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Global Innovators Meet in Fukuoka

In early December, the International Society for Professional Innovation Management (more commonly called the ISPIM) held an innovation conference in Fukuoka.

Global Innovators Meet in Fukuoka

4 min read

This month, the International Society for Professional Innovation Management (ISPIM) held their annual innovation conference in Fukuoka. The event was attended by innovators from around the globe who met to discuss issues impacting both business and life in our rapidly advancing society. Among the highlighted topics at the event were startup creation, support, and advancement. When I met with Iain Bitran, the Executive Director at ISPIM, he explained that they were very interested in visiting our startup community and learning what has made it so special. With all of the global attention that Fukuoka’s startup scene has been getting, it’s starting to capture the attention of researchers and global innovators as well.

Introducing Fukuoka’s Startups to Global Innovators

I worked together with the Global Startup Concierges, to build an onsite session for the ISPIM attendees who wanted to learn about our startups. When I arrived at the Hilton on December 4th to help guide everyone to Growth Next, I was thrilled to learn that the session actually had a wait list of people excited to see what Fukuoka's startups are all about.

When we arrived at Growth Next, the group was so enthusiastic about the building that we ended up doing a tour immediately. They were really impressed by the comprehensive support all contained in one building (and happy to see and try Honey Coffee). After guiding them through the tour and introducing them to Goodday Fab Daimyo and awabar, it was time to hear the startups present.

Hearing Startup Perspectives

We invited four startups to present to the group: ikkai, Junno Designs, Smartichip, and Bizkman. Each startup presented on not just what their startup does, but how they felt about beginning their company’s journey in Fukuoka. Each had their own unique story and presentation style that made room for lively Q&A sessions.

A common sentiment given by our presenters was that they appreciated Fukuoka’s supportive environment and collaborative atmosphere. Beyond that, we spent time discussing the local startup climate and growth of each new business.

The attendees were filled with questions about startup life in Fukuoka. As the founders were from places around the globe, everyone was interested in what had pulled them to Fukuoka. They were quite interested in learning more about the plans and growth potential for each startup as well. After the presentations, many also stopped by the Startup Café to learn more about the resources provided to global startups here.

Wandering Daimyo

Finding the group with some time before their local sake distillery tour, I offered to take them around Daimyo. So often with conferences, it can be tough to really experience the host city. The group I took absolutely loved the Daimyo atmosphere and enjoyed taking pictures and stopping to explore local shops.

They got to experience just how walkable our city is, as we made our way from Daimyo to the holiday lights of Tenjin. It’s an incredible feeling being able to show that even with some chill in the air (and light rain) our city is so vibrant and full of life.