Japanese Government opens entrepreneurs’ base in SF Bay Area

Japan Innovation Campus
Image credit: METI

The Japanese Government is establishing a center for entrepreneurs in Palo Alto called Japan Innovation Campus. Its arm METI, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, held a reception party to celebrate the launch of it on Sunday, inviting Yasutoshi Nishimura, the Japanese Economic Minister. Other guests included Palo Alto Mayor Lydia Kou, former U.S. Ambassador to Japan and the head of Geodesic Capital John Ruus as well as local Japanese investors and entrepreneurs.

The venue is conveniently located just three blocks from University Avenue, a major thoroughfare in the city, and close to Stanford University, which is known for producing many startups. It is managed by Mori Building and Accenture under contract from METI. About five companies will be selected as office members that can use private offices, and 50 companies will be selected as co-working members that can use shared space (up to three people per company) while applications have been already closed.

The venue was established as part of the Japanese government’s “Five-Year Startup Development Plan,” and has been designated as one of the venues for J-StarX, a program promoted by the Ministry to send Japanese entrepreneurs to startup hubs in the overseas.

By linking Japanese entrepreneurs, students, and others with local accelerators, VCs, universities, JETRO and other government agencies, the program aims to support the global expansion of Japanese startups and the development of the ecosystem. Through organizing events, it also aims to encourage open innovation between the two sides of the Pacific.