Q: What are the points to promote start-ups in the city?
A: Supporting the start-up community in offering workspace, mentors, and channels.
Near the heart of Fukuoka City, a former elementary School now houses Startup Cafe and FGN (Fukuoka Growth Next), part of Fukuoka City's efforts to foster startups. Since 2012, Fukuoka City has prioritized "Startup City Fukuoka" policy to boost employment and local economic activity, offering incentives for startup growth. FGN provides affordable office spaces, managerial support, and networking opportunities for startups.
Fukuoka City's Implementation of Startup Acceleration Policy
Not far from Tenjin Area, the business and administrative center of Fukuoka City, lies an old former elementary school building, Daimyo Elementary School, now used as the startup hub. Adjacent to it stands one of the tallest buildings in the city center, erected as part of Fukuoka City's redevelopment project known as "Tenjin Big Bang." Startup Cafe, the consultation hub for aspiring entrepreneurs, was established by the Fukuoka City Government in 2014, and FGN (Fukuoka Growth Next) was founded by the city government in collaboration with private enterprises in 2017.
Fukuoka City has proactively fostered a new market and identified promising startups for rapid growth. In 2012, it declared "Startup City Fukuoka" as an essential aspect of its economic policy, aiming to generate employment and stimulate local economic activity. Recognized as a National Strategic Special Zone, Fukuoka City implemented measures such as regulatory and tax incentives to encourage the establishment of startup companies and support their growth. At this former elementary school site, FGN provides startup tenants affordable office spaces and managerial support from financial and human resources experts and facilitates networking opportunities with local businesses and financial institutions.
Starting from the fiscal year 2024, FGN will expand its support to its present and former startup tenants and startups based in Fukuoka City and university-launched startups and foster a sense of community among companies and supporters. By handling back-office functions such as accounting, human resources, and general affairs, FGN enables startup companies to focus on their core business activities. FGN aims to integrate the operations with Startup Cafe, providing consistent support for startup exits to initial public offerings (IPOs), solidifying Fukuoka's reputation as a startup-friendly city.
The Japanese government also looks at startups, recognizing 2022 as the inaugural year for startup creation. It has established dedicated ministries to oversee and support the growth of such enterprises, with expectations that their development will contribute significantly to job creation and regional economic development.
[Case ID: Urban Policy UP-09]