Silicon Valley’s internationally-renowned Plug and Play startup platform is ready to accelerate innovation in the Far East.

We reported in June Plug and Play’s announcement it was headed for Japan, ‘to bridge the gap between Silicon Valley culture, innovation and the Japanese industry’ – the words of Phillip Vincent, Managing Partner of Plug and Play Japan.

Applications for the Japan arm of the accelerator are now open in three areas: Internet of Things (IoT), Fintech and Insurtech.

Around 25 young companies will be selected to take part in the 12-week programme, mirroring the successful Silicon Valley model, by founding members of the initiative in Japan, such as Panasonic, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Fujitsu. They will have access to free office space in Tokyo, as well as to Plug and Play’s worldwide network of innovators and investors. There will also be an opportunity to pitch at the accelerator’s headquarters in Silicon Valley.

Plug and Play Japan is designed to boost the country’s startup ecosystem, which lags behind many other nations. The world’s third largest economy wants to rectify this be nurturing local talent as well as attracting exciting young companies to Japan.