Introducing Fukuoka City's initiatives for overseas startups
Support for existing and future startups in Fukuoka
5 min read
Looking ahead to COVID-19
In 2020, due to the impact of COVID-19, it has become difficult to hold and participate in face-to-face startup events as before. Therefore, Fukuoka city has been supporting startups by holding online startup events in cooperation with domestic and overseas startup support organizations with which we have been cooperating since the expansion of COVID-19, and by providing support for applications for benefits and loans related to COVID-19.
" Supporting existing startups"
For overseas startups that have made inroads into Fukuoka city, we mainly create business opportunities for them by expanding their sales channels in Japan and collaborating with overseas companies with which we have partnerships.
As one of the support for expanding sales channels and creating opportunities for collaboration with overseas companies with whom we have partnerships, Fukuoka city provided support for Fukuoka city start-ups to participate in three startup events since the expansion of COVID-19.
*Participated events: Latitude59 (Estonia), Node by Slush (Helsinki), and Meet Taipei (Taiwan).
By participating in these events, startups in Fukuoka city were able to have special online booths and make direct contact with startups, existing companies, and investors from all over the world on the online platform, and also depending on the event, they were able to receive many benefits such as mentoring from mentors arranged by the organizers and the possibility to participate in the pitch competition. In total, 22 startups from Fukuoka city participated in the three events (12 of them are startups from overseas that have expanded to Fukuoka city), and the total number of business meetings exceeded 200, providing a good opportunity for startups in Fukuoka city to expand their business such as through business alliances.
Before the global expansion of COVID-19, Fukuoka city used to bring startups in Fukuoka city to real startup events, where they exhibited their booths and Fukuoka city held pitch competitions, and also took them to overseas regions where startups are active for training. In addition, we provide opportunities to create business opportunities, promote startups in Fukuoka city, and improve the knowledge and skills necessary for entrepreneurship.
In addition, we are currently providing support for applying for benefits and loans related to COVID-19, and we also provide extensive follow-up services after setting up business in Fukuoka city.
Initiatives for future startups
For overseas startups that have not yet established a presence in Fukuoka city, we mainly host an international business matching event (2020: ASCENSION2020) and online events with our partners. Since 2018, we have been holding international business matching events in cooperation with our partners in order to promote business matching and to attract more people to Fukuoka city, and last year, we held a talk session and a pitch competition with 15 bases from 11 countries and regions that we have partnerships with. In the talk session, we welcomed Taiwan Government Digital Minister TANG Audrey as a special guest and hold a special session with Mayor of Fukuoka City TAKASHIMA Soichiro. The Global Startup Center, which is a consultation organization for companies entering Fukuoka city, matches the contestants of the pitch competition with existing companies in Fukuoka city, creating business opportunities through this event.
We also hold other events in cooperation with our partners as needed.
For example, at the online event "Master Class: Japan" held in September 2020 with our partner Bordeaux, French startups that have expanded into Fukuoka city were introduced to French startups interested in expanding into Fukuoka city by explaining the support they received from Fukuoka city, the market value of Fukuoka city, and what they should be aware of when expanding into Fukuoka city.
In addition, at the "Power of Istaeli Startups," an online event with Israel held in January 2021, Israeli startups interested in expanding to Fukuoka city pitched and created an opportunity to receive consulting services from the Global Startup Center on specific business development in Fukuoka city.
We will continue to hold these events in the future as needed, where you can hear from startups that have actually made it to Fukuoka city and get advice from the Global Startup Center, a consultation organization, on how to prepare for business expansion in Fukuoka city. We hope you will be able to attend these events to get a better idea of what it is like to do business in Fukuoka city.
On Friday, February 26, 2021, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the Japan Standard Time, there will be an online event with our partner, St. Petersburg, so if you are interested in expanding your business to Fukuoka city, please make sure to join us. (Registration: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1tJCRQYvS5-NMBSy76hIeVAiZLNHXb9GhP-TVEI7WIYU/edit)
COVID-19 is still raging, but for the sake of the startups that will support the future beyond COVID-19, we will continue to support startups by providing consultation services for domestic and foreign people related to entrepreneurship and collaboration in Fukuoka city, holding startup events using online, overseas training, and disseminating information through social media. If you are interested in starting a business in Fukuoka city, please contact the Global Startup Center.
If you are interested, please read our past newsletters for more information on specific institutional support. (https://startup.fukuoka.jp/journal/fukuoka-city-s-founding-support-for-foreign-entrepreneurs) Support that is only available in certain areas in Japan is also available in Fukuoka city. We hope that as many people as possible will be interested in starting a business in Fukuoka city.