|21 October, 2018

Japanese tech start-ups show confidence in the UAE

Three Japanese start-ups to expand into the Middle East

  • “The UAE is the perfect home for Japanese innovation and expertise…” – JETRO MD
  • Space company and part of Japanese government’s elite J-Startup program, ispace, generates significant buzz at GITEX Future Stars
  • GITEX Future Stars 2018 marks the Japanese government and JETRO’s first international mission under the new J-Startup program

Dubai, UAE: Three Japanese start-ups representing sectors that include artificial intelligence (A.I.), media and healthcare are announcing their intent to expand into the UAE according to the Japanese External Trade Organization (JETRO). Following a successful run at GITEX Future Stars 2018 – the Japanese government and JETRO’s first international mission under its new J-Startup program – media company FreakOut Holdings, Inc., healthcare app Allm Inc. and award-winning A.I. company Empath, confirmed plans to expand into the UAE with a view to use their new UAE base as a launchpad into the wider MENA region. The start-ups were among 19 innovative and dynamic Japanese companies showcasing their innovative technology and services to regional audiences at GITEX Future Stars.

The new development is in line with the overarching mandate of JETRO to facilitate and foster business between Japan and the rest of the world and follows the April 2018 signing of a Joint Statement on Deepening and Strengthening Strategic Partnerships by both Japan and the United Arab Emirates. It also follows Dubai being named a Global Acceleration Hub under the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s elite J-Startup program. As a Global Acceleration Hub, JETRO’s Dubai office will support Japanese start-ups with extensive and increased access to regional professional networks and opportunities.

For JETRO, its showing at GITEX Future Stars – its largest to date – and the news that three Japanese start-ups are taking steps to establish presence in the UAE is indicative of the growing ties, and shared goals between the UAE and Japan: “The UAE is the perfect home for Japanese innovation and expertise. There is a strong correlation between the sectors represented by the Japanese start-ups at GITEX Future Stars and UAE’s national ambitions across a number the fields including advance technology, artificial intelligence and space activities. We are thrilled to see Japanese start-ups expand in the UAE and stronger ties between the two countries,” said Mr. Masami Ando, Managing Director of JETRO Dubai and MENA.

Among the 19 innovative start-ups hosted by JETRO at GITEX Future Stars were four selected under the J-Startup program. J-Startup company ispace generated significant buzz through offering visitors a glimpse into the future of space exploration. J-Startup selected A.I. start-up VISITS Technology Inc. made an impact with its patented consensus-building algorithm “Ideagram”, while Unipos Inc. a finalist of the Supernova Challenge and one of the top 5% of GITEX Future Stars exhibitors, showcased its HR technology that allows employees to honor their colleagues through micro-peer bonuses. Contract semiconductor hardware firm CONNECTEC JAPAN Corp, also a J-Startup, showcased its world-first IoT assembly technology.

To ensure a successful showing, JETRO also engaged Middle East technology and e-commerce entrepreneur, Paul Kenny to lead an intensive mentorship program that saw Kenny mentor the start-ups both in the UAE and Japan with a view for them to foster long-lasting partnerships in the region.

“I am proud to be part of the success stories of these three Japanese start-ups and look forward to their progress in this market. We have seen tremendous progress here over the past few years, making it a rich market for budding entrepreneurs to launch ambitious projects,” stated Kenny.


About J-Startup

The J-Startup program was launched in June 2018 by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry with a mission is to foster and grow Japan’s growing start-up sector which at present, number over 10,000. Under the program, promoting start-ups have been selected by recommendation of experts, and private and public organisations unite their efforts to provide selected start-ups with intensive support measures. J-Startup promotes the global expansion of Japanese start-ups and by virtue, hopes to add new value, innovation and technology to the world. For more information on J-Startup, visit: https://j-startup.go.jp/about/docs/J-Startup_EN_181009.pdf 


The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is a government agency that seeks to promote mutual trade and investment between Japan and the rest of the world through a global network spread over 70 regional offices abroad and over 40 offices in Japan. JETRO, which was established in 1958 to primarily promote Japanese exports abroad, now has an expanded mandate that is focused on promoting foreign direct investment into Japan and assisting small to medium size Japanese firms maximize their global export potential. JETRO’s core activities also include J-Startup, the program for Japanese high-tech startups and innovators to accelerate their business to overseas through information sharing, mentoring and networking across as series of Global Acceleration Hubs such as Dubai.   For more information on JETRO UAE, visit: https://www.jetro.go.jp/uae/ 

For more information, contact:

Dawn Barnable

The B Collective for JETRO

E: DawnB@thebcollectiveme.com

M: +971 56 430 7201

© Press Release 2018

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