Open Network Lab

Open Network Lab 22nd Batch! Currently accepting Applications!

Deadline: Friday, November 27th 2020, Program Term: Late January 2021 to April 2021


Open Office Hours

Open Office Hours are available for the startups and entrepreneurs.
We are having one-on-one meetings with our team to discuss ideas and business strategies.

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Building the best environment for startup growth and success

Open Network Lab (Onlab) provides the necessary tools to resource-constrained startups to build their busineses, as well as the optimal environment to maximize their chances of success. Through these initiatives, we work to achieve our mission of “incubating startups that can compete on the global stage.”


Industry Agnostic
Any disruptive ideas made possible by the internet

Batch 10: SmartHR, Inc.

Enterprise / SaaS

Batch 14: Cansell, Inc.


Batch 1: giftee, Inc.


Batch 5: WHILL Inc.


Batch 12: Trim Inc.


Batch 14: Toreru,Inc.


Batch 6: Lang-8 inc.


Batch 14: matsuri technologies, Inc.

Sharing economy


Build a sustainable growth model with dedicated mentors, over an intensive three-month period

The Tokyo program provides funding, access to office space, and mentorship to help startups polish their ideas and reach their next operating milestones. Over the years, Open Network Lab has helped hundreds of companies builid their businesses and avoid common stumbling blocks, to fast-track their success.

three-month program



Receive mentorshp by investors (from both Japan and overseas), seasoned entrepreneurs, and subject matter experts. Experienced professionals from the Onlab team will work closely with participating teams to support hypothesis validation, product brush-ups, and pitch practice.



Utilize discounted plans for our workspaces in Shibuya and Daikanyama, and network with other seasoned entrepreneurs. Corporate registration at these locations is also possible. *The facilities are currenlty closed for renovation and to prevent the spread of COVID-19.



Receive funding of up to 10 million yen, so that you can focus on growing your business. The entire process leading to the investment, including interviews can be completed online. In addition, we provide ample support for subsequent financing.



Use the assets of Digital Garage Group to validate your ideas. These assets are provided by Digital Garage’s advertising and payment divisions, as well as, Inc., which operates and Tabelog.
* Assets can be utilized in the condition there is business synergy between the companies.



Connect with an exclusive community of over 150 startups, which are either in a similar stage, or further along in their journeys. Connect with startups via online groups and study sessions.



Gain access to numerous tools and resources from our partner companies. Our partners serve fundamental needs for every startup, ranging from infrastructure, development tools, hiring, and back-office tools—all at discounted or free prices.



Pitch to an audience of over 50 investors (from Japan and overseas) at the culmination of the program, for a chance to raise additional capital. We have experience running demo days and doing matchmaking with VCs fully online.



Access Onlab Campus—a knowledge base of educational content to help startups break through growth bottlenecks. This includes case studies of past successes and failures of other startups, as well as latest video lectures by subject matter experts, clips of past mentoring sessions, and demo days. Onlab campus distills all the know-how gained from running the program for the past 10 years.

To ensure that you all are able to attend, the program may be held online, depending on the circumstances.
As we have experiences and know-hows, you can rest assured that we are here to help.







Google Cloud Platform























ビザスク lite




emol work

Channel Talk



Build value that will become the nucleus of your business

You can focus all your efforts on growing superficial metrics related to sales and marketing, but is this really “true growth?”

We have seen countless examples of companies that have failed because they were focused on the wrong things at the wrong time. Startups certainly have different engines for success, but what they all have in common is the need to be able to clearly articulate, “what problem are you solving for who”.

At Onlab, we help startups crystalize the value that is core to their businesses so that they can achieve sustainable growth in their operations, even after the program.

Idea verification

Systemically test your hypotheses to navigate questions such as, “do customers really need what we offer?,” and, “is this the correct solution?”, to build a strong foundation for your business.

Accountability and peer pressure

The three-month program consists of regular check-in meetings with mentors and a demo day at the end of the program, among other events. This set schedule motivates startups to grow faster than if they were on their own, due to higher accountability and peer pressure from other startups in the same cohort.

Community of entrepreneurs

This community includes startups in the same stage inspring each other to work hard, alumni who have already exited, and dedicated mentors who can provide ongoing advice.

