IVS 2023 KYOTO Event Report

August 15, 2023

What is IVS2023 KYOTO?

IVS is one of the largest startup events in Japan, with a lifetime total of over 20,000 participants. This year from June 28 to 30 saw IVS2023 KYOTO open the doors of its new location at two venues: the main event in Miyako Messe, and the pitch event in Rohm Theater Kyoto.

IVS is characterized by intense networking, and past events have aimed to bring together the managers, executives, and investors of Internet companies that will lead the new era.

For their first full event since the pandemic lockdowns, however, IVS has done away with its invitation-only tradition. With its aim to become "Asia's No. 1 Startup Platform," the event was reborn as a place where all people involved in startups can co-create, including entrepreneurs and startups, investors, new business managers of large companies, students, and recorded more than 10,000 participants in the three days of the event. According to announcements made on the day of the event, there were 10,000 Japanese participants and more than 2,000 foreign participants, indicating the high level of global attention to the event.

The biggest highlight of IVS2023 KYOTO was IVS2023 LAUNCHPAD KYOTO, a pitch event that comprises one of the crown jewels of startup events in Japan.

The SUNRYSE team joined IVS2023 KYOTO as a community partner to report back.

Opening ceremony

(Photo: IVS KYOTO Executive Committee)

Toshiaki Shimakawa, President of IVS, introduced this year's theme: "What's Your New Adventure?”

"We don't want to create the biggest conference in Japan. We want to create the No. 1 startup platform in Asia,” he said in his opening remarks.

“To achieve this, we want to create startups that can compete on a global scale and build a startup ecosystem together with everyone.”

He was joined on stage by both Mayor Daisaku Kadokawa and Governor Takatoshi Nishiwaki  to welcome the participants, as well as a video greeting from Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, whose commitment to supporting Japan’s startup ecosystem has formed a cornerstone of his economic policy.

“Kyoto is a city of culture, but it is not merely a tourist city,” said Mayor Kadokawa. “Kyoto is a city with a history of science, technology, and entrepreneurship.”

(Photo: IVS KYOTO Executive Committee)

Main Floor: NEXT CITY and IVS Crypto 2023 KYOTO

NEXT CITY was the main booth exhibition area open to all attendees, chockablock with visitors for the entire three-day event. There was also separate only open to those who with a VIP pass, mainly executives and investors.

The booths at NEXT CITY introduced products, services, and technologies offered by startup companies, as well as booths for acceleration programs, where visitors could apply on the spot.

There was also an area for local government exhibits, where each municipality, especially those in global hub cities, introduced their initiatives, support details, and unique features.

IVS Crypto 2023 KYOTO was held concurrently with this event. IVS Crypto is one of the largest crypto & Web 3.0 conferences in Japan, and roughly half of the IVS floor space was dedicated to it. With a startup booth area set up to showcase the future of NFT utilization and new areas such as Web 3.0 games, the startup booth area was filled with a different kind of enthusiasm than the booths in NEXT CITY.

Here are some of the booths that were particularly popular:

Aww (

As "Japan's first virtual human company," Aww uses 3D scanning and modeling technologies to create virtual humans in a virtual reality domain. The company has produced several virtual human models, including imma, the first virtual model in Japan.

In the booth, there was a monitor showing a virtual human. A demonstration was set up in which visitors sat in front of the monitor, and a camera above the monitor mapped their facial expressions, posture, and movements onto the virtual person in real time.

(Photo: SUNRYSE)

Quwak (no HP)

Quwak develops microchips that can be implanted in hands for biometric authentication and allowing the bearer to communicate with smart devices in a variety of ways, such as to exchange contact information or unlocking a Tesla. The chips are designed to safely pass magnetic searches required at airports and courthouses.

The staff stationed at the booth had chips implanted in their hands — in the photo below, you can see our photographer (with the lovely dog phone wallpaper) accessing their profile information page.

(Photo: IVS KYOTO Executive Committee)

(Photo: SUNRYSE)

GASHO 2.0 (

This startup offers NFT art as a 2.5D metal canvas made using traditional Japanese craftsmanship.

Using precise data design technology and painting with special aluminum ink, they create art boards that will not deteriorate due to humidity, dust, or mold.

All of the works on display were not protected by glass or acrylic panels, and contrary to normal art exhibits visitors were encouraged to touch the works in order to demonstrate their resilience and tactility.

(Photo: IVS KYOTO Executive Committee)


This event was full of unique features to enhance interaction among participants.

In the center of the first floor, a ‘tea house’ was set up. Here, chairs and umbrellas were set up, and participants enjoyed free conversation with each other in a relaxed Japanese atmosphere. In addition, a wide variety of alcoholic beverages, such as sake and shochu, were offered for comparison, and the event was lively with people actively greeting each other for the first time as a result of calls from the management staff.

