Tokyo, Japan – On June 24, Kotozna, Inc. was selected by a panel of 66 experts to join the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s startup support program J-Startup. The program aims to “incubate internationally competitive and winning startups and encourage them to provide new value to the rest of the world through their innovative technologies and business models.”
As a result of this selection, Kotozna, Inc will fully utilize the opportunity to accelerate its vision of providing value added services to the global market.
[ About J-Startup ]
A new initiative created by the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) in 2018, the J-Startup Program cultivates the brightest of Japan’s startups to succeed in the world market. Recommenders from leading business communities determine and select a group from over 10,000 Japanese startups to join the program. The J-Startup support community, consisting of venture capitalists, accelerators, large corporations and government organizations, will connect private/public support, including global expansion, to the selected startups.
[ Vision of J-Startup ]
The government of Japan has been holding discussions concerning a national goal that Japan should establish 20 new venture businesses with a corporate value or market capitalization of over 1 billion dollars, targeting those unlisted (unicorn companies) and listed, by 2023.*
Under the J-Startup program, METI will aim to achieve the governmental goal through incubation of promising startups that are expected to expand internationally and will also create role models that encourage society to cultivate entrepreneurship, a mindset motivating people to take on new challenges and establish a business. Through this initiative, METI will aim to further fortify the startup ecosystem in Japan.
*Source: Chapter 2 “Specific Measures” of the initial draft of the Investments for the Future Strategy 2018 described in the distributed document 4-2 at the 17th meeting of the Council on Investments for the Future (released on June 4, 2018)
[ About Kotozna, Inc ]
Found in 2016, Kotozna, Inc. is an IT service company using cutting-edge technology to solve language barriers. Its most popular product is Kotozna Chat, a service that bridges multiple messaging apps such as Messenger and Line to communicate with each other while providing real-time translations. Its flagship product, Kotozna Camera, provides multi-language translation services by scanning QR codes.
Formally known as JaQool, Inc., Kotozna, Inc. was found by Genri Goto, founder and former CEO of Kenko.com, and Takaaki Kamio, founder of Mindpallet, which was known for Snapee, a photography social network.
[ Vision of Kotozna, Inc ]
Japan is seeing a growing influx of visitors from all around the world. It had 31 million visitors in 2018, and is predicted to have 40 million annual visitors by 2020. Japan will be hosting the Olympics, Paralympics, Rugby World Cup, World Masters Games and Osaka World Expo in the next few years, and will be experiencing visitors to areas that have not seen many people from overseas.
Yet Japan still struggles from language barriers. The top complaint from foreign visitors is the “inability to communicate with local staff” (Japan Tourism Agency 2016 survey). Combined with the urgency to be able to relay information to everyone in the event of a natural disaster, the issue of communication has been a hot topic.
Kotozna, Inc. has come up with several solutions using artificial intelligence and cutting-edge technology to combat language barrier issues. The company intends to further its product development to combine these solutions to contribute to the much needed regional revitalization of Japan’s countryside.
Multilingual communication is a theme that is in the spotlight not only in Japan, but also on a global level as well. With the ease in travel on a scale never seen before, breaking down the language barrier has become a priority. Kotozna, Inc. aims to play a larger role in creating a better world by sharing the benefits of the latest technologies, such as innovative artificial intelligence and machine translations capabilities, to all those in any country or region, regardless of nationality, age, gender, language or any other differentiating categories.
Moto-Akasaka 1-7-20, KIZUNA WEST 1F,
Minatoku, Tokyo 107-0051, Japan
Daimyo 2-12-12, Akasaka Sangyo Building 4F,
Chuoku, Fukuokashi 810-0041, Japan
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