The 3rd Blockbuster TOKYO 2020 took place on July 7 as an online event. This is one of Japan’s largest technological seed development and acceleration programs specializing in drug discovery and was hosted jointly by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Beyond Next Ventures Corporation. I Peace CEO, Tanabe and professor Hiromitsu Nakauchi of the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford University, spoke to researchers and entrepreneurs aiming to start businesses to commercialize new technologies based on their own experience as researchers.
Blockbuster Tokyo is the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s acceleration initiative that aims to encourage the establishment and growth of pharmaceutical and medical startups by providing various forms of support to address the challenges startups face. Support can include need-based mentoring from experts in various fields, helping to pair participants with corporates, investors and other support organizations, free access to shared laboratory and office, research and development support and pitch presentation opportunities abroad, etc.
Professor Nakauchi and Tanabe discussed the landscape for creation of new technologies at universities, the supporting environments surrounding startups in Japan and the U.S., differences in the background of researchers and how to overcome barriers to starting a business. Participants also discussed balancing business with university duties and the first steps to launch a startup. Tanabe offered advice from his own experience that the first step is to pitch presentations to investors and other stakeholders.