Type of Funding
The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) is inviting entrepreneurs from all over the world with innovative technologies that have the potential to make a positive impact on society, to apply for the Innovation Square Startup Accelerator (I2@OIST). The program will start 1 April 2019 and end 31 March 2020. Participants will attend the residency program at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, where they will receive the funding, mentoring, and partnerships required to launch their technology ventures. The I2@OIST Accelerator combines talent, facilities, and resources from OIST with the most innovative, global technology entrepreneurs to build startups together.
Participants will receive awards ranging from 3 to 10 million JPY. The funds can be used for:
- Personnel (salary, benefits)
- Lab supplies
- Contract research and
- Travel to conferences and exhibitions.
Participants will also be given Lab and office space and access to OIST core research equipment and resources. They will be connected to the OIST research and business network and receive mentorship from expert industry mentors. They will undergo Professional Training under the Lean Startup Entrepreneurship Program, and attend business planning and project management courses. They will also have access to professional services like corporate legal advice and intellectual property advice; administrative services; and IT services.
Applicants can be from anywhere in the world, including Japan, but they must be passionate about their work and possess innovative technologies ranging in Technology Readiness Level of 3 to 6, that have the potential to make a positive impact on society (see the Official Website for descriptions of the various Technology Readiness Levels). All technology fields will be considered except projects requiring pharmaceutical/drug clinical trials (pre-clinical is eligible).
If selected, the founder or team leader must devote 100% effort on the project for the duration of the accelerator program.
Applications will be judged on:
- Passion and commitment to the technology and project
- Suitability to OIST environment and resources
- Composition of team
- Technical merit
- Market potential
- Goals achievable within program duration and
- Societal impact (Okinawa, Japan, the World).
Applications are to be done online. The letter of intent must be submitted by 7 December 2018 and the full proposal by 21 December 2018.