Mar 9, 2016 Mari Matsuzaki
Last December, Colopl launched a $50 million Colopl VR Fund to make up-front investments in VR. Investments include startups focusing on virtual reality head-mounted displays, game and 360-degree content, development tools and equipment, distribution platforms, and input devices.
After attending Slush, we realised that going global is a must. We at Colopl were always good with spreading the word in Japan, but spreading the word to global audiences is a whole other story. At Slush, the common language is of course English and the standard currency is U.S. dollars. That’s why we published our materials in English, and announced the fund size in U.S. dollars. After the release last December, we were able to receive more than 160 applications from all over the world, of which 150 applications were from outside Japan!
I was already blown away by the pre-event for investors where 500 investors gathered together. I’ve never seen so many international investors at one place.
I especially enjoyed meetings with startups! At regular events, what normally happens is that you’ll meet with startups, get to know about them, and then have an actual conversation if there’s any opportunity for partnering. At Slush, the matchmaking tool provides detailed and precise information beforehand. Although I only found out about the system the day before Slush, I was able to book meetings with startups related to VR. Because you are well-prepared and know enough about one another, all that’s left is to talk and get down to the details.
Definitely gaming and VR startups. VR is definitely a growing field, and we are excited to meet more great startups from all over the world.
The number of young entrepreneurs is still small but certainly growing. When it comes to young entrepreneurs, it’s all about the team. I look for a team that understands what they are doing, why they are doing it, and the core values they hold. I will continue to support such teams as they are the ones that will have an impact on society.
In the past two years, it has become easier for people to start their own company in Japan. If you are a student there’s basically no risk. There is nothing that should stop you from taking the leap towards entrepreneurship. Not trying might be the biggest mistake you make. I definitely recommend young students to start their own company and challenging themselves.
Well, be prepared to meet great people and to be surprised! At Slush Asia you can meet people who you could otherwise never meet from diverse backgrounds in an open flat and exciting environment. I can’t wait to meet people full of talent and ambitions.
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