TECH LAB PAAK launches fifth open call for members – in addition to existing member structure, adds new “Hardware Member” category

Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd. (headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; representative director and CEO: Masumi Minegishi), which launched TECH LAB PAAK in November 2014 as a community space to promote open innovation towards the resolution of social issues , announces the start of its fifth open call for members and the addition of a new structure for “Hardware Members.”

BRAIN PORTAL, the hardware startup supporter, joins the project
The start of a new “makers’ movement” is taking place, where individuals and startups are partaking in the creation of new products. Startups making use of physical technologies in the domains of IoT, biotechnology and healthcare, robotics, space exploration, and energy are being collectively referred to as “hardware startups,” and this trend is increasingly picking up momentum. At the same time, many hardware products that succeed in raising initial funding find themselves struggling with issues like shipment delays and a loss of momentum after they launch into the mass production phase.

Seeking to resolve these issues, Recruit has released BRAIN PORTAL, an initiative designed to support project management through the introduction of manufacturing partners and specialists to global hardware startups needing support.


In addition to the regular member structure, the new call for members includes a new category of “hardware members.” By partnering with BRAIN PORTAL, the new effort will enable the assignment of mentors with expertise in hardware and the provision of advice and support to members pursuing the manufacture of products.

PAAK support details and aspects of fifth call for members

PAAK offers a robust infrastructure optimized for IT craftsmanship and product design, with a range of workshops, events, and other opportunities for learning being offered. After passing the screening and becoming a PAAK member, one gains access to mingle sessions with other members, lectures and workshops with overseas guests, and mentoring opportunities. The facilities are free of charge and offer free Wi-Fi, power outlets at all seats, and free drinks and snacks. PAAK offers a place to meet colleagues with a similar mindset and focus deeply on the products you want to make.

(Image photo of TECK LAB PAAK)

In addition, the newly-created Hardware Member category also offers the following support:

1: Comprehensive advice from BRAIN PORTAL
2: Support for the implementation and success of a crowd-funding campaign during membership period
3: Advice from hardware experts:
・Jerry Yang, Hardware Lead & General Partner of Hardware Club
・Lucas Wan, CEO of Hwtrek
・Kenji Fujiwara, CEO of Makers Boot Camp
・Yohei Sawayama, Japan Managing Partner of 500 Startups Japan

4: Hosting of DemoDay for venture capitalists
・Tomihisa Kamada, CEO of TomyK Ltd.
・Yohei Sawayama, Japan Managing Partner of 500 Startups Japan
・And other guests

Summary of fifth call for members:
■Regular Members
・Intended for individuals and teams who want to brush up on technology and project planning in order to scale their clash royale boom projects or products
・Intended for individuals and teams engaged in the research and development of technology and algorithms and seeking to use that technology and context to drive further collaboration
・Individuals and teams who have the IT skills to develop products that make use of the web, smartphone apps, and networking and who want to deepen these skills and share knowledge with others

■Hardware Members
・Individuals and teams who want to rapidly scale their hardware products
・Individuals and teams who want to use open innovation to expand the potential of their technology and business model
・Individuals and teams who have the IT skills to develop hardware products and who want to deepen these skills and share knowledge with others
*The open call for regular and hardware members is limited to individuals and teams of five or fewer people who are over age sixteen.

Tentative schedule:
2/19 – 3/15: Open call
3/16 – 3/21: Document screening
3/22: Notification of initial results
3/26 – 3/29: Interviews
3/31: Notification of final results

Following a screening process, fifth call members will start effective April 11 and work through late September.
Click below for details on calls for members
■Regular members
■Hardware members