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The newest and the most accessible startup hub in Tokyo

The newest and the most accessible startup hub in Tokyo

This year, the Metropolis of Tokyo established Tokyo Sogyo Station as a foothold promoting startup activities in Japan (Tokyo). In Tokyo, the Shibuya district is regarded as the epicenter of startup since a number of IT startups have been founded there.

As for Tokyo Sogyo Station, they chose Marunouchi, a central commercial district of Tokyo located close to Tokyo Station. This area is well-known for the Marunouchi Building, a symbol of the commercial district in Tokyo.

In other words, there isn’t so much for startups as for large corporations. So, why did they choose Marunouchi although they define supporting startups as their mission?


The reason why they chose Marunouchi

There were already big startup supporters in cooperation with Tokyo Metropolis such as Tokyo Startup Gateway (TSG) and Aoyama Startup Acceleration Center (ASAC).

Therefore, many people might have thought Tokyo Sogyo Station wouldn’t be differing from these startup accelerators. However, the aim of founding TSS was a little different.

White Paper 2014/ 1 – 2: People who want to become entrepreneurs but haven’t prepared for becoming entrepreneurs

Tokyo had a sense of crisis over the fact that the number of entrepreneurs hadn’t increased although the startup environment was improving in Tokyo.

According to the white paper 2014, the number of people who want to become entrepreneurs even decreased for decades.


High Growth or Sustainable Growth?

Therefore, they wanted people who’ve already become entrepreneurs or created MVP (minimum viable product) to make use of support provided by TSG and ASAC.

However, they explained that they also needed to have the institution close to the commercial district like Marunouchi. This is because there’re a large number of people who are currently working for large corporations but have never been interested in startup.

They deemed that making these people comprehend the importance of the role of startups in the economy and have interests in entrepreneurial activities are vital in order to increase the number of entrepreneurs, thus realizing the engine of change.

So, they want people to drop by here freely after working, shopping, etc (not after drinking).

They offer 2 different types of support.

High Growth
On the first floor, there is Startup Hub Tokyo aimed at supporting startups or entrepreneurs that want to achieve high growth like hockey stick.

Stable (Sustainable) Growth
Sogyo One Stop Support Floor (SOSSF) is also located on the second floor. This organization is giving entrepreneurs advice with focus on how to achieve sustainable growth. So, if you’re planning to run (or take over) small and medium-sized enterprises, you might be able to get new insights here.


Startup Hub Tokyo

Photo: Startup Hub Tokyo

At Startup Hub Tokyo (SHT), some people who’ve already experienced starting up new businesses stationed as advisors and the hub is managed for 365 days. In addition, they’re trying to organize more than 300 startup events a year.

As long as your idea is related to startup, you can it to them.

Basically, anyone can use their co-working space, but you need to get a membership if you want to receive their hands-on support. Moreover, the membership is categorized into 4 kinds, member, entre member, project member and fellow. The service that you can receive changes depending on the type.

In principal, they want people who have intention of starting up new businesses to use the hub, but you’re neither required to found a company nor locate in Tokyo. So, feel free to join them.


Female-friendly Startup Hub

Photo: Startup Hub Tokyo

I think the most amazing support is that they provide SHT members with a nursery service. It is free of charge and child carers take care of your kids for up to 3 hours a day. You’re allowed to use the service maximum twice a week.

Tuesday & Thursday: 10am ~ 9pm/ Saturday:  1oam ~ 5pm

Moreover, in order for women to work on their entrepreneurial projects, SOSSF offers consulting services to only female entrepreneurs.


Tokyo is aiming to have 20,000 users a year including 2,000 members. I hope that Marunouchi will also become a new startup hub producing a lot of future entrepreneurs.

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