Foundation and Finding Focus Innovation Finders Capital GP, LLC (IFC) is a new and unique venture capital fund, formulated as Delaware Corporation and having its primary office in Kirkland, Washington. IFC is to find and invest in IT innovators mostly in the greater Seattle area, focusing on start-ups developing technologies based on Cloud Computing (Cloud) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Recently most of cutting edge technologies are unleashed by start-ups utilizing Cloud and AI. Out of such start-ups, IFC focuses on only those who develop Business to Business (BtoB) technologies, pursue global standard, and have certain interest in Japan as their 1st overseas market to enter into.
Why Seattle? Seattle is a capital of Cloud, as total share of Amazon plus Microsoft are enjoying approximately 50% of global market. So many IT start-ups have been spun-off from these two Titans. Since IFC founder, Tetsuro Eto, is an ex-Microsoft, the company has been well connected in this area. Moreover, it has been strongly backed by Washington State Department of Com (WSDoC), who introduces to as well as connects IFC with great pipelines of the state, including University of Washington (UW), incubators and angel funds.
Opportunity in Japan Japan is still the 3rd largest market, where people enjoy common rules as US. IFC believes it is perfect match to connect Japanese manufacturers with US start-ups, as former are pretty good at finishing products, meantime latter are relatively weak on it.
Shopping List IFC prepares and maintains a Shopping List. As to what kind of innovation they are looking for, IFC has been interviewing over 200 Japanese large corporations by 2019. Based on this list, IFC has been doing finding innovative startups and match-making to align US start-ups and Japanese mega corporations.
AI Meetups IFC has been co-organizing Japan Seattle "A.I." Innovation Meetup (AI Meetup) quarterly in Seattle since 2016 together with WSDoC and Orrick. JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) and CGJ (Consulate General of Japan) in Seattle are the official supporters. This is a business match making event between Seattle startups and Japanese large corporations. As fruitful outcome, 6 Seattle startups opened up their offices in Tokyo as of 2019.