On Monday, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government held a kick-off event to celebrate the opening of Tokyo Innovation Base or TiB for short, a center of exchange between entrepreneurs and other stakeholders in the startup landscape.
Based on its startup strategy titled Global Innovation with Startups, the government uses the venue for activities in aim to help increase 10 folds in the number of unicorns, that of founding new businesses, and that of collaborative projects between the government and startups. It will serve as a base for activities to realize all these goals.
The venue will host a variety of activities based on four keywords: Global, Growth, Collaboration, and Connect. In Global, the government will collaborate with Plug and Play, Startup Island Taiwan and other foreign initatives while in Growth, it will collaborate with the UTokyo Innovation Platform (UTokyo IPC) which has vast network with universities across the country through its 1st Round program.
In Collaboration, the government works with Sony Innovation Fund and other corporate venture capital units to support open innovation while in Connect, it teams up with startup support organizations to hold one to three events a week at the venue. Most recently, Startup Genome and Dealroom are scheduled to hold an event this coming Thursday.
The government has conducted various initiatives to encourage entrepreneurship including a startup cafe for potential entrepreneurs near Tokyo Station, the Tokyo Startup Gateway program, and the Aoyama Startup Acceleration Center (ASAC), APT for Women, the initiative to especially encourage female entrepreneurs as well as the global conference.
Compared to these past initiatives encouraging entrepreneurs in their early phase, the new venue seems to be intended to further support those who have already started their own businesses and to further promote startup activities. Other examples of venues for entrepreneurs run by local governments include Fukuoka City’s Fukuoka Growth Next (FGN) and Aichi Prefecture’s STATION Ai (scheduled to open next year).