Letara Ltd. was adopted as a support target company of the consortium incubation program "1stRound" with leading domestic companies, sponsored by UTokyo Innovation Platform Co., Ltd. (UTokyo)
“1stRound”, the first and largest incubation platform for entrepreneurship support in Japan across universities
The 1stRound program, which is run by the University of Tokyo IPC, is the largest cross-university incubation platform in Japan that supports the commercialization and social implementation of excellent university-related technologies and ideas. There are many technology seeds within universities across Japan, however the current situation is that support for early commercialization is not yet sufficient. “1stRound” aims to create and nurture ventures beyond the boundaries of the university by providing financial support to accelerate the initial action, developing and discovering of management personnel, and networking for business collaboration.
Participation by teams from universities outside of UTokyo began in 2021, with the addition of University of Tsukuba, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, and Tokyo Institute of Technology participated to the 5th iteration of "1stRound." This year, teams from Kobe University, Nagoya University, Hitotsubashi University, and Hokkaido University became eligible to participate, further expanding support to eight universities, and discovering a diverse body of university personnel who are starting new businesses.
Comments from Hideki Nagasaka, UTokyo Innovation Platform Co., Ltd, Director of "1stRound"
"The propulsion system is a very important part of a satellite, and is used for a wide range of purposes from attitude control to orbit change etc. However, current systems use extremely hazardous fuels such as hydrazine, which, due to high handling costs, it is not commonly used for small satellites. Recently, the development of highly safe fuel is progressing, but the propulsive force is inevitably weakened, so even if it is only possible to make minor corrections to Earth's orbits, and large-scale orbital changes are difficult. The Hokkaido University certified start-up company, Letara has focused on this issue, and they are working as a global management team to develop safe and high-thrust propulsion systems using plastic as fuel. I hope that this technology will lead to more widespread use of small satellites, whose market is rapidly expanding."