An incubation center is set to open this spring in Kitakyushu City, in the south of Japan. The facility, when it opens, will be one of the biggest incubation centers in the country.
It’s called Fabbit, and as you can probably imagine from its name, it is aimed at startups that digitally fabricate physical products 1. It aims to be a hub that will connect entrepreneurs and creators in a wide-range of fields like graphic design, illustration, video editing, and figure making. Its core concept is to provide a place to learn, meet, and create.
The project is led by two companies, nomad inc. and Apamanshop Holdings. Digital Hollywood University will provide educational content, Tukuruba inc. is involved in designing the space, and ABBAlab offers support for digital fabrication and investors.
It’s expected that Fabbit will play an important role in Kitakyushu City’s plan to promote developing startups.
In addition to its collaborative workspace, Fabbit provides equipment and tools for 3D fabrication so that members can do their own work in the space. There’s also the ‘Fabbit library’ where people can find a variety of books on technologies and design. The facility also includes a large space for events and seminars, equipped with a screen, projector, and sound system.
Digital Hollywood Studio, a place where users, can learn web and app development, will have a presence in the facility as well.
The representative director of Nomad Inc and Tsukuruba Inc, Osamu Ogasawara, told us a little more about the project:
fabbit is sort of a re-creation of an event with Taizo Son held last Feburary in Kitakyushu city. The event was called fabit Summit, and at that time we discussed about Monodukuri (the culture of Japanese manufacturing) with Iwasa-san from Cerevo and Ishida-san from Campfire. […] That event gave me lots of opportunities to connect with people involved with local startups, people from facility provider Apamanshop, and representatives from the Kitakyushu city office.
So Fabbit is a place to meet, learn and create with local people who share a common interest. I’d like to build a place that brings people together by providing educational programs for digital fabrication, access to equipment like 3D printers, and a shared library that offers membership to users who brings their own books.
Tukuruba CEO Hiroki Murakami and CCO Masahiro Nakamura elaborated on the design of the space:
Nakamura: “When designing fabbit, I aimed to renovate the place by taking advantages of the existing frame and room layout. […] Kitakyushu city has a strong connection with modern Japanese culture, with places like its Manga Museum. And I expect the openness will do good to the incubation.”
Murakami: “People from wide-ranging fields like 3D design, figure making, graphic design, and illustration can meet up at fabbit. Members can share knowledge and with the help of educational content from Digital Hollywood, the place will have great value. It’d be exciting if fabbit could represent a sort of a futuristic school. Kitakyushu city has history as an industrial area, so it would be interesting if it can create a new industry.”