March 15, 2018
  • Rakuten, Inc.

Rakuten launches new sustainability initiative “Rakuten Social Accelerator”

- Collaborations planned with “social entrepreneurs” working to solve social issues with technology -

Tokyo, March 15, 2018 - Rakuten, Inc. today announced it will start accepting applications from social entrepreneurs in Japan wishing to participate in a new sustainability initiative, Rakuten Social Accelerator, which aims to solve social issues with technology.

Since its formation in 1997, Rakuten has strived to grow its business with its mission to “contribute to society by creating value through innovation and entrepreneurship” based on the philosophy of transforming and enriching society through the internet. In its sustainability efforts, Rakuten also promotes various activities both in Japan and abroad to realize a sustainable society based on the shared values of the Rakuten Group.

Rakuten Social Accelerator welcomes social entrepreneurs who are trying to impact society by not just addressing the symptoms of social issues but by ascertaining and fixing their root causes. Partner organizations will form teams with Rakuten employees and together they will spend 6 months developing technology-based solutions to further accelerate the social entrepreneurs’ businesses. Social entrepreneurs participating in the program will benefit from Rakuten’s broad-ranging experience in internet-related services.

For the initial application process, documents submitted by organizations between March 15 and May 15 will be reviewed. Selected organizations will proceed to a final selection in June where they will make a short pitch to Rakuten employees. In the end it is expected that five entries will participate in the program. Following six months of collaboration, they will present their results in a Demo Day to be held in January 2019.

Rakuten will continue to support social entrepreneurs aimed at solving social issues with technology and will strive to realize a sustainable society by contributing the Rakuten Group’s diverse expertise.

*Please note the Rakuten Social Accelerator is currently only open to applications from social entrepreneurs that can come to Rakuten Crimson House on a monthly basis in person.


Application timeline
March 15 (Thu.) to May 15 (Tue.), 2018: Applications accepted
April 4 (Wed): Program Information Session for Social Entrepreneurs
June 15 (Fri.), 2018: Final selection *Tentative
July 2 (Mon.) to December 28 (Fri.), 2018: Collaboration period
January 26 (Sat.), 2019: Presentation of results *Tentative

*Please note that the information contained in press releases is current as of the date of release.

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