On June 11 this year, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) held a ceremony during which the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Mr. Hiroshige Seko, pronounced the start of a J-Startup program. The program aims to facilitate the development of Japanese startups as well as plan to produce 20 venture businesses valued over $1 billion (unicorns) by 2023.
In such a way METI wants to strengthen the startup culture in Japan and prompt society to be more open towards entrepreneurship. With the help of 66 experts and investors, METI plan to select some 100 promising startups from about 10 000 startups in Japan and help them in their development through a so-called Supporters network comprising of large companies, accelerators, and venture capitalists. Other participants include Technology Development Organization and Japan External Trade Organization.
METI plan to select some 100 promising startups from about 10 000 startups in Japan and help them in their development.
During the ceremony, Mr. Seko revealed the list of startups selected as participants in the first batch (total of 92) and a list of larger companies selected as the supporters. Startups chosen for participation will receive a number of benefits. For example, they are allowed to use J-startup symbolic, invitations to such global events as SLUSH, SXSW, CES, TECH IN ASIA, GITEX FUTURE STARS, Web Summit, free use of Global Acceleration HUB, etc. Moreover, they will get a preferential financial treatment in a form of simplified procedures, participation in governmental missions outside Japan, or financial support. It also strives to make acquisition of the startup visa easier through relaxation of requirements when applying for the status of residence through cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.
J-startup also organizes interviews at Toranomon Hills Café every Thursday with the supporters from the network or entrepreneurs, where they discuss innovations. The goal is to accelerate the development of the startup community and, as their motto goes, transform it from the “boom” into the “culture”.
Do you think the program will yield results in a set timeframe? We would love to hear your opinion in the comment section below.