• Business Creation
  • HR/Talent
  • Corporate Talent
  • All Startups/Scaleups
  • All Industries
Web site


KDDI CORPORATION is an integrated telecommunications provider offering a wide range of services to both individual and corporate customers, covering both fixed-line and mobile communications. The company has outlined a "Satellite Growth Strategy" in its medium-term business plan, focusing on various business domains centered around communication. It is also actively engaged in open innovation through co-creation with startups. KDDI ∞ Labo was launched in 2011 as the first incubation program by a domestic business company and has now expanded into the largest business co-creation platform in Japan, tying together 83 large corporations and startups. Since 2012, it has also initiated the KDDI Open Innovation Fund with a total fund size of approximately 30 billion yen, investing in a wide range of startups. As of August 4, 2023, it has invested in 135 startups both domestically and internationally.

Initiative details

<Overview of the Initiative>

The “side project with MUGENLABO” is a talent support program for startups aimed at solving labor shortages and fostering business co-creation, where employees from large corporations engage in startup work for 20% of their weekly time over three months. Employees participating in this program undergo interviews and pre-training with LoanDEAL Co.,Ltd. to confirm their growth mindset before engaging in startup work. Additional support measures, such as mentoring and workshops leveraging the expertise of KDDI ∞ Labo, will be introduced from October 2023.


<Vision and Ultimate Goal>

The program aims to solve the labor shortage issue in startups through human resource exchange with large corporations, targeting “global” growth in three aspects of 10X: business growth, company value, and creating opportunities for mutual customer referrals, sales channel expansion, joint demonstrations, and increased awareness. In the medium to long term, the program aims to increase the number of business alliances, capital alliances, and joint ventures between startups and large corporations, ultimately contributing to the growth of globally competitive startups originating from Tokyo.


<Strengths & Assets>

KDDI ∞ Labo, initiated in 2011, is currently the largest business co-creation platform in Japan, with 83 large corporations and more than 300 startups supported annually. LoanDeal has been offering a “rental transfer” business since September 2015, providing opportunities for large corporation employees to work full-time at startups for a certain period (6-12 months), with implementation records in 71 large corporations and over 140 startups.


<Criteria for Supporting Startups>

Support is provided not only to KDDI’s investment targets but to all registered startups. Startups must agree to the terms and conditions and undergo an individual interview and compliance check before officially registering.


<Commitment to the Project>

Since launching the business co-creation platform “KDDI ∞ Labo” in 2011, KDDI has been supporting startups for over 10 years. While the startup ecosystem in Japan has matured, there are still challenges such as a lower number of unicorns compared to other countries and fewer M&As compared to IPOs. KDDI aims to solve these issues collectively with other large corporations in Japan. By offering a new program “side project with MUGENLABO,” KDDI aims to solve the labor shortage issue in startups and create a foundation for future business alliances, capital alliances, and M&As.


KPIs & Achievements

Can be viewed by scrolling horizontally.

Outcomes / As of March 31, 2024

Outputs / As of March 31, 2024


side project with MUGENLABO is a program that supports the alleviation of manpower shortages in startups and the co-creation of business between startups and enterprises by having employees of enterprises engage in startup operations for about 20% of their working hours over a period of three months.
As of December 2023, the program has started with 20 employees from enterprises engaging in operations at 13 startups that were matched through individual company interviews. Additionally, various initiatives have been implemented with the aim of increasing the number of matches between startups and large corporation talents and the number of business co-creation cases by December 2023.
Firstly, to increase the number of enterprises interested in the program, a guidance event for enterprises was held. In this event, employees who had previously participated in the program shared their experiences and learnings through an open discussion. Human Resources and Business Development departments from five partner companies of KDDI∞Labo participated as viewers, and we received positive feedback about introducing the program internally in their companies.
Furthermore, for the purpose of introspection during the program period and to increase the number of business co-creations, a session was organized for currently participating large corporate employees to share challenges they discovered through their roles in startups and business co-creation ideas with their own companies. Based on the challenges and ideas presented by each participant, feedback and exchanges of opinions among participants clarified the actions during the participation period.
On the other hand, startups hosting employees from enterprises have expressed positive feedback such

SU Support Info

・Applications not available at this time