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Inspiring Solutions
Innovation from HVC Kyoto (Healthcare Venture Conference Kyoto)
By Kyoto Research Park, Year 2023 3rd place winner, located in Japan
Main users: Resident companies or institutions
Launch date: 
06 November 2023
Describe your solution in 50 words or less
HVC KYOTO is a community to support global business development of startups with innovative technologies in the healthcare field. It has become one of the largest healthcare pitch events in Japan, and a sustainable community that is part of Kyoto’s international innovation ecosystem.
What is the purpose of your solution
​The healthcare field is an important issue in megatrends such as an "Aging World" and "Focus on Health", and many research and development efforts and innovations are needed to solve this issue. There are many startups with excellent technologies in Japan, and these startups are expected to play a key role in these areas. But there are barriers to startup growth and open innovation, such as language barriers and distant overseas markets, in addition to a fragile ecosystem. HVC KYOTO solves this problem by bringing startups, mentors, and leading companies from Japan and abroad together in Kyoto, an international sightseeing destination, creating a community where they can interact closely, and providing opportunities by mentors to familiarize themselves with English pitching through pre-training.
What is innovative about it
HVC KYOTO is not just a pitch contest, but a platform to support the growth of international startups in the healthcare field, creating a community of mentors and partner companies as well as new business opportunities for all participants. Specifically, experienced international mentors assist in the creation of English-language pitches in business advisory sessions. Partners have included R&D directors from international pharmaceutical and medical device companies such as Takeda, Roche, Johnson & Johnson, and others.

The Demo Day includes a Q&A session following the pitch, one-on-one meetings with partners, and an exhibition, providing an opportunity to secure funding, business alliances, and human resources. After the Demo Day, as community members, startups are also offered ongoing opportunities to connect with past speakers and partners at post-events and other events.

What impact has your solution had
In the seven years from the pre-event in 2016 to last year’s event, 140 companies in total have pitched. This consists of 35% in drug discovery and biotechnology, 22% in medical devices, 22% in regenerative medicine, and 16% in digital health.

Last year, 16 companies pitched as finalists, including 4 international companies. There were 430 participants, 39% of whom were pharmaceutical or medical device companies, and 10% of whom were VC or investment firms. There were also 71 individual meetings between startups and partners.

Startups that participated in the HVC have raised a total of $229 million (based on publicly available information, only Japanese companies) to date. In addition, HVC KYOTO has been recognized as a gateway to success by startups and researchers in the healthcare field, with other notable achievements including major business partnerships, various awards, and selection as a J-startup.
Who are the main users
Startups and companies in the healthcare field such as drug discovery, biotechnology and medical devices, venture capitals and other investors, universities, governments, and startup support organizations.
Who runs it
​Organizers: Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Kyoto Prefecture, City of Kyoto, Kyoto Research Park Corp. Co-Organizers: Kansai Innovation Initiative, Kyoto University Office of Society Academia Collaboration for Innovation (SACI), Kyoto University Innovation Capital Co., Ltd.
For more solutions from IASP member Kyoto Research Park click here