TBWA\Hakuhodo and Hardware Club join forces to launch wearable and robotics start ups


By Charlotte McEleny | Asia Editor

January 6, 2016 | 3 min read

Japan-based ad agency TBWA\Hakuhodo has forged a partnership with Hardware Club, a venture capitalist for hardware start ups, to create a link between US and European start ups and the Japanese industry.

The partnership is between Hardware Club and TBWA\Hakuhodo’s corporate accelerator programme called TBWA\Hakuhodo\Quantum, a unit of the business set up in 2014 that aims to find opportunities beyond advertising and communications.

Between the two businesses, they believe they will now be able to offer services in three areas; global start ups entering the Japan market, start ups in Japan entering the global market and collaborations between large Japanese corporations and global startups.

Jerry Yang, general partner at Hardware Club, said: “Japan is very important for the Hardware Club both in terms of consumer electronics market as well as for potential in the start ups. For our start ups from USA and Europe, Japan is important markets to expand into, hopefully at a relatively early stage and along with local investors, to further accelerate the revenue growth.”

Yuta Inoue, director at Quantum Accelerator, added: “This collaboration will further strengthen our network globally, and add huge value to the services that Hardware Club and Quantum currently offer to start ups in US, Europe and China, enabling them to more effectively enter the Japanese market and vice versa. This partnership also offers Japanese hardware start ups greater exposure to the Hardware Club and the opportunities this can bring them.”

Hardware Club already has more than 120 startups from more than 20 countries, including Misfit Wearables, Thync, Edyn, Narrative Clip, Prynt and Reach Robotics (pictured).


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