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Inside Fukuoka’s WARAKU Summit

Details on this popular, yearly event.

Inside Fukuoka’s WARAKU Summit

3 min read

Business Matching

While many people think that startup teams must be fiercely independent, working alone until they make it big, that’s rarely the case. Quite the opposite, actually. Collaboration is vital for startups to learn and grow. For many startups, making key connections with established companies and other innovators can help them to take their business to the next level. This is why Fukuoka city hosts the WARAKU SUMMIT, a yearly business matching event held in conjunction with Myojo Waraku.

Now in its second year, the WARAKU Summit encourages a diverse group of startups and support organizations from around the world to interact with one another and potentially team-up. Fukuoka city has a robust international network of mutual support for startups to tap into at any time. With agreements in fifteen locations across eleven countries and regions, startup founders and team members get the opportunity to meet like-minded entrepreneurs, VCs, investors, and passionate startup supporters who all converge on Fukuoka for the event.

WARAKU Summit 2019

The Summit’s mission is to help businesses interact with each other and possibly enter into more formal partnerships. The WARAKU Summit makes this possible by hosting panel discussions, pitch competitions, and booth exhibitions that encourage idea exchanges among the participants. 
 
This year’s event immersed attendees in a world of innovative ideas that sparked many excellent discussions. Twelve support organizations and twenty-six startups from Fukuoka city’s global startup support network joined, coming from as far as the U.S., Spain, Russia, New Zealand, France, and beyond. In addition, many of Fukuoka’s leading startups attended the Summit and participated in the panels.

Success Stories

During the Summit, the Global Startup Center hosted thirty business meetings with startups visiting from overseas. Thirteen of these meetings resulted in either signed Letters of Intent or discussions with the intent to finalize an LoI in the near future. If you are interested in matching with startups in Fukuoka's international network, please visit our Matchup website. As always, the Global Startup Center is ready to help! Contact the GSC if you would like advice on establishing your startup or matching with companies in Fukuoka.

Below are just a few examples of the startups that found matches at the 2019 WARAKU Summit.
 

AKEROS (France) & TrueBizon (Fukuoka)

As you might know, it is illegal to fly drones over private property without the landowner’s permission as they own both the land and air space. AKEROS has already developed autonomous driving platforms for mobility and is teaming up with TrueBizon who are creating sora:share, a business to establish road like pathways within airspace. AKEROS will develop drone technology and work with sora:share to access legal airspace paths.
 
At the WARAKU Summit, AKEROS and TrueBizon agreed to a long-term collaboration to share thoughts and ideas regarding drone technology and relevant business matters.

iDrip (Taipei) & seed village (Fukuoka)

Popular Fukuoka coffee shop seed village has been actively involved in the city’s startup scene for several years now. With iDrip’s innovative smart hand-drip coffee maker, you can brew professional-quality coffee right in your own home. Together, these companies are poised to create coffee perfection. 
 
At the WARAKU Summit, iDrip and seed village formed an agreement for seed village to begin blending special drip packs in Fukuoka in anticipation of iDrip entering the Japanese market. 

Robbo (St. Petersburg) & Next Step (Fukuoka)

These two technology companies are the perfect match. With the tagline “Code Your Imagination,” Robbo allows everyone to learn how to build smart devices in an educational setting, resulting in a greater understanding of technology. Next Step works heavily in the IoT space, specifically in electronic device development and electronic circuit design. They create useful products like an indoor environment sensing device.

At the WARAKU Summit, Next Step and Robbo signed an agreement that Next Step would be a technical support candidate for Robbo Japan and an operational support candidate for Robbo Club.

SecureAge (Singapore) & EagleTree (Fukuoka)

SecureAge Technology uses innovative and discreet methods to keep enterprise customers and governments safe from cybersecurity threats. With tactics including advanced encryption and patented technologies, they are leading the charge in digital security. SecureAge already has a Japanese subsidiary in Tokyo and has introduced its service to the Metropolitan Police Department. EagleTree develops unique and powerful apps for both Android and iPhone platforms while also providing advanced IT education in Swift, among other offerings. 

At the WARAKU Summit, SecureAge matched with EagleTree, who will act as an agent for the Fukuoka region.

Alexa Huth

Writer/Editor for Fukuoka City

Alexa is a communications specialist currently living and working in Fukuoka, Japan.

Click here to find out more about Alexa.