Attending the Innovation Leaders Summit (ILS) in Japan in 2019 was a game changer for Queensland cybersecurity champions Cryptoloc, says founder and Chairman Jamie Wilson.

Cryptoloc – recently named in Forbes magazine’s Top 20 cybersecurity start-ups – built on the connections and support from the summit to open a new Tokyo office just 6 months later.

Mr Wilson urged other Queensland start-ups to look at attending the next summit, a virtual version of ILS scheduled for March 2021.

‘For anyone looking at starting a business in Japan, ILS is well and truly a springboard into the market,’ Mr Wilson said.

‘It was about making connections faster than normal because you had the Queensland Government behind you.

‘In Japan, government support adds legitimacy and that helps open doors fast.

‘Our participation in ILS is the only reason that we’ve been able to establish our Tokyo team and build up relationships in Japan.’

Mr Wilson said TIQ had broadened Cryptoloc’s horizons and provided invaluable on-the-ground support in Japan.

‘Cryptoloc hadn’t considered entering Japan before TIQ approached us to join ILS in 2019,’ he said.

‘ILS gave us a safe environment to go into the market and have conversations with key players to understand more about the people and the culture.

‘The support from the TIQ Japan team in Tokyo before and after the event was brilliant.

‘Having Japanese people provide feedback on our pitch ahead of the event in Tokyo was extremely useful … and after ILS, TIQ Tokyo helped us understand how to position ourselves in the market and introduced us to their networks.

‘It’s who you know, not what you know in Japan.’

Mr Wilson said Cryptoloc’s Tokyo office opened in March this year and was tracking well, capitalising on its bricks and mortar presence and his own time in market prior to COVID-19.

‘The reason we’ve moved forward so fast in Japan has been because of my time investment – I visited the country every month after ILS – and then establishing an office there,’ he said.

‘Physically having local people on the ground is “Business101” in Japan – once customers see the value of your product for themselves, the adoption process is much easier.

‘The office has also meant we’ve been able to continue business and build on the strength of our emerging relationships despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘I’m big on relationships over business, because I know that business will follow when there’s a trust element there.’

The Innovation Leaders Summit is Asia’s largest open innovation event, connecting major Japanese corporations to global start-ups through individual meetings. It’s a unique opportunity for Queensland scale-ups and innovative tech companies to pitch directly to Japan’s leading corporations.

If you’re considering participating in Innovation Leaders Summit 2021, please submit your expression of interest by 30 September. For more information, please email Amanda Russell at amanda.russell@tiq.qld.gov.au.

|