FAQ

Application

Can I apply even if I belong to a university or are employed by a company?
Yes. However, you must have the right to use the research results, patents or other intelectual property included in the project proposal (or have a plan to have it during the program period). And you also need to be able to participate in contents such as lectures, mentoring and regular meetings held in Tokyo during the program period. (Contents scheduled to be held on weekdays. About 10 hours/week. Can also participate in a video conference.)
My current research/work is too busy to fully commit to this program during the program period. Can I still apply?
Yes, as long as you can participate in contents such as lectures, mentoring and regular meetings held in Tokyo during the program period. (Contents scheduled to be held on weekdays. About 10 hours/week. Can also participate in a video conference.)
Do I have to be incorporated to join the program (i.e. can I join as a research group?)
Yes. However, you will not be eligible to receive seed funds unless you incorporate during the program period. Should you choose to incorporate, we also offer corporate registration support.
What is the Early Bird Deadline?
During the application period of 8/1 (Thu)-9/30 (Mon), 8/31 (Sat) is the Early Bird Deadline. Applications submitted before August 31 (Sat) will be eligible to receive preselection brush-up tips and feedback on their project plans. Applicants are also allowed to resubmit their refined presentation by September 30 (Mon), which may increase their chances of selection.
Will the selection criteria change if you apply before the Early Bird Deadline?
No. All applicants will be judged on the same criteria regardless of application timing. Early Bird applicants, however, may have the benefit of receiving preselection feedback which may increase their chances of selection.
How is the application information managed?
It will be managed based on the Handling of Personal Information and Applications in the application form. Please note that you do not include highly confidential information in your application, such as source code, chemical structural formula, genome sequence, or other technical information that is at the core of your business. Highly confidential information should not be disclosed throughout the period of application, selection, or program participation unless given with consent, on the request of Digital Garage and/or related third parties.
I am the only member in the team; can I still apply?
Yes. However, you will be subjected to the same requirements as other applicants, which is to develop a prototype or achieve a certain degree of progress by the end of the program so it can be presented in front of an audience. For this reason, we strongly advise you to apply as a team.
Can the pitch deck submitted be in English?
Yes. If you wish to get mentoring from an English-speaker, please submit a business summary and a pitch deck in English.
I don’t speak Japanese; can I still apply?
Yes, as long as you are able to communicate in English.
It seems there are some mentors from outside of Japan; is it all right if I don’t speak English?
We will support you if necessary, but basically you will need to communicate by yourself.
Are teams with multiple services eligible to apply for the program?
Yes. However, due to the limited time we can provide each team during the interview process, you will need to talk about each service within a fixed amount of time. Therefore, the time to promote and appeal each service will be shortened.
Can I still apply even if I raised seed money?
Yes. Yet, early stage companies/teams are suitable for participating in the program.

Selection

What is the selection process and schedule?
The following process and schedule are planned. The schedule may change slightly depending on the selection situation.
Document screening: Early to mid-October
Interview (only for those who passed the document screening): Early November
Pitch selection (only for those who passed the interview): Early December
Notification of selection results, investment adjustment: Mid-December
Will the interview and pitch selection be conducted in Japanese?
We can interview in either Japanese or English.
Is it necessary for all members to participate in the interview and pitch selection?
Participation by a representative is mandatory, but it is not necessary for everyone to participate. Participation of person who can explain business properly and can answer questions is required.
Can all my team members participate in the interview and pitch selection?
Yes. However, we ask that each team limits participants to three members due to the limited room of the venue.
Should I prepare hardcopy handouts for the interview and pitch selection?
No, you do not need to prepare hardcopy handouts.
Can we receive feedback on the application results?
No, we do not give feedback on application results.
For the pitch selection, should I use the pitch deck submitted for my application?
Yes, please use the pitch deck submitted. If you wish to update the pitch deck, please re-submit when you receive the pass notification of interview and use it for the presentation at pitch selection.

Program

Do we need to be in Tokyo during the program period?
As long as you can participate in the required contents, participants do not have to be in Tokyo during the entire program period. You can participate in lectures, mentoring and regular meetings remotely.
What is the fee to participate in the program?
The program is free of charge. During the program, the office will also be provided free of charge, and wet lab space can be used with great value.
Can I participate in other programs at the same time?
It is possible for you to perticipate in other programs as long as you can participate in Onlab BioHealth’s contents such as lectures, mentoring, and regular meetings (Basically scheduled on weekdays. About 10 hours/week) held in Tokyo during the program period (approximately 3 months), and commit to promote your business. If you already have decided to participate in more than one program, please consult the staff beforehand.
Can students/minors apply?
Yes. However, if you are a minor you will be required parental or legal guardian consent.