Fukuoka, a city where engineers gather, play active roles, and grow.
Engineer Friendly Fukuoka
3 min read
Startups & Engineers
With such a robust startup community in place, there’s one resource Fukuoka companies are always searching for – engineers. The demand for qualified engineers to work in both startups and traditional companies is high, which is a positive indicator that our business community is growing in innovative markets such as AI and IoT. That is why Fukuoka is focusing on becoming a city where engineers will enjoy working, learning, and growing in their careers.
To provide engineers with the resources they need to thrive in their careers, the city opened the Engineer Café in August of 2019. Filled with spaces for collaboration, networking, events, and coworking, the Engineer Café gives its patrons a place to meet and connect with other engineers.
Of course, the Engineer Café has the essentials like free Wi-Fi, reference materials, and digital manufacturing spaces. But they’ve also included an incentive award for members that have made significant contributions to Fukuoka’s engineering environment and culture. Building a positive engineering culture is important to our city, and we are taking the steps to not only make engineers feel welcome but also build successful and fulfilling careers.
Visiting the Engineer Café
If you’re interested in visiting the Engineer Café, the location is pretty easy to spot. It’s housed in a historic red-brick building constructed in 1909. Keeping with Fukuoka’s pattern of giving historic local buildings new life (FGN, our startup hub, is in a former elementary school), the building was once the entrance to the castle town of Fukuoka from the merchant town of Hakata.
“The Engineer Café was born to support Fukuoka, a city where engineers gather, play active roles, and grow. We hope that a wide variety of encounters born out of the ‘place’ we provide will lead to output, and as a result, a better engineer culture will be implemented in society.”
– The Engineer Café Team
Attracting Engineers and Innovators
More and more, international experts are bringing their skills to Fukuoka. We spoke with Aaron Hilton, founder of Steampunk Digital, about what inspired him to relocate his business from Canada to Fukuoka. Steampunk Digital creates 3D models of people and objects in under 60 seconds using their 3D scanning app, Monocle. The app makes it simple to share 3D scans with anyone who has a smartphone or PC, and they are planning to launch in the iOS App Store soon.
“I moved Steampunk Digital from Vancouver, Canada to Fukuoka; partly as a life opportunity, and partly because there is amazing opportunity to grow here. There are a lot of very progressive people and companies here in Fukuoka. Some of the research arms of larger companies are based here, who create awesome technology…I chose Fukuoka over Tokyo or Osaka, mainly because of the people and quality of life we have here,” Hilton shared about his decision to establish his startup in Fukuoka.
When asked about Fukuoka’s engineering resources, Hilton explained, “There's a lot of support from a core team of people at the Global Startup Center, Fukuoka city government, but mostly there's just a great community of engineers who want to collaborate and do neat new things together. I felt incredibly welcome and have had a lot of support since coming here. We've got a plethora of great resources including Gooday FabLabs, #AR_Fukuoka, Hacker News events at NuLab, SRP Open Innovation Lab (ISIT), and now we've got the Engineering Cafe.”
Stay tuned to learn more about Fukuoka’s engineering initiatives, and be sure to stop by the Engineer Café to meet other local and international innovators.