The Japanese port city partners 500 Startups to establish a pre-accelerator program for 15 to 20 companies.

The city of Kobe has joined forces with venture capital firm 500 Startups to set up a pre-accelerator program in the city for 15 to 20 seed-stage companies, according to the Bridge.

The program, aimed at both domestic and international startups, will focus on the sectors of business intelligence, commerce, fintech, education technology, healthcare, internet of things, software-as-a-service and others.

The two partners specifically hope to attract businesses that can tackle challenges encountered locally in the Kobe region. Startups will be allowed to seek sponsorship agreements with corporates.

The program will begin on August 1 and run through September 9, when it will end with a demo day attended by a range of partners at 500 Startups. It will take place at the Kobe Institute of Computing.