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University of Tokyo to set up $536m fund for school-born startups

Goal is to help launch 300 ventures with financial backing

The University of Tokyo plans to financially support the formation of 300 startups. (Photo by Tsuneyuki Kenmochi)

TOKYO -- The University of Tokyo plans to start investing in startups spawned at the institution drawing from a new 60 billion yen ($536 million) fund, Nikkei has learned, as it aims to support the creation of unicorns and help Japan catch up in the global tech race. The fund is expected to become Japan's largest university-launched startup fund.

The University of Tokyo will begin by investing 10 billion yen. It will seek further funding from outside investors. The plan is to increase the size of the fund to around 60 billion yen in 10 years and to financially support the formation of 300 startups. This will double the number of startups originating from the university to about 700. The university will consider making direct investments in the future.

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