OIST and Beyond Next Ventures join forces in a new innovation hub

The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (“OIST”) and Beyond Next Ventures (“BNV”) announced on May 25 a new partnership to invest in high-tech startups and develop the innovation ecosystem in Okinawa .

“Today is a happy day for OIST and I personally as we can announce that BNV, a venture capital firm whose core values ​​are well aligned with ours, will invest in OIST’s deep tech startups and enable entrepreneurs from all over the world to come to OIST to launch their businesses, “said Dr Peter Gruss, President and CEO of OIST. “This provides the university with a solid financial base to generate between 10 and 20 new businesses over the next few years, and further the development of Okinawa through the creation of a high-tech industry. This investment partnership is also a springboard for our aspiration to establish an even more ambitious fund which we hope will lay the groundwork for an innovation park adjacent to the OIST campus. “

The two organizations are launching the OIST-BNV innovation hub (“OBI-Hub”), a platform enabling eligible startups to access tailor-made financial investments and business services to bring their innovations to market. High tech startups from all over the world can apply to the OBI-Hub to join the emerging and dynamic entrepreneurial community that is growing around OIST.

Mr. Tsuyoshi Ito, Managing Partner and CEO of BNV, said: “We are pleased to initiate this collaboration with OIST, which is one of the most internationally outstanding scientific and technological education and research institutions in Japan. With OBI-Hub, we aim to develop globally competitive startups not only from Okinawa but also from around the world. “

BNV brings to the partnership its financial resources and its expertise in the launch of deep-tech startups, and the OIST gives access to its network of technical and industrial experts, access to incubation facilities on the campus of the OIST in Okinawa, and a “soft landing” in Japan for global startups. OIST and BNV aim to deploy around 500 million yen ($ 5 million) to invest in startups through OBI-Hub over the next 2 years.

“We are delighted to offer the growing startup community of OIST the opportunity to be well funded at the very beginning of their activities,” said Mr. Gil Granot-Mayer, Acting Vice President of Technology Development and Innovation at OIST. Prior to joining OIST, Mr. Granot-Mayer was the CEO of Yeda, the technology commercialization arm of the Weismann Institute of Sciences in Israel, widely referred to as the “Start-up Nation”. “In addition to BNV investments, eligible startups will have access to mentorship and close technical resources through the OIST Technology Development and Innovation Center. I have seen the impact of the combination of great science, early investment and mentorship in countries like Israel. . Our vision with this partnership is to have the same impact in Okinawa. “

Ms. Mayu Morishima, Executive Officer & Biotechnology Lead Capitalist at BNV, said: “We are excited to work with OIST to expand the global startup ecosystem by leveraging our core investment activities, as well as our six years experience with acceleration programs and wet labs With the OBI-Hub as the basic initiative of the OIST-BNV collaboration, we aim for a long-term partnership. “

Startups can apply to OBI-Hub through an online portal hosted at https: //i2.oist.jp / from June 1, 2021.

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About OIST

The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) is an international graduate university that conducts outstanding education and research in science and technology, with worldwide recognition. A truly interdisciplinary research environment with world-class facilities available to all, there are no barriers between scientific fields and scientists are encouraged to cross and collaborate in new branches of knowledge.

The OIST Technology Development and Innovation Center (TDIC) uses and harnesses the unique resources of the university to promote innovation, entrepreneurship and the development of science in practical and commercial applications that present social and economic benefits locally and around the world.

About BNV

Beyond Next Ventures, established in 2014, is engaged in various activities to uncover outstanding research and put this technology into practice around the world.

As a venture capital firm, BNV currently has a total of ~ $ 220 million under management and has invested in over 50 startups, mainly in Japan and India. It is a certified venture capital firm for Japanese national grant programs such as NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization) and START (Program for Research and Research Start-ups. advanced technology).

To accelerate the growth of the companies in its portfolio and create new businesses while developing the start-up ecosystem in Japan, BNV manages the country’s largest seed acceleration program “BRAVE” as well as the “Leadership Program”. ‘innovation’, which allows members of large companies to work for startups as a second job. So far, it has a talent pool of over 2,000 people specializing in tech startups.

BNV also launched a wet lab in Tokyo Nihonbashi in 2019 to support young start-ups and advance their success.

Through these activities, BNV boldly takes up new challenges to create a world in which everyone can courageously forge themselves beyond the traditional paradigm.

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