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X-Hub Tokyo and L Marks Start Up Programme

X-Hub Tokyo is an acceleration platform, backed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, to connect Tokyo and the global innovation ecosystem, and accelerate startups that are pioneering a new era.

In 2023, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) engaged L Marks to structure and lead their programme in the UK to support the global growth of Tokyo-based startups by providing them with the information necessary to conquer the UK market, human networks with large companies and VCs, as well as mentoring, pitch training and other opportunities.

Over 6 months, leveraging our proven startup support approach, we guided 10 innovative startups from Tokyo through a comprehensive journey, connecting them with partners, investors, and potential clients, and equipped them with the key knowledge and networks to enter the UK market effectively. The participants came from a wide range of technologies, industries and funding stages which allowed the cohort to learn from one another in group sessions while tackling their individual goals.

The key programme aims covered these key areas:

Business Development: To meet and explore partnerships and commercial opportunities with relevant businesses in the UK, to validate market readiness.

Investment: To meet and network with investors who would either directly or indirectly support the startups with capital and/or connections to the wider investment ecosystem.

Skills and Tools: To gain significant upskilling through mentoring and workshops that would equip startups with UK knowledge, best practise, and technical understanding of how to expand into the UK efficiently.

Demo Day: A final showcase of all the startups, their progression and investment slides. Startups presented in front of investors, corporates and startup ecosystem attendees.

‘Both Demo Day and Investor Networking really helped me connect with local investors. In fact, Demo Day and the networking opportunities around it were the most valuable part of the whole programme. I learned a lot that will definitely help me fundraise in the UK later on. There were plenty of chances to chat with industry pros throughout the networking events!’

– Startup Participant



The programme was designed to welcome innovative startups from all tech sectors, fueled by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s objective to support startups who have an ambition and readiness to explore markets outside of Japan. Collaborating with our counterparts at the JETRO Tokyo and London, L Marks led the startup participants to success through our well-structured processes; giving each participant vast exposure to domain-specific mentorship, business development, investor connections and an in-depth understanding of business set-up in the UK.

Startup applicants were selected against robust scoring criteria, assessed by a panel of experts, followed by a virtual panel interview which covered elements of their product, motivation and ability to expand into a new territory. From this, a final 10 candidates were shortlisted and began the process of onboarding onto the programme. The collaborations throughout the 6 months were steered by the L Marks team, who took the lead in organising all elements of the programme including networking opportunities and workshops.

Showcasing the opportunities outside of London, the participating startups visited BT’s Adastral Park and Norwich Research Park ecosystems. The programme culminated in the Demo Day finale event, bringing together the 10 participating startups, alongside audience members including; investors, corporates, government officials and startup ecosystem members.

Upon completion of the programme, each participant gained an in-depth understanding of penetrating the UK market, including a go-to-market strategy, targeted stakeholders and support mechanisms to expand fluently. In the span of 6 months, over a combined 50 business meetings took place, leading to 6 formal agreements signed, so far as we know.


Dioseve

Dioseve, a biotech venture featured in international renowned journal Nature, which aims to commercialise cutting-edge revolutionary technology, DIO (Directly Induced Oocyte), which is capable of producing an extremely large yield of fertilizable egg cells at a minimal cost in a fraction of the time.
Dioseve aims to create state-of-the-art solutions to a myriad of problems surrounding pregnancy, including infertility as a result of age and hereditary disorders. With UK’s strong biotechnology infrastructure, the team connected to many early stage biotech VCs and academia with a research focus.

Socious

Socious is a talent marketplace that makes impact work accessible and transparent. They connect purpose-driven professionals with impact organizations through AI matching. They use blockchain to make impact work traceable and reward contributions.

TKG Therapeutics

TKG Therapeutics is an innovative biotech startup developing cancer therapies that activate the innate immune response system through unique mechanisms of action. With UK government’s focus on cancer research, this startup focused on collaborations in the UK market.

Solit

Solit is a harmonised and inclusive design solutions company from Tokyo. They work closely with companies on their unresolved inclusion challenges through building business strategies, designing products and services to reach diverse users, PR and Communication Design.

Datagusto

Datagusto automatically recommends actionable insights coupled with data visualization from data sets. The platform is a data communication solution that seamlessly integrates communication and real-time mobile data visualisation without requiring expertise.

BoostDraft

BoostDraft transforms legal drafting, applying coding productivity secrets to Microsoft Word, creating an efficient, specialised document editor for complex documents with effortless navigation and editing. As UK is a home to strong legal tech ecosystems, global banks and company BoostDraft focused on the in house legal counsels.

Thermalytica

Thermalytica is a clean-tech startup providing patented TIISA® thermal insulation materials and solutions for key sectors, including the liquified hydrogen supply chain, aviation and space, as well as emerging markets including EVs, and net-zero energy buildings helping clients reduce their carbon footprints.

Gigalogy

Gigalogy is shaping the future of E-Commerce with a personalized product recommendation platform that aims to match the right products with the right people at the right time, creating remarkable experiences. Easy integration of their product into the existing infrastructure has been their core USP.

Elephantech

With the mission of “making the world sustainable with new manufacturing technologies”, Elephantech provides their innovative inkjet printing solutions to promote their manufacturing method (with a focus on Printed Circuit Boards (PCB)) as the new global standard. With UK and Europe’s increased efforts to decarbonise sectors, this product is very interesting.

IDDK

IDDK is making space experiments accessible by constructing a space bio-laboratory using artificial satellites. They utilise their unique one-chip microscopic observation technology called Micro Imaging Device (MID) to establish a remotely operated automated laboratory in space satellites. UK’s promising space tech landscape offered a offered launchpad to IDDK.