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Computer Futures, the global tech recruitment leaders since 1986, recently partnered with SLUSH Tokyo 2017 as part of the company’s intensifying focus on the Japan start-up community.

The expo is one of the largest annual technology events, welcoming more than 5000 attendees, 600 start-ups, 200 investors which converged on the Tokyo Big Site in Odaiba between March 29 and 30.

Celebrating the success of the expo, Grant Habgood, Managing Director of Computer Futures Tokyo said “it was an incredible opportunity for the company to partner with SLUSH2017 and we look forward to many more similar opportunities.”

“Engaging the start-up community in Japan is part of our long term commitment to growing and sustaining tech companies through the search and provision of top talent – not only in their start-up stages but alongside their growth,” Habgood continued.

The event gave the company’s 12-member tech recruitment team opportunities to network with investors and entrepreneurs from all over the world and share hiring insight with newly established tech companies like P2P fintech player - ZIPPER, team collaboration interface - Magency and interactive maps on steroids - Stroly. Attendees especially liked an incontinence support inspired tech product by Dfree.

One investor of note was US-originated Point72 Ventures with a growing presence in Japan. The venture fund is focused on financial technology, enterprise software and data technologies.

 

Solving Problems for Start-ups

According to Thomas Haviland, team manager at Computer Futures, “start-ups have face a myriad of challenges and the community that SLUSH provides gives them much-needed inspiration and support. One of the greatest challenges is hiring and retaining people.”

“The value we add is anticipating these hurdles by sharing the experiences we have developed through our growing track record of hiring key leadership for multiple early-stage start-ups,” the recruiter states.

Among the highlights of the tech expo was a keenly-followed Fireside Chat between Steve Jang and Travis Kalanick (the Chairman and Co-founder of Uber, Founder of EXPA respectively). The discussion centred on starting and sustaining world-conquering businesses and advice on overcoming the challenges that growing start-ups face.

 

Japan a Global Tech Innovation Center

Japan is closely trailing the US and leading Asia in the competitive start-up market but has much ground to cover before reaching its full capacity.

Only about 30% of Japanese people believe that being an entrepreneur is a good career choice, beating only Puerto Rico at the bottom of a study carried out in 2014 by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), a report compiled by a group of universities worldwide. By comparison, America scored 65%, China 66% and the Netherlands 79%.

 

Refreshing Growth

Computer Futures is encouraged by the influx of start-ups in Japan which inevitably leads to an increased demand of highly qualified talent in the technology market. These start-ups include new partners such as Adgo – a software company that offers artificial intelligence-based algorithmic technology.

Listenfield is one of the other interesting companies Computer Futures hopes to support in Japan. The company is driven by the goal of utilising field sensor network technology to improve their society.

They have now developed various applications based on sensor data that includes disaster warnings and are now combining their field sensor technology and knowledge with the concept of precision farming to improve sustainability and agricultural productivity. With a presence in Thailand, they are looking to expand into Japan in the near future, hoping to further improve the society in Japan with their technology.

Qurate, one of our existing partners, took part in the annual pitch contest held at SLUSH. This contest gives start-ups a chance to showcase their ideas on a pitching stage with an attempt to charm a judging committee made up of experienced investors and serial entrepreneurs.

Although Dot Incorporation, a pioneer in accessible and affordable technologies for the visually impaired and blind eventually walked away as winners, we absolutely loved Qurate’s pitch but at the same time, look forward to the game-changing devices Dot is bringing in this niche market.

With the wide spectrum of exciting programmes that it had lined up, not only was it a fantastic way to celebrate the world of entrepreneurship, Slush was able to bring that bit of magic to the start-ups within the technology world in this land of the rising sun.

If you are interested to find out more about Slush Tokyo or in partnering with Computer Futures, please email us at contactjapan@computerfutures.com