Fukuoka is Japan’s upcoming innovation hub. With a population of just 2½ million people, the startup scene is less confusing and more accessible than Tokyo and Osaka. Government services are housed in the same building as co-working spaces and startup offices, and most often you can walk straight in.
Fukuoka is also one of Japan’s most internationalized ecosystems, due to its special status as Strategic Special Zone. Visa requirements have been relaxed; all you need to submit to get a startup visa is a bank account, a business plan and your resume. And if the city of Fukuoka believes your business is promising, you will be eligible for all manner of support, e.g. using public areas for testing drones and experiment with smart city IoT devices.
Finnish and Estonian startups are already benefiting from the program.
Reasons to go
- Japan’s perhaps most accessible ecosystem for international startups – and with the fast growth of foreign-born residents
- Japan’s fastest growing startup ecosystem with the highest rate of business openings in Japan
- Japan’s fastest growing (larger) city, with the youngest population
- Ambitious and supportive local government providing favorable regulations and conditions for foreign startups
- Low cost of living compared to Tokyo
- Check out their funky website…!
- A wide array of tech sectors are represented
- Central Fukuoka
- Programs - Fukuoka