Harch Inc.

Harch Inc.
  • Incubation
  • Acceralation
  • Youth
  • Pre-founding
  • All Startups/Scaleups
  • Environment
Web site


With the mission of “Publishing a better future,” Harch Inc. runs several online magazines in the sustainability field, including IDEAS FOR GOOD and Circular Economy Hub. The company also works with businesses and cities transitioning to a sustainable, circular economy. We support you in launching circular startups using our media assets and extensive local and global network.

Initiative details

“CIRCULAR STARTUP TOKYO(CST)-Boosting Circular Economy Innovation from Tokyo-” provides support for circular startups to help build and scale their business.


Our Goal/ Vision/ Background:


As climate change and resource scarcity become more serious, Circular Economy (hereafter CE) startups (hereafter SUs) needs to be emerging along with our ambition for carbon neutral and nature positive goal.


In March 2023, METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) released the “Strategy for a Growth-Oriented, Resource-Autonomous Circular Economy”. In September 2023, Japanese Prime Minister Mr. Kishida announced the upcoming launch of an ” Industry-Government-Academia Circular Economy Partnership”. These developments build the foundation for CE businesses to expand. Based on this background, we will launch an incubation program for CE SUs called “CST” and contribute to the 2050 carbon neutral goal in Japan. CST will support approximately 15 CE SUs, as well as these SUs being funded and having business alliances with other companies. Join us to co-build a sustainable society.


CST 6 Features:
1. Total support for commercializing the business along with a deployment of a program that enhances understanding of the essence of CE
2. Support for a product and service development, taking account of CE value chain
3. Matchmaking and networking with companies and members that have a special focus on CE
4. Dedicated support by specialiests, entrepreneurs and mentors
5. Taking advantage of our expertise and global and domestic network having been fostered through our media “Circular Economy Hub” which specilized in CE and “IDEAS FOR GOOD” which showcases creative ideas for good around the world.
6. Support for promoting SUs through our media “Circular Economy Hub” and “IDEAS FOR GOOD” (article or event)


Our Program (Planned):


1. Deployment of a 6 month incubation program (2 periods will be planned)
We plan to recruit participants for each sessions and run an incubation program for about 6 months. Through mentoring by around 10 mentors, including circular economy experts, circular SU entrepreneurs, investors, university professors, business corporations, and entrepreneurship support specialists, we will prepare the groundwork for scalable circular economy businesses with a consideration of economic, social, and environmental aspects in balance. Specifically, the following contents are planned (contents are subject to change).


#Study sessions on circular economy overview, overall trends, business model, business development, circular startups, evaluation axis of circular startups from the venture capital perspective, etc.
#Networking, exchange, and study trip with senior CE SUs
#Visits to university-industry collaboration organizations
#Tailored support based on theme, focused area, and phase of the participants
#Offline/Online chat mentoring


2. Demo Day (At the end of each incubation program)

We will support successful startups by showcasing them at Demo Day and on our media


3.Tailored Matching

We will introduce domestic and international companies and organizations as needed.

​For more details, please refer to the Circular Economy Hub (https://cehub.jp/), IDEAS FOR GOOD (https://ideasforgood.jp/), and Harch Inc. official website (https://harch.jp/).


CST Members:
Yu Kato: CEO of Harch Inc. Founder of IDEAS FOR GOOD. Since 2020, he has been running “Circular Economy Hub” and “Circular Yokohama” in Yokohama City. He also works as an advisor to the Circular City Project in Gamagori City, Aichi Prefecture. He works with various companies, municipalities, and educational institutions to accelerate the circular transition in Japan. Harch Inc. ranked 38th in FT ranking: Asia-Pacific High-Growth Companies 2022 and 5th in Nikkei Rapid Growth Startup 2022. The company also got a B Corp™️ certification in April 2023. Yu completed “Sustainable marketing, media and creative” at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. He holds a CSR Practitioner qualification certified by CMI in the UK and a “Circular Economy Trained” Certificate from The Circular Economy Institute. Graduated from the Faculty of Education, University of Tokyo.


Takahiro Amano: Director of Harch Inc. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of “HEDGE GUIDE,” a sustainable financea and investment magazine. Takahiro is engaged in disseminating a wide range of information related to sustainable finance and investment, including circular economy, ESG, impact investment, donations, fintech, and Re-Fi, as well as planning and producing sustainability-related content for major financial institutions. He joined Harch Inc. after exiting his digital marketing startup. Graduated from the Faculty of Education, University of Tokyo.


Megumi Ito: Head of Harch Europe, Harch Inc. Based in London, UK, she oversees the Harch Europe business (London, Paris, and Amsterdam) from The Mills Fabrica, an incubation facility specializing in sustainability and CE. In addition to interviewing local CE companies in Europe, she is engaged in research, consulting, and coordinating CE tours in Europe for Japanese companies. Graduated from the Graduate School of Social Sciences, Hitotsubashi University.


Kiyokazu Nasu: Editor-in-chief of Circular Economy Hub (Operated by Harch Inc.). Established Circle Design Inc. in 2020, specializing in co-creation business in CE. He serves as a director of the Japan Sustainable Salon Association, a member of the Sustainable Japan Project Task Force, an advisor to the Circular City Project in Gamagori City, Aichi Prefecture, a mentor of Business Accelerator Kanagawa (BAK), and a lecturer at several training companies. In addition to consulting experience specialized in CE for global and SMEs, he has conducted numerous lectures and in-house training for companies. Graduated from DePauw University in the United States.


CST Partner:
Hirokazu Kitahara: Partner, Archetype Ventures.


Hirokazu was engaged in planning and implementation of regional revitalization measures at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, and planning of budget and policy directions for the entire ministry. At Boston Consulting Group, he was engaged in planning corporate and business strategies in sectors such as information and communication, banking and insurance, and manufacturing. Then he joined Archetype Ventures and invested in areas such as circular economy and Climate Tech, focusing on the sustainability domain. He is also an outside director of Fileforce.


KPIs & Achievements

Can be viewed by scrolling horizontally.

Outcomes / As of March 31, 2024

Outputs / As of March 31, 2024


On March 7, a program information session was held for prospective participants in CIRCULAR STARTUP TOKYO, a circular economy startup incubation program specializing in the circular economy area.

Program Information Session

The day of the event drew a total of about 100 participants, both on-site and online. The event was hosted by Harch Inc. and featured guest speakers Yasuhiro Yoshikawa, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry Industrial Science and Technology Policy and Environment Bureau Resources Recycling and Economy Division, Rina Sakai, President of Fermenstation Co., Ltd., and Hirokazu Kitahara, Partner, Archetype Ventures. The event included presentations and panel discussions on the policy, practitioner, and investor perspectives on circular startups, challenges for future development, and expectations for the program.

A total of 50 groups applied for the program, and after screening through documents and interviews, the final 16 groups comprising of 24 participants, were selected for the first phase of the program. A kick-off event was held on April 16, and the incubation program will be fully developed in the future.

The program is designed to support business development aiming at realizing a circular value chain by enhancing the resolution of upstream issues such as resource recovery and recycling from the early stages of planning and development of new materials, products, services. The supporting team of instructors, mentors, and advisors consists of experts, researchers, and startup entrepreneurs who are knowledgeable about circular economy. Additionally, we will accelerate the ecosystem building for the transition to the circular economy in Tokyo and Japan through the program.

SU Support Info

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