In preparation for a day of innovation workshopping with a number of Japanese companies, we had the opportunity to attend Slush Asia in Tokyo and soak up the entrepreneurial spirit of the local startup scene.
Slush Asia kicking off at the keynote stage.
Slush Asia was held for the first time this year. It’s a one day event that brings together startups, successful entrepreneurs, investors and curious onlookers for a day of demos, pitches, keynote speeches and investor meetings. All in a setting that makes you feel like you are at a happening nightclub or a trendy music festival. Nearly 3000 visitors attended the event. It's hard to believe all this was put together in a few months by team Slush Asia - well done!
The futuristic domes at the event grounds.
More so than in Finland there were alot of product engineering, robotics, gaming HW, and healthcare related startups pitching and demoing at Slush Asia. Also many lifestyle products and startups working in the intersection of art and technology. Here are three interesting startups that stood out from the crowd:
Listening to words of wisdom from Supercell's Ilkka Paananen.
There was also a lot of discussions about the state of entrepreneurship in Japan on and off the Slush stages. There seems to be a shared feeling that the Japanese could be more innovative. Here are some of the barriers to creating an innovative culture in Japan:
Efforts are on the way by the current prime minister as well as active entrepreneurs and investors in the Tokyo startup ecosystem to change the situation. They are building networks, introduce new ways of thinking and doing, changing perceptions and celebrating successes. Slush Asia is definately doing a great job fostering the startup mindset in Tokyo. It was a real treat attending!
Slush Asia by night.