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The Tokyo-based venture capital firm Inclusion Japan (ICJ), in partnership with Kazana Group, calls on Ethiopian startups with pitch-ready ideas looking to secure significant capital funds, to take advantage of its upcoming exclusive event with an opportunity to secure capital ranging from $100,000 to $500,000.

Local startups applying for the opportunity will have the chance to meet and discuss with senior executives from ICJ and Kazana Group where they can pitch their ideas, as well as have a chance to become one of the eight startup businesses to receive a 100,000 birr prize along with the prospect of future investment from ICJ for a winning pitch.

Teams wishing to meet with ICJ are required to send a Pitch video no longer than 10 minutes until May 14, 2023, via e-mail ( The 10-minute pitch video should include the following elements:

Akofada (DFS Ethiopia)

1 Problem

2 Solution

3 Business Model

4 Market

5 Competitors, Competitive Advantage

6 Business Plan

7 Team

The exclusive event is part of a $100 million budget investment by ICJ that is planned to go towards the top Ethiopian startups with ideas revolutionizing a wide range of sectors. ICJ has already invested over $3 million in local startups such as Gebeya Inc, a SaaS-enabled pan-African marketplace. Additionally, ICJ will soon be completing its investment in GoodayOn, the winning team from the last edition of this event.

ICJ is one of Japan’s leading venture capital firms, with an investment budget of approximately $100 million and a track record of investing in unicorn companies such as the lunar exploration venture “Icespace,” which went public in April with an enterprise value of approximately $1.0 billion.

Related: Meet GoodayOn: The Startup Digitizing Ethiopia’s Informal Labor Market

On the other hand, Kazana Group is a holding company based in Ethiopia. The group currently holds a portfolio of over 20 companies operating in a diverse array of industries and sectors, notably in marketing, communications, advertisement, fintech, telecom, manufacturing, logistics, technologies, investment management and advisory, and many more.

Remarking on the opportunity, Yasuhiro Yoshizawa, Director, and Co-founder of ICJ said, ” As promised during our last visit to Ethiopia in January, ICJ will hold this pitch event every 3-4 months and repeat the process of investment execution with the winning team as the core team. The greatest virtue of the Japanese people is to keep their promises, and I will visit Ethiopia again to keep my promise.”

Yoshizawa and his delegation will be traveling to Ethiopia to meet with representatives of local startups on issues like future investment plans, among other topics. Yoshizawa, along with Addis Alemayehou, Ethiopia’s serial entrepreneur and Group CEO of Kazana Business Group, will be chairing the Pitch Day competition, where participating teams will be presenting their winning ideas to secure the significant capital funding required to boost their businesses.

Addis for his part, remarked that “We at Kazana Group are excited about the opportunity to work with ICJ Japan, our commitment and excitement regarding Ethiopia is aligned. I would like to thank Yoshizawa and his team for keeping their promise to come back and spend time with our startups.”

To date, ICJ has invested in 21 startups under its ICJ No. 2 Fund. The venture capital firm started its operations in Africa, with its first investments being in Ethiopian-based startups.

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