Support for Ambitions of Start-Ups and Growing Industries


One of the priority strategies of SMBC Group’s Medium-Term Management Plan is to “build on our lead position in the Japanese medium-sized enterprise market.” In our implementation of this strategy, we are promoting coordination among Group companies to provide various solutions that match the growth stages of specific corporate clients. We are also taking advantage of our network of major companies, universities, research institutions, and other external affiliates to support the ambitions of domestic start-ups and growing industries. As examples of these initiatives, we would like to introduce Mirai 2018, Japan’s largest business pitch competition, and hoops link tokyo, an open innovation site.

Mirai 2018

Support for Commercialization of Promising Technologies and Business Ideas

In February 2016, we took part in establishing Incubation & Innovation Initiative, a business consortium aimed at generating cross-industry innovation that is centered around SMBC and The Japan Research Institute, Limited.

This consortium holds the Mirai acceleration program, which is designed to support the promising technologies and business ideas created by start-ups, universities, research institutions, and other organizations from the public, private, and academic sectors.

The Mirai program is open to all industries, and it has thus been able to attract among the highest participation numbers in Japan. The multitiered curriculum of the program includes mentoring and judging by investors that are well known within their industries and commercialization support by major companies that are part of the consortium.

Mirai 2018, the third iteration of this program, saw applications from around 100 teams. The final judging was held in March 2018, and the 31 teams that had passed secondary screening assembled for this event to put their business ideas to the test.

This iteration of the program consisted of five categories.

Grand prizes were presented to teams exhibiting excellence in each category. In addition, special company prizes were bestowed by consortium members. After the conclusion of the award program, winning teams were provided access to regular review meetings with consortium members to facilitate verification tests along with other ongoing support for their ideas.

Grand Prize Winners

Category Winner Overview of Wining Idea
Robots, AI, and IoT Spacelink Co., Ltd. Solution of addressing battery and position information issues faced in robot and mobility fields
Innovative materials and energy Goiku Battery CO., LTD. Energy management business using battery diagnosis technologies
Medical and healthcare AT CO., LTD. Attraction of attention to new health indicator of capillary scopes and promotion of attitude changes
IT fusion FOLIO CO., LTD. Platform for new investment combining entertainment with cutting-edge FinTech
Other Co-LABO MAKER, Inc. Testing equipment and technology sharing platform

More information can be found through the following link

MIRAI 2018

hoops link tokyo

Open Innovation Site Supporting Networking, Ideas, and Ambitions

SMBC Group opened hoops link tokyo in the Shibuya area of Tokyo in September 2017 with the aim of creating new businesses and services as well as energizing and enhancing existing businesses and services. The word “hoops” was chosen for the name of this establishment as it is meant to connect people while flattening various hierarchical relationships.

We have made hoops link tokyo an open innovation site that supports networking, ideas, and ambitions. At this site, companies ranging from start-ups to major players; government bodies; academic research institutions; NPOs; and various other organizations are able to present their issues and ideas so that the technologies, insight, expertise, and strengths of the public, private, and academic sectors can be shared to address those issues. The innovations created at this site are not limited to financial institutions.

Rather, we have defined a broad target of “businesses that contribute to the resolution of social issues.” To date, seminars and business pitch events with a variety of themes have been held at hoops link tokyo, creating connections between individuals from various posts, including representatives from the new business development divisions of major companies and from new start-up companies.

We look forward to creating new businesses by using hoops link tokyo as a fulcrum for the utilization of SMBC Group’s resources and its vast, worldwide network.


Located on the main street of Shibuya, hoops link tokyo boasts an elegantly designed interior that betrays visitors’preconceived image of financial institutions. The motif we chose was that of an underground bar during the prohibition era. Here, we strive to create new ideas through casual yet deep discussion directly with key players.

More information can be found through the following link

hoops link tokyo (Japanese only)