Japan’s bio venture firm Leave A Nest plans to build startup hub in the Philippines

Mon Jun 5, 2017 - 4:25am GMT+0000
Japan’s bio venture firm Leave A Nest is building a startup hub in the Philippines

Japan’s Leave a Nest Co Ltd, a science communication firm and investor is considering to launch a local hub in the Philippines.

Leave a Nest’s president and CEO Yukihiro Maru said in a statement that he is interested in setting up a local branch in Metro Manila by next year, as part of a move to reach its goal of establishing the largest knowledge platform for science.

The hub will offer the same services as its overseas branches in the United States, United Kingdom, Singapore, and Malaysia through providing capacity building seminars, business development support, research development, and revitalization of the local areas.

It would focus on educating, investing, and accelerating startups which are involved with deep science technology or real tech.

According to Maru, this includes sectors like biotech, agritech, and healthcare – whereby startups build businesses that are differentiated and hard to reproduce in terms of its technological or scientific advances.

Meanwhile, the hub like its Japan headquarter and other overseas branches will also work together with universities, training programmes, and local companies to understand the specific needs of a nation and spread science education.

“That’s why we need a local presence here in the Philippines, for customization and localization,” Maru explains. “So far, the problems in the country that we think need to be addressed are pollution, traffic jams, and healthcare.”

The solutions lie in the country itself as Maru further adds, “we see a lot of potential among young students in universities and we hope to connect them to major companies and build, procreate real tech from the Philippines. We can form joint ventures and invest in young talents.”

Meanwhile, the Japanese firm operates a real tech fund with a capital of about US$90 million (10 billion yen) backed by national grants, joint venture partners, venture capital firms, and other investors.

The fund is held under Leave a Nest’s seed acceleration programme known as Tech Planter, which has supported over 70 early stage startups in Japan since 2014.

Through Tech Planter, the Tokyo-based bio venture firm is currently hosting a series of startup competitions around the world. It has so far awarded grand prize winners in India, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand, whom will all compete in the Asia-Pacific finals on July 29, 2017 in Singapore.