Japan’s strengths in research present a major opportunity for scaling biotechnology start-ups. To address the challenge of limited access to entrepreneurship coaching and capital hindering global expansion, the Japan Society of Northern California (JSNC) and OviBees Ventures are implementing bioJent, a one-year entrepreneurship support program to build cultural and business ties between the U.S. and Japan, with a focus on venture capital and entrepreneurship coaching in the biotechnology sector.
The program targets academia-origin founders, university technology transfer practitioners in biotech, Japanese biotechnology professors, and venture capital investors. The primary objectives include:
1. Identifying, training, and coaching the target audience through a workshop event.
2. Increasing investments in Japan-based biotech start-ups by connecting U.S. and Japanese biotech investors and venture capitalists.
3. Establishing a foundation for a Japan-based biotech investment pipeline and follow-up activities.
4. Catalyzing export business opportunities in Japan for American biotech startups.
The successful implementation of the program will create a U.S.-Japan community of biotech-focused founders, practitioners, and executives. It will also lead to increased investments in Japanese biotech start-ups by U.S. investors, improved entrepreneurship skills and international connectivity among Japanese researchers and start-up founders, and new market opportunities for U.S. companies targeting Japan’s aging population.
The one-year program consists of the following sets of activities:
1. Virtual Broadcast Series (VBS): A series of three virtual discussions will increase the visibility of investment opportunities in the Japanese biotech sector. Topics covered will include successful biotech ventures, raising capital, and building effective teams.
2. Biotech Ventures Workshop in Tokyo: A practical training and coaching event in Tokyo will bring together stakeholders for networking, fundraising pitching to investors, and technology and entrepreneurship skill-building. Selected Japanese biotech ventures will have the opportunity to pitch their ventures to a group of U.S. and Japanese investors and entrepreneurs.
3. Virtual 3-month Coaching: The top five ventures selected during the Tokyo Workshop will receive up to six hours of coaching over three months. The coaching will focus on supporting business strategy, development, and operations.
BioJent entrepreneurship program is a vital step towards strengthening U.S.-Japan ties in the biotechnology sector, fostering global collaboration, and unleashing the full potential of Japan’s innovative research. By empowering Japanese ventures with the right resources, the program will create a thriving ecosystem of biotech start-ups, benefitting both countries and making a lasting impact on the global biotechnology industry.
Japan Society of Northern California (JSNC), A bridge between worlds.
Founded in 1905, the Japan Society of Northern California has been dedicated to promoting friendship and collaboration between the United States and Japan. With a strong focus on innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship, the JSNC has been fostering educational and networking programs in the San Francisco Bay Area and Japan. Over the years, the organization has played a pivotal role in connecting Silicon Valley with Japan, facilitating fruitful partnerships in various fields.
The JSNC’s expertise lies in organizing events, symposia, and conferences that bring together industry, academic, and government leaders shaping the Japan-U.S. relationship. Notably, the annual US-Japan Innovation Awards Symposium in partnership with Stanford University, now in its 13th year, and the US-Japan Healthcare Connection are among their successful initiatives. With a track record of running programs in Japan, including the U.S.-Japan Healthcare Connection in partnership with the US Foreign Commercial Service, JSNC has consistently promoted collaborations and opportunities between the two nations.
Under the guidance of the JSNC, this new program focusing on strengthening U.S.-Japan biotech ventures aims to continue fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in the region and create lasting impacts on both countries’ economies.
OviBees Ventures, Build Local. Reach Global.
OviBees Ventures, LLC is a forward-looking venture accelerator with a mission to globalize the most promising early-stage tech startups. We unleash the potential of start-ups in emerging and developed markets through public-private partnerships, comprehensive venture support and strategic partner introductions. Our cross-border expertise and business networks provide us with a leading edge to drive deep market transformations through an entrepreneurs centric approach.
OviBees Ventures designs and deploys a wide range of startup ecosystem activities from venture ideation caravans to startup bootcamps and nationwide startup competitions. Our in-country activities are empowered, and scaled through our proprietary online and mobile platforms which are adapted and customized for the specific countries and industries of focus. We know how to build hope and by building hope we build communities of like-minded trailblazers.
Ovidiu Bujorean, a MIT and Harvard alumni and scholar of the Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program, the founder of OviBees Ventures, is a leader in designing and implementing platforms that encourage technology-based entrepreneurship at country and regional levels. His previous work with The GIST Network, the U.S. Department of State flagship entrepreneurship program, a global enterprise building entrepreneurial ecosystems across 135 countries, showcased his dedication to fostering entrepreneurship on a global scale.