• What is the WATCH program?

      World Accelerating Tomorrow Challenge (WATCH) is an online program to accelerate technology innovation in disaster relief and prevention-related solutions in the era of climate change. WATCH is seeking for innovative solutions from all over the world. Here we provide business matching opportunities with leading Japanese corporations and development resources for your proposals.
    • When and where is the program held?

      The WATCH program will be held online from December 2021 to February 2022.
    • Do I have to relocate for the entire program?

      There will be some real-time events such as orientation, side events and meetings with your partner company, we strongly suggest you attend to those events. However, since some events will be held via recorded video, you can then watch the video afterwards.
    • What kind of companies can participate?

      Global “tech” companies, startups are welcome to apply to the program. The definition of a Tech companies and startup is determined by the service or product offered. We welcome all business models (e.g. Freemium, SaaS, License, etc.) if they are operating in the fields we search for (see our theme).
    • What stage of startups are accepted?

      Companies that are looking to raise an initial round of investment (seed/series A) may apply. Generally, we are looking for “late” early-stage companies that have at least a working prototype and are ready to do a POC project with one of our corporate partners. If you have more traction and first paying customers – even better!
    • We are a global company with a Japanese office, are we able to apply?

      Yes, you are welcome to join us. WATCH welcomes all global companies and startups that are interested in expanding disaster risk reduction business to the Japanese market and global market.
    • Who is behind the WATCH program?

      Sendai City, JETRO, Skylight Consulting Inc., organized the WATCH program. NTT docomo, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd. Co-organized the program. These partners were specifically chosen because of their strong belief in the vision of our program.
    • Will I be able to travel and visit Sendai during the program?

      Due to the COVID-19 situation, we are sorry that you might not be able to travel to Sendai. But if your proposal is selected by our corporate partners, you might have chance to visit us after the program.
    • When will I received supports from JETRO?

      During the program, you are free to ask JETRO for help if you need them to help you with any communication. While the official supports from JETRO will be after the program if your proposal is selected by our corporate partners.
    • What language will be used during the program?

      English is the official language for the WATCH program; however, you are welcome to use Japanese to communicate with our corporate partners.
    • I have further questions… who should I contact?

      Please do not hesitate to contact us for any further information. We are more than happy to answer all your questions.
      Email us at sendai-bosai-tech@skylight.co.jp
      However, please resist to mail us regarding the status of your application or an evaluation of your startup prior to your application. Due to the high number of applicants, we unfortunately won’t be able to answer them.

    • How will I know the status of my application?

      After you submit your pitch deck and video, your application will be accepted. Once you have been selected to be our candidate, you will receive an email from JETRO to announce your result.
      Please be careful that we will not do any further announcement if you did not pass the screening.
    • If I have our recorded pitch video, should I have to record it again?

      You can submit your recorded pitch video, solution demo video etc. Please submit the video in MP4 format.
    • Must I have an idea to apply?

      Yes, and preferably already in execution. You must be prepared to work on a project together with one of the Industry Partners.
    • When is the application deadline?

      The application deadline of WATCH is at 2021/11/15 (Mon.) 18:00JST.
      Please be aware of your local time.
    • We did apply for the WATCH program via the web site. Should we receive any confirmation email when successful?

      I am not able to participate to the information session, will there be a recorded video for us to view?
      Yes, after the information session, you can review the video via our website.
    • Is there a deadline for the information session?

      No, you are welcome to join the information session anytime.