In the HR Yokocho area, visitors could enjoy fun activities reminiscent of the fair stalls held in Japanese festivals, where participants tried their hand at target shooting, goldfish scooping, food and drink, and other activities. Playing together created a natural dynamic and a unique liveliness that could not be created in a work environment.

(Photo: IVS KYOTO Executive Committee)

Pitch Contest: IVS2023 LAUNCHPAD KYOTO

(Photo: SUNRYSE)

As the name implies, IVS LAUNCHPAD is a pitch event that was created to become a launch pad for early-stage startups that have yet to make their debut.

The first event was held in 2007, and IVS LAUNCHPAD is now in its 17th year, with the total number of entries to date standing at over 5,000 companies. Sixty of the companies that have taken the stage in the past have exited, and more than 35 companies have raised more than 1 billion yen in funding, making IVS LAUNCHPAD the gateway to success for startups.

This year IVS and Kyoto Prefecture collaborated to establish the Startup Kyoto International Award to provide intensive support to startups that can survive in competition internationally. This is in addition to the 10 million yen prize.

Fourteen finalist companies out of approximately 400 applications took to the stage of the Rohm Theater. The five finalists were:

5th: TēPs, a no-code tool for e-commerce: Tapes

(Photo: IVS KYOTO Executive Committee)

Tapes introduced their no-code tool TēPs, which can be customized by any e-commerce vendor to meet their exact needs.

TēPs breaks down the system functions of all e-commerce channels and management dashboards into detailed component ‘building blocks,’ allowing users to freely combine them to intuitively assemble the functions they need while ignoring those they don’t.

4th: SecureNavi aims at the humanities security market, including regulations, auditing, and authentication: SecureNavi

(Photo: IVS KYOTO Executive Committee)

SecureNavi provides a cloud service that allows users to easily check and update their efforts in ISMS certification and P-Mark. In the pitch, the company cited the challenges in the security field, saying that information security regulations are increasing every year and that it is very difficult to comply with all of them, regardless of the size of the business.

In SecureNavi, he said, functions have been developed based on the ISMS know-how of hundreds of companies, enabling ISMS construction and operation in line with industry best practices. Therefore, analog operations using Excel and Word as in the past are no longer necessary, and ISMS certification can be obtained without waste and with the minimum man-hours and resources required.

3rd: JamRoll uses AI to analyze sales calls and business meetings: Poetics

(Photo: IVS KYOTO Executive Committee)

Poetis’ product is JamRoll, which automatically visualizes and analyzes all conversations with customers during sales activities to help teams improve sales and sales productivity.

JamRoll automatically transcribes speech during business meetings, and its AI provides consistent support for summarizing, tasking, and feedback. Companies using JamRoll have seen a 40% increase in breakthrough rates, a 50% reduction in training man-hours for managers, and a 20% increase in sales in the first two months after the system was introduced.

2nd: Lecto Platform automates and streamlines debt management and collection: Lecto

(Photo: IVS KYOTO Executive Committee)

Lecto introduced the Lecto Platform, which digitizes debt collection.

The platform centrally manages customer data and can be customized in terms of when and how reminders are sent. The collection rate can be significantly increased by changing the action according to the customer's age group, such as reminder the customer via telephone calls or SMS.

Winner: Helppad 2, an excretion sensor that can tell by smell: aba

(Photo: IVS KYOTO Executive Committee)

The double winner of the Audience Award and the Startup Kyoto International Award was aba, which offers the Helppad 2.

In old age homes caregivers spend more than 15 man-hours changing diapers at night alone, of which 20 to 30% end up empty. With the growing ratio of nursing home residents to caregivers in Japan’s aging society, Helppad 2 responds to this need by allowing nursing care workers to be able to look inside a diaper without opening it.

Helppad 2 is set up by simply placing the device — a thin, unobtrusive pad — in a cover and laying it on top of the bedding. The system uses a management dashboard to notify caregivers when and where it detects human waste, determines the risk of diaper leakage, and suggests the order in which diapers should be changed. The system also has functions such as recommending diaper changing times based on the patterns of individual caregivers and digitizing care records, thereby reducing the cost of diaper changing at nursing care facilities.

Upon being declared winner, Yoshimi Ui, president of aba, was overcome with emotion as she said, "I have lost contact with the caregiver who said, 'I want to look inside the diaper without opening it,' which was the trigger for the development of this product. I want to tell them that I finally made it."

Overall impressions

The three days of IVS2023 KYOTO were filled with a sense of passion, as if the startup ecosystem is created not through management and instruction, but through dialogue and interaction.

The official sessions in which people from specific industries and professions participated to exchange information, the support of the management staff for greetings and exchanges among participants, the proximity of the speakers which allowed for immediate conversation, and other mechanisms to encourage active interaction among participants, created a wonderful chaos that can not be found at any other event.

As a place for creating new business opportunities and forming communities, I feel that IVS has taken a big step forward by abolishing the invitation-only tradition. It seems likely that they will be at the forefront of the startup ecosystem in Japan as it progresses into the future.

Blackbox Contributors
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