Continuous learning environment

Onlab Campus holds webinars and seminars based on startup needs and market conditions, which are open to our startups at any time. Startups also have access to templates that can be used in various situations.

Partners to bounce ideas off

It’s common for startups to slow down after graduating from the accelerator program. But at Onlab, startups can set up regular, one-on-one meetings with our team to discuss ideas and receive feedback— helping to maintain momentum after finishing the program.

Support from experts in various fields

The alumni incubation team is dedicated to supporting program alumni—providing professional services in areas ranging from finance, business development, traction, and product development.


Over 120 program alumni
playng an active role in their respective industries and regions

Total Startups


Funding Success Rate


Exited Companies


Alumni’s Voice


[Batch 10] CEO of SmartHR, Inc.

Shoji Miyata

SmartHR is a service born after pivoting 10 times during Onlab. Without Onlab, SmartHR would never have been born. The strong pressure received from mentors and the time contraint of having demo day in three months forced me to accelerate my progress significantly. I highly recommend Onlab, especially for teams that are “highly technical, but uncertain of what to do”.


[Batch 14] CEO of Cansell, Inc.

Kyohei Yamashita

I participated twice; with Dreampass in 4th and with Cansell in 14th batch. There have been many accelerator programs since that time, but no other program lasts as long as Onlab. That’s becuse thay have a vision like no other. If you are worried about your business or things to do now and want to accelerate your business from now on, I recommend that you first apply. Let’s discuss various things together!

Onlab alumni* Excerpts from all programs

Click here for previous participants


Vast experience from “Series A ~ IPO” and investors from around the world

Joi Ito

Digital Garage Board of Directors and Co-Founder

Kaoru Hayashi

Digital Garage Representative Director

Shonosuke Hata Representative Director and President

Atsuhiro Murakami Director

Shingo Yuki Director

Tetsuro Nakamura

Executive Officer and Manager of Strategy Department

Tomoyuki Watabe

General Manager of Business Development Division and Manager of Kinarino Department

Teruhide Sato


Hiro Maeda

BEENEXT Managing Partner

Phil Libin

All Turtles, Inc. CEO/Founder

Naofumi Tsuchiya

Goodpatch CEO/Founder

Mutsumi Ota

giftee CEO/Founder

Shota Horii

Fablic Founder

Shoji Miyata

SmartHR CEO/Founder


During the program, startup support experts guide you through the PDCA cycle to verify business hypotheses

A fantastic opportunity to blaze new trails

How will the global COVID-19 pandemic change the world? The world will never go back to the way it was, even after the long fight with this virus ends. Now more than ever, we need entrepreneurs who can generate new value in a changing world, including daily life customs, business practices, and cultures.

Tomoya Sasaki, Onlab evangelist

The best environment for people taking on new challenges

Passionate people taking on new challenges have changed the world in every era. At Onlab, we fully leverage our past expertise and network to bring together entrepreneurs at the most uncertain time in their companies’ life, right after they are established. In this way, we help them embark on fantastic new voyages.

Naoki Sato, program director

Nobuyuki Matsuda

Momoe Ariyama

Yuya Furukawa

Daisuke Hara

Ken Covey

Kazuyuki Nakane

Ayumi Ichimura

Akane Arai

Hazuki Inata


We offer various resources for you to quickly brush up your product/service during the three-month program period

The Seed Accelerator Program is run twice a year— once in the winter and once in the summer.
For the latest information regarding application, please refer to our website, Facebook, Twitter and email newsletter .
* Please note that the content of our support may change due to the effects of COVID-19.

