Tokyo VR Startups launches incubator for local virtual reality devs

Tokyo VR Startups launches incubator for local virtual reality devs
Matthew Jarvis

By Matthew Jarvis

January 19th 2016 at 10:33AM

Group led by CEO of mobile publisher Gumi aims to turn Japanese capital into a global hub for nascent platform

The birthplace of the modern games industry has aims to be the birthplace of the future of the industry, too.

The Tokyo VR Startups group has created an incubation fund focused on highlighting new Japanese developers and studios pushing virtual reality.

Led by the CEO of Japanese mobile developer and publisher Gumi, Hironao Kunimitsu, the programme will seek out Japanese startups and offer them the chance to build VR apps over a six-month period.

The devs will be helped with seed funding, office space, advice from a number of mentors and other services.

Among the mentors offering their help are former Square Enix Holdings CEO Yoichi Wada, former Sony Computer Entertainment chairman and current Two 4 Seven director Shigeo Maruyama, and Nvidia Japan’s senior director of entertainment technology, Kazuyuki Hashimoto.

“With the rising demand for virtual reality technology across a wide variety of verticals and solutions, we believed it was the right time for us to support the advancement of this market by bringing together the financial and mentorship resources needed to accelerate open innovation in the Japanese technology industry,” said Kunimitsu.

“As such, we’ve brought together some of the leading minds in the industry to help Japanese VR upstarts expand globally, and we’re looking forward to the growth of this market in the coming years.”