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Tech in Asia is one of the largest tech conferences in the region. It was conceived to connect the start-up ecosystem within the tech industry in an offline setting, as an extension of their mission to build and serve Asia's tech community.

Tech in Asia Tokyo 2017 will open doors for those interested in entering the Japanese tech market, and for locals searching for global opportunities. On September 27 & 28, the event will dive headfirst into the latest tech happenings and uncover untapped opportunities for all attendees.


Latest tech trends:

1. Rising investments in SaaS startups in Japan

As ‘Software-as-a-Service’ (SaaS) investments intensify around the world, investors who support elite SaaS companies are also extremely optimistic in the growth of the sector.

SaaS companies such as Twilio, Workday and Zendesk have proven with their mountainous growth, reaching an Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) of $100 million within 6 to 7 years and is continuing its growth rate at approximately 50 to 70%.  Slack has achieved $100 million ARR in two and a half years since its launch, taking the lead as one of the most outstanding SaaS companies in the world.

Although the above mentioned companies are not based in Japan as of yet, this has garnered positivity in Japan’s start-up community as Cool Japan Fund expressed an interest to invest in a maximum of 10 million USD in 500 Startups JP. 500 Startups JP is Japan’s division from an American venture capital (VC) firm that focuses their investments in ‘seed stage’ start-ups which includes SaaS start-ups that have the potential to grow. This 10 million USD investment will serve as a huge supplement to the growth of the budding SaaS network of start-ups in Japan who would also be attending and setting up exhibition booths at Tech in Asia Tokyo 2017. ‘Bootstrap Alley’ will be the exhibition space for the region’s most promising and dynamic start-ups to showcase their products at the event.

Hence, there is great anticipation in Japan for a breakthrough within SaaS start-ups considering the greater commitment invested in the sector.


2. Blockchain, Banking, and the Fintech Boom

Japan has always been known as a progressive country within the technological scene, including blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies.

The Japanese Government for example, will be testing a blockchain system in processing tenders, as a first step towards a wider use of the technology in its digital services. Along with this, payment processor Coincheck estimated that 20,000 merchants will start to accept bitcoin and other digital currencies by the end of this year.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications is set to begin trials of blockchain systems this financial year by end March 2018, according to the Nikkei Asian Review. The trial is part of a broader vision to use blockchain in securing and cutting costs of digital public services. In the next financial year, Japan will also develop a plan to use blockchain platforms across digital services for citizens and businesses.

2017 also marks the inaugural launch of NRI SecureTechnologies Ltd’s ‘Blockchain Assessment’, a security assessment service designed for systems and services that use blockchain technology. NRI Secure, having understood the actual damage that could incur, initiated this service which will be able to analyse a program dynamically to identify vulnerabilities, along with simulating real attacks. Such measures can help to sustain Japan’s growth in Fintech and the banking sector as these sectors aggressively push for blockchain technologies.


3. Education First – How to Build a New Generation of Entrepreneurs

As the start-up community grow in Japan, support systems will also be needed to educate hungry entrepreneurs on perfecting their coding for example or building a sustainable ecosystem. Skyland Ventures, the VC of choice for young founders, and Make School, the world-renowned coding program, are essential resources which entrepreneurs can take advantage of.  

Coding Workshop with MakeSchool

MakeSchool is a new “college” for creators where students can make their first iOS app in hours. This is a start-up supported by some of the world’s top investors like Tim Draper and has strong partners in Japan such as with Gree, a gaming company and Z-Kai, the education group.

Sony Global Education, the company's education arm has also chosen to ride on the trend by bringing us Koov, a set of Lego-like pieces that teach kids the basics of coding and robot construction, according to Nikkei Tech. This move is targeted at children of the future who will, in time, need to know how to code. It is currently retailing in Japan for around 37,000 yen. Even before this, Hasbro had created app-controlled children's toys, while Fisher-Price introduced the world to its Code-a-Pillar last year.


An event not to be missed

While the event provides a chance to network with professionals in the industry who will be able to share their experience and expertise, you will also be able to gain valuable insights from the talks and workshops planned.  

It will be the third consecutive year that Computer Futures Tokyo is attending and having a booth at Tech in Asia. Do drop by our booth to find out more about the talent within the technology space or if you wish to seek advice with regards to recruitment and retention strategies. You may visit Tech in Asia’s website to pre-purchase your tickets to the conference.


How does Computer Futures Tokyo play their part within the tech space?

Although a shortage in talent is evident in many industries, technology-related organisations (and roles) in particular face the greatest challenge. With the rapid movement where technology is integrated into almost every aspect of our society—and with the Fourth Industrial Revolution being a key part of Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe’s plan to achieve a GDP of ¥600 trillion by 2020—it is little wonder that the need in this industry is so great.

Computer Futures has a strong global network of tech talent despite a severe labour shortage in Japan. As such, Computer Futures will be able to source the right fit for your organisation, whether it’s a start-up or technological firm who wish to further establish its presence. Please kindly contact us at contactjapan@computerfutures.com if you would like to find out more or follow us on our LinkedIn page for more industry related insights.

Lastly, don’t forget to visit us at Tech in Asia Tokyo 2017

Sources: Tech in Asia, e27, Govinsider.asia, Newsbtc.com, Japan Today, Computer Weekly, 500startups.jp