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13 March 2018

Japan clocks 2,093 spinouts

Biotech, healthcare and medical technology accounted for roughly one-third of the country’s more than 2,000 spinouts, with another third taken up by IT companies.

Author: Callum Cyrus, reporter

The number of Japanese spinouts rose 13% to 2,093 during the 2017 fiscal year, with biotech, healthcare and medical technology businesses representing 659, or 31%, of the total, Nikkei Asian Review reported on Friday.

IT took the single next largest share with 614, or 29.3%, of the tally, according to a government-commissioned survey.

The report suggests University of Tokyo has now yielded a total of 245 spinouts, the most of any institution, followed by Kyoto University with 140 and University of Tsukuba at 98.

Nagoya University has now generated 69 spinouts, climbing five places, to seventh from 12th in 2016.

The Japanese government moved to boost the country’s startup ecosystem in 2014, investing $1.2bn in four university-run VC firms for University of Tokyo, Osaka University, Kyoto University and Tohoku University.

Businesses to have benefited the scheme include University of Tokyo’s drug discovery spinout PeptiDream, which floated with a $1bn valuation in 2013 after backing from the institution’s venture capital affiliate, University of Tokyo Edge Capital.

Despite the milestone in spinout generation, Nikkei noted that Japan’s spinout generation record still lagged countries including the US.

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