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A five-point compendium of recent features on the state of state of start-up and investment culture in Japan:

  • Hampered by cautious investors and a rigid corporate culture, Japan has produced just a handful of major startups. AFP-Jiji took a look at why there are so few Japanese “unicorns,” although industry insiders say there are signs things could be changing.
  • Japan stands at the dawn of a new golden age for entrepreneurs, argues ever-optimistic Jesper Koll. Now that one of the biggest obstacles for growth and expansion has finally disappeared, Japan will be reborn post-COVID-19 as a startup nation. Hallelujah!
7 innovative Japanese startups you should watch out for now | 2020 | ROBLOX ALUMNI
7 innovative Japanese startups you should watch out for now | 2020 | ROBLOX ALUMNI
  • Need an app? A Japanese startup has a platform for that. The glaring need for creators has fueled investor expectations for startup Yappli, which designs off-the-shelf apps that clients can manage locally with no need to hire programmers.
  • Boring is where it’s at — and we’re not talking about drilling holes in stuff. Japan’s hot startup stocks have two things in common: They do business in areas that could be described as dull, dull, dull, but they’ve pushed their founders into the league of the ultrawealthy.
  • Though SoftBank is also invested in plenty of low-wage areas, its bets in Scandinavia suggest that cheap labor isn’t the draw it once was — and highlight how countries that pay average workers really well often come up with some of the smartest tech.

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