Support Services for Japanese Startups Looking to Expand to the Middle East

Providing organization support services including briefing sessions, mentoring program and partnership facilitation

Challenge & Need

Our client is a Japanese government-related organization that promotes mutually beneficial trade and investment relations between Japan and other nations. They needed a consulting firm to help Japanese companies understand the startup ecosystem in GCC, specifically in Dubai, for Japanese Startups looking to expand to Middle East region and considering UAE/Dubai as a startup hub.

3-Tiered Solution

Our consultants developed a program to support the Japanese startups by providing briefing sessions, implementing a mentorship program, and identifying potential partners from the local market.

Phase 1- Research & Briefing

Mentor consultants conducted deep analysis of the economical situation in the GCC/UAE and Dubai and compiled updated market data of current startup ecosystem and business environment. Mentor also studied the forecasted growth in the region as well as governmental and private sector efforts to support the startup ecosystem.

Our instructional design team created a comprehensive presentation summarizing the above-mentioned topics, in addition, listing the main players in the startup ecosystem in UAE and Dubai with success stories and business models. Additionally, we created a supporting document with further details and resources for companies interested in learning more.

Following the development of the material, an experienced consultant delivered the briefing sessions to the founders and key stakeholders in selected Japanese companies, answered their company-specific questions (in regards to setup options, expansion opportunities, startup ecosystem, etc.

Phase 2- Mentoring Sessions

For this phase, we connected Japanese company owners and stakeholders with experienced mentors and subject matter experts with deep understanding of the startups' industry. The mentors answered company-specific questions, mostly in regards to setup options, expansion opportunities, startup ecosystem, market penetration strategies, business model evaluation and strategies for fundraising, etc...

Phase 3 - Matching Sessions

After the mentorship program was conducted, we have helped Japanese start-ups connect with key local players in the market that could facilitate market penetration. This included introducing users to the local companies which considered as possible partners, venture capitalist, investors, press persons , team members and advisory board members, all mobilized according to the needs of clients.


As a result of attending the briefing sessions, the companies stakeholders acquired deep understanding of the UAE business environment and were better informed and equipped to decide about possible expansion to the region. Mentoring and matching services provided allowed our clients to leverage expertise of mentors who have been present in the GCC for decades and to connect with key potential partners based on their expansion goals.

The project was a great successes for all parties involved. As a result, Mentor has sourced more than 20 SMEs, conducted 8 technical mentoring sessions and set up over 15 meetings for the Japanese start-ups with key players in the market such as Etisalat, Oracle, Libanmed, Averda and DXB Live.

A key achievement of the project was the successful partnership of one of the Japanese start-ups with the representatives of Expo 2020 Dubai to provide entertainment service for the launch of the world exposition.

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Support Services for Japanese Startups Looking to Expand to the Middle East