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Tokyo-Based Innovation Engine Invests in Virtus
Virtus Japan K.K. Established
PITTSBURGH, PA & TOKYO, JAPAN | Posted on March 14th, 2007
Virtus Advanced Sensors (VAS) has recently established a wholly-owned subsidiary in Tokyo, Japan, Virtus Japan Kabushiki Kaisha (K.K.). Virtus Japan offices will be located at the Tennoz Central Tower building on Tennoz Island, next to the Shinagawa area in the heart of downtown Tokyo.
Virtus Japan will engage in advanced R&D and new product development activities with local Japanese companies, including affiliated firm Wacoh Research. The company will work jointly with applications providers and customers on the integration of its technology into finished consumer electronics and related products. Virtus Japan will greatly facilitate the company's plan to develop a long-term presence in the country and in the Asian region as a whole. The Japanese market is seen as a key to the growth of the company considering its prominent position as a "first-mover" market in regard to the introduction of new novel technologies in next-generation consumer electronics products. Japan also is a world leader in the robotics, wireless device and gaming industries which are expected to be significant consumers of MEMS enabled inertial sensor components and subsystems in the future.
Innovation Engine, Japan`s largest MEMS and nanotechnology venture capital group has committed at least $1m in capital to Virtus and will be the lead VC in Japan for the company in its current funding round. According to Mutsunori Sano, President & CEO of Innovation Engine, "there is a great deal of university research and industry interest in MEMS in Japan Mr. Kazuhiro Okada (Virtus CTO, co-founder and board member of VAS) is a famous Japanese innovator and has developed an outstanding patent portfolio in MEMS multi-axis inertial sensor technology. Virtus will commercialize and build upon this foundation to develop innovative MEMS enabled products soon. The company is in ideal position to recruit an excellent, experienced engineering staff, including here in Japan. VAS has a strong global network of MEMS R&D and industry expertise to draw from so as to quickly provide new MEMS applications and devices in the near future. We, Innovation Engine Inc., certainly understand the potential of the unique VAS business model, based on our experience as investors in MEMS, nanotechnology and other key emerging technology companies in Japan and abroad. IE strongly expects VAS to be one of the leading MEMS technology venture companies in the world."
Innovation Engine is a Tokyo-based venture capital fund, managing over $60m in investment capital targeting key emerging technologies. Limited partners include Mizuho Bank, Mizuho Capital Ventures, Orix Capital, Ricoh, Fuji Electric, Micronics Japan, Marubeni, Rakuten, Yasuda Development, Cosmo Securities, Toyo Securities, Resona Bank, Aozora Bank, and the Organization for SMEs and Regional Innovation in Japan
About Virtus Advanced Sensors
Virtus Advanced Sensors is a next-generation sensor company commercializing multi-axis inertial sensors including accelerometers, gyros and integrated motion sensors developed based on MEMS (Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems) technology.
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Virtus Advanced Sensors
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