In July 2023, Moon Creative Lab launched three new programs: Spark, Boost, and Orbit to help organizations and individuals unlock their creative potential to start new businesses. For the first time, we opened our doors to entrepreneurs around the world, inviting participants to join our in-person 3-6 month intensive early-stage incubation program, Boost.
We received applications from a range of industries and spanning more than 10 different countries. After a rigorous review and interview process with Moon leadership, we selected 16 startups to leverage Moon’s talent, and each other, to help build for traction, receive real feedback from customers as quickly as possible, and potentially earn funding at Moon’s Demo Day in April 2024.
Since October, Boost participants have worked together with Moon Mates to build on their ventures and develop their skills as founders. We’ve seen product pivots, company rebrands, customer discovery, and countless other experiments to find market traction and build products that customers love.
As we prepare for the end of this Boost cycle, Moon will be offering select teams the option to extend their incubation period with us for another 3 months as a prerequisite for Demo Day in April.
We want to extend a sincere congratulations to all of the entrepreneurs, ideas, and startups that have been a part of the first Boost cohort:
Delight is a call center automation and personalization service with a multilingual phone bot. Delight launched in October 2022 by its founder Hiroyuki Anno.
DEW is an eco-friendly cleaning supplies subscription service. Founder Yuka Usami launched its first product, aq, in September 2023.
Dots for Inc. offers information access to rural Africa. Dots for Inc. was established in October 2021 by its founder Carlos Oba.
Fankey/ Xylocopa is a fan activity data management system. Founded in September 2022 by Yamaguchi Kiminori.
Hyouka is an AI and camera based survey using hand gestures. Founder Aki Kutvonen launched Hyouka in 2021 and moved to working on this project fulltime in 2023.
Loyal (formerly known as MCM) is blockchain based music copyright management. MCM is founded by Yusuke Sunakane.
MatchHat is a platform to help filmmakers find talent and collaborators . The idea for MatchHat began in 2017 and development began a few years later together with teammates in 2020. MatchHat is founded by Soraya Umewaka, CEO, together with co-founder Sheenan Tenepre, Tech Lead.
MenuX is a digital platform for sports and entertainment merchandise. Founder Eri Koyano has been working on MenuX together with her cofounder since 2022.
Minute Style is a marketplace that curates daily outfits suggested by personal stylists using their existing wardrobes. Founder Eri Kobayashi has been working on Minute Style since December 2019 and launched the beta in 2020.
VoicePing is a virtual office with real time translation. VoicePing is founded by CEO Nakajima Akinori, CEO, and Jack Nguyen, COO. VoicePing has been in production over the past 18 months and has gained over 2,000+ daily active users.
WhyMe/Insaight is an AI based consulting platform. Founder Takayuki Suzuki has been working on WhyMe/Insaight since early 2022.
Carbon Mileage is an awards program for energy efficient airline travel. Founder Junya Fukui joins us from the Americas Energy BU.
Eureka is an educational program focused on space. Founder Naoya Shiraishi was a previous Spark participant and encouraged to apply to our Boost program. Shiraishi joins us from the Educational Tech BU.
ISSHO is a software platform for employee engagement. Founder Yuki Obata has been working closely with Moon in the months leading up to the Boost application after successfully pitching the idea during Moon’s Design Challenge for Mitsui x Moon.
Agritech is a sensor tech to help sustainable farming. Agritech’s team includes Alberto Takayama and Yoshihiro Katsuyama deriving from the Mobility I & II & Food BU.
UpWaste is a digitized waste management platform. Founder Aris Munandar was a previous Spark participant and encouraged to apply to our Boost program. Munandar joins us from the Mitsui Indonesia BU.
No matter how far founders travel with Moon, they will always be a part of our Orbit! We believe that building a thriving startup takes ongoing support from a network of supportive individuals, and that’s why we built our entrepreneur community, Orbit. All Boost alumni will be invited to develop their skills at our networking events and encouraged to participate in Orbit, even if they are not selected to continue their incubation period at Moon.
Be sure to check out www.mooncreativelab.com/orbit for the most up to date events!
*These were the idea/business descriptions at the time of writing this article. Entrepreneurship and new ventures, by nature, are constantly evolving, so these descriptions may change along the journey.*
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