With the previous roundup being on our Hong Kong and Taiwan experiences, the next update on our global Fast Track tour we have for you brings us to New York City, a place once known as the home of fintech due to the natural abundance of financial related problems to be solved in close proximity to Wall Street and the financial districts. Interestingly, the ecosystem in New York is much more diverse now, and the area has seen a particular growth in the number of health and wellness themed startups, resulting in three relatively new medical and health accelerators springing up in recent years.
Our hosts in NYC were the wonderful SAP next-gen and Cela, who arranged a fabulous space for us to network with local ecosystem players and meet the best the city has to offer in mature startups and scaleups within the Smart Cities & Living theme. Cela works to bring together accelerators via community building and a flagship summit event whilst the SAP operations supports a variety of events and programs to engage in an open innovation network with its tech platform and wonderful event platform venue in Hudson Yards.
We were also blessed to have the support of the local NYC JETRO team and Japan startup experts from Rising Startups. JETRO have a strong presence in New York, representing Japan’s government support for NYC businesses wanting to enter Japan and Rising Startups is a NYC based community organization that works between Japan and the US in the area of startups, events and more.
As for our individual meetings with NYC companies, we were very happy with the quality of the startups we met, both in terms of unique technologies but also the level of traction the companies had achieved domestically, many already having secured Series A investment or beyond. Companies at this stage are typically looking to invest into entering large new markets which makes our pathway to Japan and large customers a great fit.
Next up for us was Toronto, the world’s 7th most livable city (according to The Economist Intelligence Unit) and, as it turns out, home to some amazingly innovative startups and brilliant founders. Further interesting was how aware some of these founders were already of the opportunity that Osaka and Japan presents their companies.
Our hosts in Toronto were The DMZ, a unique organization that is owned and operated by a local university but has a remit to support startups in Toronto regardless of affiliation via it’s award-winning accelerator programs. We also had our friends from Toronto JETRO and generous local mentors from Toronto Founders Institute and Techstars groups.
A massive thank you to all our partners and supporters who helped make this a wonderful networking opportunity and many thanks again to the awesome scaleup founders who we hope to see in Japan soon!