanese startups expand worldwide. The firm also works with its corporate investors on evolving their own innovation capabilities through new business creation, partnerships with leading startups, and organizational culture change. For more information, visit

About Plug and Play Tech Center

Plug and Play is a leading innovation platform, connecting startups, corporations, venture capital firms, universities, and government agencies. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Plug and Play is present in 40+ locations across five continents. For more information, visit

This cohort will consist of startups or spinouts from top Universities in Japan. These universities are eager to monetize their fascinating deep tech which cover various sectors and solve tough challenges. They are looking to develop programs similar to top US Universities which produce competitive startups originating from researchers and students. This course will be run by Berkeley SkyDeck, which is a world leader in startups originating from universities.

About Berkeley SkyDeck

Named in Forbes as a top five U.S. university accelerator, SkyDeck combines hands-on mentorship with the vast resources of its research university. SkyDeck is the only accelerator that provides funding for its startups via a public-private partnership, providing returns directly back to UC Berkeley from the SkyDeck Fund. For more information, see