About the application

Program Onlab 22nd Batch
Deadline Noon on 2020/11/27 (Fri)
※We recommend that you apply as soon as possible, as we will stop accepting applications if there are many applicants that make it to the 1st Interview.
Participation Requirements
  • If research results, patents or other intellectual property rights are to be used in participants’ business, the participants need to have the rights to use them in their business and shall not infringe the rights of any third party.
  • Participants need to have skills to produce prototypes or achieve a certain level of business progress during the Onlab “Seed Accelerator” program (the “Program”) which runs approximately three (3) months and demonstrate the results.
  • If the participating team has had a third party invest in it, participants need to have obtained prior consent from such investor to participate in the Program.
  • Participants’ business shall not violate public order or morality.
  • Participants, the members of the team, their relatives or their stakeholders shall not be a part of anti-social forces. They shall not have any relationship with anti-social forces.
  • Participants must go along with DG’s request which ask you to submit required documents for selection purpose.
  • Participants of nationality other than that of Japan need to be legally qualified to stay in Japan during the Program.
  • Participants under the age of twenty (20) need to have acquired the consent of their parent(s) or their legal guardian(s).
Terms of participation
  • Participants shall attend events relating to the Program held by Digital Garage, Inc. (“Digital Garage”) during the Program period.
  • If participants don’t have a corporation at the time of application, participants shall incorporate a corporation after participating in the Program.
  • Participants agree that their activities may be posted on the websites or other media managed by Digital Garage or any of its group companies.
  • Participants shall concentrate on the business that they have undertaken to conduct in the application process during the Program.
  • Participants shall not discuss possible business alliances or receiving investments during the Program period with a third party without the prior consent of Digital Garage.
  • Participants agree that their corporation shall allocate its shares to Digital Garage or its affiliated companies (if it is incorporated afterwards, it shall do so after incorporation).
  • In addition, participants shall comply with other obligations including those regarding the application procedures. In addition, participants shall agree to the terms and conditions of participation to be separately designated by Digital Garage.
Application Process
  1. Apply via entry form
  2. Entry Form Check We will review your entry form and evaluate your product idea, target market and team.
  3. 1st Interview There will be a face-to-face or online interview with Onlab. *We may ask you to have multiple interviews.
  4. Final Interview Visit our office and give a presentation to board members of Digital Garage.
  5. Program Start


Application-Related Questions

When does the application period for the next Seed Accelerator Program begin?
Two batches are held during the year (Winter and Summer). The application for the Winter Program begins during October, and the application for the Summer Program begins during April. We review every application in the order in which they are submitted.
There are no engineers on my team; can I still apply?
We will gladly accept applications of all candidates regardless of the structure of your team. However, it is expected that your product is developed and released during the duration of the program; therefore, precedence goes to teams with engineers.
I am the only member in the team; can I still apply?
Yes, however we expect you to develop and release your product by the end of the program.
I am a minor or a student; can I still apply?
Yes, however in the case of minors, we require parental or legal guardian consent.
Can I submit application documents in English?
Please submit applications either in English or Japanese.
I don’t speak Japanese; can I still apply?
You may apply as long as you speak English.
I don’t speak English; can I still apply?
No worries! Onlab staff will translate as necessary.
Are teams with multiple services eligible to apply for the program?
Yes, however due to the limited time we can provide each team during the interview process, it will be necessary to talk about each service within a fixed amount of time. Therefore, the time to promote and appeal each service will be shortened.
Can I still participate in Onlab even if I raised seed money?
We welcome all companies, whether or not they have raised money.
Is it possible to apply for the same business idea multiple times during the period?
Yes, you can apply multiple times during the period.

About the Interview Process

Is there a language designation for the interview?
Interviews are available in Japanese and English.
Is it required for all team members to be present during the interview?
No, any number of team members may participate provided that they are able to describe the service and answer any questions that may be asked.
Can my team members participate in the interview?
Yes, however we ask that each team limits participants to three members.
How many interviewers will there be?
There will be anywhere from two to three interviewers.
Can we receive feedback on the application results?
Due to the large quantity of applications, we do not give out feedback on application results.
Should I make a presentation at the interview based on the slide material that was attached to my application?
Yes, we ask you to follow the slide. Unless you have the interviewer’s instruction, you do not need to send in your updated slides prior to the interview.

Program-Related Questions

Do I need to stay in Tokyo during the program?
Not necessary, if you can participate online. With the impact of the new coronavirus infection in mind, we are prepared to complete the selection process and program all online.
What is the fee to join the program?
The program is free of cost.
Do I have to be incorporated to join the program?
Incorporation is not necessary prior to the program; however, we require all teams to incorporate during the middle of program.
Can I participate in other programs at the same time?
We ask that teams refrain from joining multiple programs so they don’t mix up priorities and tasks.

Please contact us for any questions other than the above.

We will send you the latest events information
or notify opening of application for the Seed Accelerator Program, and more.

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