Tech Rocketship, UK Gov support for Japanese tech start-ups

Written by BCCJ
December 18, 2019


Written by BCCJ
December 18, 2019

BCCJ members and guests joined a morning briefing on December 16, to find out what the UK Government is doing in partnership with Japan to support the growth of the country’s tech sectors.

The UK is the fifth-largest economy in the world – with 65 million potential consumers, a deep-tech ecosystem, a diverse talent base and a supportive business environment.

The technology sector is very much at the heart of the UK economy – making cities greener and underpinning the financial, health, manufacturing, and mobility sectors.

With £5bn of scaleup investment, the UK ranks first in Europe and fourth in the world, after the US, China and India. 35% of Europe and Isreal’s 169 ‘Unicorns’ have been created in the UK.

The BCCJ believes it’s the perfect place for determined, ambitious tech companies to scale globally.


Tech Rocketship

The inaugural JP-UK Tech Rocketship Awards are designed to connect Japan’s fast-rising tech stars with the UK’s world-leading growth eco-system of VCs, advisors, customers and support networks. Run by Department for International Trade, the Awards are open to Japanese scale-ups who offer innovative, technology-led solutions across a wide spectrum of industries and are ready to go global.

So far, the UK’s Tech Rocketship programme has been successfully launched in Australia, India and South Korea, but this is the first time the Awards have been open to Japanese businesses. The Tech Rocketship Awards will help a maximum of 8 Japanese winning companies to gain exposure, expand their global networks and expedite the set-up of their UK operations through a paid-for, curated trip to the UK in June 2020.

Winners will engage in a program of meetings with advisors, potential investors and leading players in the broader tech ecosystem, to expedite them setting up a presence in the UK. They will also have the opportunity to attend London Tech Week from June 8-12 2020.


The objective

UK Gov and the BCCJ are now looking for Japan-based startups that deliver innovative, tech-focused ideas across a wide spectrum of industries to pitch their ideas across four competition categories, designed with some of the biggest shared global issues in mind:

  • Clean Growth
  • Healthy Ageing
  • Future of Mobility
  • Creativity & Technology


End of January 2020: applications close
Early February 2020: winners announced
June 2020: Paid for trip to the UK inc. flights and accommodation

Applicant companies are required to be headquartered in Japan, with no presence in the UK.

More information here:



Further to a presentation about the Tech Rocketship Awards by the Department for International Trade team from the British Embassy Tokyo, participants engaged in a lively Q&A session.

Applicants for the Tech Rocketship Japan Awards can apply in Japanese, and the judging panel will involve Japanese speakers and Japanese specialists.

Early business ventures and enterprises are encouraged to apply.

Taking part in the session were delegates driven by an interest in technology, innovation, and / or UK-Japan collaboration in the 21st century.

As the UK-Japan partnership enters an exciting new era, driving ambitious solutions, the BCCJ encourages you to get involved; apply for the programme, share this information with your budding networks, or even just get in contact and let us know your thoughts! ([email protected])