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Satellites to magic carpets: Japan taps Techstars to mentor startups

Maelle Gavet says US-China tensions offer golden opportunity for breakthroughs

Maelle Gavet, CEO of Techstars, has been in leadership roles in companies such as "Amazon of Russia" Ozon, the parent of online travel agency and SoftBank-backed real estate brokerage Compass. (Photo courtesy of Techstars)

NEW YORK -- From a Hyogo Prefecture company that wants to search for still-fertile abandoned farmlands in India via satellite data, to a Shizuoka Prefecture company that has created flooring that is hard when walked on but cushions the blow of falls, Japan is not without some unique startups.

But they tend to be tucked away in rural areas, with little access to venture capitalists in Silicon Valley.

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