February 22, 2022

How a HealthTech Startup Secured a Local Sales Partnership Soon After Expanding Into Japan

Written by German Accelerator

About: Lipotype helps science professionals across a range of industries identify and quantify thousands of lipids instantly through the power of mass spectrometry and machine learning.

Founded: 2012

Headquarters: Dresden, Germany

Founder: Kai Simons

Industries: Platform Technologies / Biotechnology

Lipotype Logo



Lipotype GmbH transforms how science professionals analyze cellular lipids. Their proprietary offering – Shotgun Lipidomics – identifies and quantifies thousands of lipids instantly with applications across biotech, pharmaceuticals, food, cosmetics, clinical diagnostics, and personalized healthcare. Their expertise in data science – which includes AI and machine learning – steps beyond statistics to provide rigorous biological interpretation to their clients.

After expanding in Europe and into the U.S., the Lipotype team shifted their focus to Japan – the world’s third-largest HealthTech market currently valued at more than US$1.18 B (¥129.2 B). Analysts expect this market to grow to US$2.48 B (¥270.2 B) by 2026 due to Japan’s rapidly ageing population.

Lipotype’s extensive lipid analysis could be used as a first-mover in preventive medicine research for Japan’s super-ageing population, making this market an enormous untapped potential. However, Lipotype’s initial attempts at engaging with Japanese partners failed to produce satisfactory results, and the reason was unknown.

That’s when the Lipotype team enrolled in the Japan Market Discovery program offered by German Accelerator.

Quote from the text from Dr Oliver Uecke Co-Founder of Lipotype

“The timing was perfect,” said Dr Oliver Uecke, COO of Lipotype. “We recognized that Japan’s market potential for lipid solutions was completely untapped. We wanted to be the first-movers and expand our sales partnerships there. We were also negotiating a huge contract with a Japanese customer and needed guidance on the strategy. Our previous participation in the German Accelerator Life Sciences program gave us access to a great network of mentors in the U.S., so we knew this program could help us similarly in Japan.”

Throughout the program, the team acquired in-depth insights into the Japanese HealthTech market from industry experts, built local stakeholder connections, and better understood Japanese business norms and culturally specific communication patterns, opening doors for further discussions with local partners.

“Lipotype acted on their program mentor’s advice to re-negotiate with their existing partner in Japan, which helped in potentially bringing in more revenue from large Japanese pharmaceutical companies.”, said Mabel Fu, Program Director – Japan, who closely supported Lipotype’s progress during the 6-week program.

Finally, German Accelerator assisted Lipotype in closing a much-awaited deal with a large Japanese pharmaceutical company, representing a significant share of Lipotype’s revenue in 2021. 

Today, the Lipotype team continues to effectively develop their revenue streams in Japan. The local negotiation strategies they acquired during the program have helped them deepen relationships with existing Japanese clients – and build connections with new ones. In the near future, Lipotype plans to expand further into the U.S. and Japan, and they are currently negotiating with Korean conglomerates, thanks to the connections set up by the German Accelerator team.