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Nordic Mission 2019

Fukuoka's startups visit Estonia and Russia.

Nordic Mission 2019

3 min read

Just last month, Fukuoka city and several of our startups traveled to Russia and Estonia on a Nordic Mission. We hold MoUs in both locations, meaning local startups from Japan, Russia, and Estonia can receive specialized support to establish branches of their startup in each country. During this mission, startups from Fukuoka made new connections and learned a great deal about what the communities in Russia and Estonia have been working on recently.

Hosting an MoU Celebration in Russia

Last year, the Russian government’s strong support of economic exchange between Russia and Japan, specifically in the fields of AI, medicine, and energy, led to an MoU between St. Petersburg and Fukuoka. To commemorate the first anniversary of this MoU, Fukuoka city hosted a celebration at Technopark in St. Petersburg on May 14th.

A Chance to Learn More

Ten startups (three from Fukuoka and seven from Russia) also pitched at the event. The winners of the contest were UNIXON SYSTEMS from Fukuoka and Robbo from Russia. UNIXON SYSTEMS won a Technopark prize pack that included an invitation to the MY.TECH event in June, free use of the co-working space for one year, and specialized business support from Technopark. Winners Robbo received prizes from Fukuoka including an invitation to the WARAKU SUMMIT (along with airfare and hotel), housing and office rental support for one year, and individualized business support benefits from the Global Startup Center. In addition, a joint effort was established between recent Fukuoka city pitch contest winners Team AIBOD, and Russian startup, VOLTS.

Experiencing Estonia’s IT Innovations

Estonia is known for its advanced IT initiatives, including e-Government. With these exciting enterprises taking place, a delegation of 38 members from Fukuoka city traveled to learn more and potentially collaborate with companies engaged in Estonia’s IT efforts. Delegation members were able to view the “e-Showroom,” which is a part of the e-Government mission. The trip also resulted in an MoU between, Nihon Keizai University, also called the Japan University of Economics, and local business eKool. This MoU will be a catalyst for Estonian companies who are looking to enter the Japanese market.

Attending Latitude59

During the trip to Estonia, five of Fukuoka’s startups exhibited at a booth with Fukuoka city at the Latitude59 conference. Startups were able to engage with event attendees and discuss potential collaborations with other exhibiting startups, investors, and companies. On May 16th, Fukuoka city hosted the “Fukuoka event” which included an introduction by Mayor Takashima and a pitch contest for startups from Fukuoka and Estonia.

You may have seen that Fukuoka city presented Gelatex Technologies with the Fukuoka Award. The innovative company manufactures and sells new chemical materials. In addition, Fukuoka-based startup Qurate won the Estonia Award, giving them business consultation support from Enterprise Estonia, a roundtrip ticket to Estonia, and a Latitude59 ticket for next year.

Developing a Bright Future

The trips to Estonia and Russia gave Fukuoka’s startups the chance to explore local business opportunities while also sharing Fukuoka’s growing startup community with even more global entrepreneurs. We look forward to seeing the connections that formed at these events turn into fruitful collaborations.

If you are a startup in Estonia or Russia and are interested in branching out into the Japanese market, please don’t hesitate to contact our Global Startup Center. They will be happy to help! In addition, if your organization or city would like to form an MoU with our startup community, please get in touch with the Global Startup Center to receive individualized assistance.