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Scrum Ventures launches new program to connect startups with Japanese corporations

Masami Takahashi, the president of Scrum Studios

Headquartered in San Francisco and Tokyo, Scrum Ventures is known for its accelerator programs focused on sports, food and smart city tech. Today it announced the launch of a new incubator program that will help startups from business partnerships with Japanese corporations.

Called Scrum Studio, it will be spun out as an independent entity from Scrum Ventures, and headed by Masami Takahasi, who was previously strategy officer and general manager for WeWork Japan. Before that, he led Uber’s operations in Japan.

Takahasi told TechCrunch that Scrum Studio is currently focused on the startups in its current accelerator programs (Sports Tech Tokyo, SmartCityX and Food Tech Studio), but plans to launch new programs in the future that also center on specific verticals. Through Scrum Studio, startups will be able to establish subsidiaries in Japan, or form joint ventures with Japanese companies.

Scrum already has more than 50 Japanese corporate partners, including Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance, energy company Idemitsu Kosan Co and East Japan Railway Company for Smart City X, and Fuji Oil Holdings, Nissin Food Holdings and ITO EN for Food Tech Studio.

“We are looking to work with startups and technology that can help solve some of the challenges that our society faces today,” Takahasi said in an email. “These include, but are not limited to, sustainability, health, safety, waste reduction, and efficiency of cities and their people.”

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