Japanese operator NTT DoCoMo has announced that it is investing in 500 Startups, as part of a deal that sees it launch its own mobile-focused incubator in Japan in partnership with the US company.
DoCoMo revealed plans for its own startup-focused venture last October, and it says that the project is worth 10 billion yen — approximately $109 million today. The new DoCoMo incubator program is focused on tablet and smartphone related startups in Japan, as you’d well expect from a mobile operator. The company has not revealed specific details of how startups can enter, there is no mention of a website as yet, but it is already saying that the deadline for applications closes on March 11.
500 Startups will specifically help startups tap into the North American market, but will assist with other regions and will also arrange “short study programs in Silicon Valley” to help connect the DoCoMo-backed businesses with the right people in the US.