Osaka / Kyoto / Kobe Entrepreneur Guide
An overview of selected hubs in the Kansai region of Japan.
Last updated: JAN 2021
Key changes in the area reflected on the graph and in the text. Mainly added new startup support organizations and removed inactive ones.
When I first arrived in Kansai, it was a big challenge to find the right people as well as general information to learn about and engage with the local startup ecosystem. The startup movement in Japan is still in its infancy and communities are few and far between. Therefore, it is important to know where to go for what. The decision tree / list below is to support and guide anyone interested in entrepreneurship in and around Osaka. The graphic does by far not represent all hubs and activities in the area but a selection of well connected and English speaking organisations (scroll further for the full list incl. links).
Annual international startup events and contests:
Startup support and investor network:
- Osaka Business And Investment Center (Business center in Osaka)
- Osaka Innovation Hub (Government driven hub in Osaka)
- Startupbootcamp Scale Osaka (Startup accelerator in Osaka by Rainmaking Innovation)
- Kyoto Research Park (Research and business center in Kyoto)
- Startup Capital Kyoto (Government startup programme of Kyoto)
- Monozukuri Ventures (Hardware/IoT support and VC based in Kyoto)
- Plug and Play Japan (Global innovation and startup investment platform)
- Future Venture Capital (VC based in Kyoto)
- Kobe Global Startup Gateway (Government driven hub in Kobe)
- 500 Kobe (Startup accelerator in Kobe by 500 Startups)
- KGAP+ (Keihanna Global Acceleration Programme Plus)
Monthly entrepreneurship meetups:
- Monozukuri Hub Meetup (Hardware/IoT focused event in Kyoto)
Entrepreneurship related content and communities:
- HN Kansai Scrapbox (Database of startup related people and organizations in Kansai)
- Disrupting Japan (Startup Japan podcast and more by Tim Romero)
- Hacker News Kansai (Coding and related topics focussed community in Osaka/Kyoto/Kobe)
- Osaka Web Designers And Developers (Web design / development meetup in Osaka)
- Ichi Pixel (Game developers meetup in Osaka)
- PechaKucha Night Kyoto (Popular presentation driven events in Kyoto)
- Kyoto Indie Meetup (Monthly indie game developer and gaming meetup in Kyoto)
Makerspaces with hardware and tools (workshop):
Coworking spaces (long term > 1 month):
Coworking spaces (drop in and short term <1 month):
- Common Room Nakatsu (Osaka)
- Crossing-Shinosaka (Osaka)
- Impact Hub Kyoto (Kyoto)
- Oinai Karasuma (Kyoto)
- Co&Co Kyoto (Kyoto)
This is an evolving list. Feel free to reach out for suggestions and feedback.
Watch the Habitat Update Plus video-series for more on the startup ecosystem in Kansai.