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Rising Japanese startups to watch in 2022

by | May 4, 2022

Japan has long held the image of a country of innovation and exciting new technical developments, and nowhere is that truer than in its burgeoning startup ecosystem. The new “Startup City Project Japan” site, hosted by JETRO, highlights 70 rising startups to watch in 2022 from all across Japan, including 5 companies founded in Yokohama City: Archelis, J-Pharma, atDose, MediGear International, and Anaut.


The 70 rising startups to watch featured on the site are all graduates of the “Startup City Acceleration Program,” which partners with some of the world’s most renowned accelerators to provide global growth potential to promising startups in Japan through collaborations with government, companies, and regional cities. These startups have been categorized by area: a number of high-profile innovative areas in Japan have been designated by the national government as “Global Startup Cities,” the largest of which is the Tokyo area, which includes Tokyo, Yokohama, Kawasaki, and other nearby cities.


Yokohama is the second largest city in Japan, and startups located or founded in Yokohama enjoy the benefits of being a part of the country’s largest Global Startup City, as well as easy access to nearby innovation ecosystems, and the great quality of life that comes with Yokohama’s unique atmosphere. Over the last few years there have been many new support initiatives popping up in the city for entrepreneurs and open innovation, such as the Yokohama Future Organization, the YOXO BOX startup center, CONNECT’s International Springboard in Yokohama and many more. In fact, 4 of the 5 Yokohama-based startups that appear on the Startup City Project Japan” website have participated in the CONNECT Springboard acceleration program. Through initiatives like these, “Innovation City Yokohama” is attracting some amazing ideas and talented startup companies through its unwavering dedication to supporting challengers and innovation drivers.


Without further ado, here are the rising startups to watch from Yokohama selected for the “Startup City Project Japan” list:



Based in Yokohama, Archelis has developed an innovative and easy to use lower-body exoskeleton that allows for a seamless transition between freedom of movement and stability, to support any workers who have to spend long hours standing up. The legs of the exoskeleton are able to seamlessly lock into place or unlock at will, and by distributing weight and supporting the body through the shins and thighs, it allows users to relax and “sit” in the supportive and comfortable device while still standing upright. While developed with medical use in mind, the “archelis” exoskeleton product has great potential in a variety of fields, including factory workers, security guards, farmers, cooks, etc.


Company description with comments from the Techstars accelerator:



J-Pharma: A clinical stage bio-venture company based in Yokohama that focuses on membrane transporters, J-Pharma is working on helping treat incurable diseases, such as advanced cancer patients who were unable to benefit from standard chemotherapy. The company is currently in clinical development of a compound that inhibits the “LAT1” essential amino acid transporter, which has been a recent target for drug discovery in the scientific community after its discovery by the founder himself, a former professor of Kyorin University Faculty of Medicine.


Company description with comments from the CIC accelerator:



atDose is based in Yokohama and is developing a mobile dosing and infusing device which can dose a very small amount precisely at a target point. Cheaper, smaller, and more efficient than the competition, they are aiming for their eponymous “atDose” line of products to become the start of a medication platform that will see fundamental change in conventional treatment to cancer, and other serious diseases.


Company description with comments from the CIC accelerator:


MediGear International:

A startup company founded in Yokohama that is developing a minimally-invasive cancer treatment using biometabolic nanodevices that locally attack cancer tissue without the use of drugs, and improve the quality of life for patients with no therapeutic options remaining. The nanodevice particles are self-targeting, repeatable, and degradable, and act to block the supply of oxygen and nutrients to cancerous tumor cells. MediGear International currently holds a patent in Japan, and patents pending in the US, EU, and China.


Company description with comments from the Berkeley Skydeck accelerator:



Founded in Yokohama, Anaut is revolutionizing clinical practice by using highly-accurate AI that analyzes complex and difficult-to-recognize information in the body in real time to implement precision mapping. These surgical maps can recognize, analyze, and highlight anatomical structure that differ from patient to patient, with the goal of providing safer care and surgery to patients.


Company description with comments from the Berkeley Skydeck accelerator:



Startup City Project Japan’s full list of rising startups to watch from Japan:

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