Startup Fukuoka is a government-run organization that operates an incubation facility that collaborates with private organizations with the aim of centralizing all startup support functions. In total, 180 institutions are involved. More specifically, the facility works as a one-stop center that provides a range of services for domestic and international startups free of charge. These include financial aid for office space and house rent but they also provide marketing, distribution, legal aid, and funding support besides support with administrative work when setting up the company.
Since the Startup Fukuoka initiative was launched in 2014, Startup Fukuoka has entered into collaborations with 14 cities in 10 countries throughout Europe, North America, and Asia. Among these is the city of Helsinki, and Finnish startups have begun taking advantage of the program. Also, companies like Coffee Pixels and Stigo from Estonia, as well as Junno from Latvia, have been able to leverage Fukuoka’s services for Japanese expansions.
These examples show that even early stage companies from small local markets, who may not have large amounts of investor backing, can consider local soft-landing services like Startup Fukuoka as a valid entry point for the Japanese market.