Japan

Japan Presents Opportunity for Foreign Startups

Addlight Inc.’s Mirai Salon 6 event was held at the EGG Japan space in central Tokyo in December 2017. Mirai Salon events bring together experts in the field of Open Innovation, who share use cases in such areas as robotics, automobiles, and next-generation tech. On this occasion, three forward-thinking corporates and a cutting edge retail automation startup made presentations before an enthusiastic full-house.

Yuuki  Kuriyama from the Technical Planning Division at DENSO Corporation ( top-tier carmaker) told that to meet the modern challenges, there is a need to work across organizational barriers, advance Open Innovation across industries, and enhance collaboration between large companies, SMEs, and startups. To this end, DENSO invested in the Innovations and Future Forum Inc. (Mirai Souzou), an entity tasked with supporting research in technology and new business creation, while exploring ideas emerging from the Tokyo Institute of Technology. The company also holds industry events and engages other organizations while enhancing its network of collaborators, Kuriyama added. In early 2017, DENSO established a special department to promote Open Innovation.

In Japan, natural gas and innovation are changing the way homes are powered

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is a crucial part of Japan's energy mix: according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the country is the largest importer of LNG on the planet.

In Japan, one business is looking to harness the power of natural gas and make it an integral part of home life. The ENE-FARM is described by Tokyo Gas as being a residential-use fuel system which is able to "simultaneously produce electricity and hot water using city gas."

The system produces electricity by "extracting hydrogen from city gas and inducing a chemical reaction with the oxygen in the air," with water and heat also produced.

Entrepreneurship growing in Japan, but challenges remain

When Yorick Traunecker, a 31-year-old Swiss expatriate, wanted to rent a workspace to develop his startup idea in Tokyo, finding TechShop, an open-access DIY workshop in Minato-ku District, was a surprise to him.
“There is no way you can find a space that is as big as this with so much industrial-level equipment,” Traunecker said. “They are good at helping you build prototypes at a really early stage, and they are I think the best at that. Nobody else really helps doing that.”
TechShop opened a year ago as the first membership-based DIY studio in Japan. Its mission is to help entrepreneurs bring their innovations to life, with industrial-level machinery and tools, open co-working space, engineering trainings and networking events.

Japan’s First “Startup Visa"

As one of the National Strategic Special Zone Initiatives, Fukuoka City has been approved to implement the “Startup Visa (Entrepreneurial Incentives for Foreigners)” to incentivize foreigners to be business entrepreneurs in Fukuoka. Prerequisites for the “Business Manager” visa, which is required for foreigners intending to start a business in Japan, will be eased for foreigners who found his/her business in Fukuoka (National Strategic Special Zone).
Foreign entrepreneurs are required to open a business office and hire two or more permanent employees or have capital/investments exceeding five million yen upon submitting his/her application to the Immigration Bureau in order to receive approval for the “Business Manager” residential status.

New Israel-Japan agreement follows in wake of Sony deal

Unable to resist the tide of history — and the big deals between companies — Israel and Japan have begun to openly embrace each other

When a huge company like Sony buys an Israeli start-up for a rumored $220 million, the Israeli and Japanese governments — even if they had been reluctant in the past to do so — can no longer keep trade between the two countries a secret.

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