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Driving Innovation: Exploring the Osaka Innovation Hub's Impact on Tech and Entrepreneurship
Social Enterprise

Driving Innovation: Exploring the Osaka Innovation Hub's Impact on Tech and Entrepreneurship

Yurie Ishikawa

Strategic Coordinator and Planner
Osaka Innovation Hub
Margaux Zurbano

Osaka Innovation Hub (OIH) is a startup community that is backed by the Osaka City government. It is located in the heart of Osaka, Japan. OIH's mission is to support the growth of startups and entrepreneurs in Osaka. It does this by providing a variety of resources and services, including networking events, mentorship, funding opportunities, and access to government programs and services. OIH is committed to helping startups succeed in Osaka. It believes that startups are essential to the city's economic growth and innovation. With that, why don’t you join me in learning more about Osaka Innovation Hub with its Strategic Coordinator and Planner, Yurie Ishikawa. 

What is Osaka Innovation Hub and what is its role in the startup ecosystem?

Osaka Innovation Hub is the Osaka City government-backed facility and startup community. As a hub, we bring together entrepreneurs, investors, major corporations, mentors, universities, and accelerators for startups and entrepreneurs to develop their businesses.

Through the exchange of diverse people, companies, and ideas, we support the formation of communities and the commercialization of business plans. We are building a virtuous circle (innovation ecosystem) in Osaka and the Kansai region, where entrepreneurs are born, nurtured, made successful, and where successful entrepreneurs give birth to the next successful entrepreneurs.

Can you tell us about the mission and vision of Osaka Innovation Hub, and how the organization is working towards hieving these goals?

In order to achieve our missions to create startups that will expand from Osaka to the world, we have a lot of events like Global Pitch Contests, Acceleration Programs or Global Workshops.

We run a wide range of events all year round.

What kinds of resources and support does Osaka Innovation Hub provide to entrepreneurs and startups, and how have these programs evolved over time?

We have networks which include corporations, investors, VC’s, universities, or other governmental agencies. They support and provide their resources for startups growing to cooperate with us.

Osaka Innovation Hub has partnerships with various organizations and companies. Can you tell us about some of these partnerships and how they benefit the entrepreneurs and startups that you work with?

Coordinators set a meeting with startups and entrepreneurs regularly, and catch their needs and provide appropriate support. For example, if they seek fund raising or business partners, we set a limited pitch event or business matching for startups to invite members of our partners like VCs or large corporations. Additionally, we have menus for startups overseas to explore markets in Osaka, Kansai.

The program provides business consulting and individual legal support for overseas startups in Osaka and the Kansai region, as well as providing opportunities for business matching or individual business meetings with Japanese companies through utilizing our network.

Can you tell us about some of the success stories of startups that have gone through Osaka Innovation Hub's programs and services?

Sure, we will introduce two. First is Sagri Co., Ltd. Sagri Co., Ltd. is a startup that provides applications using satellite data and AI. Their applications can be used for a variety of purposes, including monitoring farmland status (Actaba), improving the efficiency of crop surveys (Detaba), and farm management (Sagri). Shunsuke Tsuboi, the Representative Director and CEO of Sagri, has been a frequent participant in OIH's pitch events. In 2019, he won the LightWeight Class at the global pitch contest “Get in the Ring Osaka 2019”, which earned him a spot at the Global Meet-up in the Netherlands.

Second is Sunda Technology Global Co., Ltd. Sunda Technology Global Co., Ltd. is a startup that provides the manufacture, sale, and services for "SUNDA", an automatic pay-as-you-go water fee collection system of hand pumps in Uganda, Africa. Aya Tsuboi, the Representative Director and CEO of Sunda Technology Global, also won the LightWeight Class at the global pitch contest “Get in the Ring Osaka 2022”. OIH has been supporting Sunda Technology Global since its inception. They have taken advantage of OIH's pitch events “Starters Pitch” to brush up ideas from pre-phase. OIH has also continuously supported Sunda Technology Global to introduce appropriate VCs or Mentors as needed.

What are some plans that Osaka Innovation Hub has for the future?

Osaka is the second largest economic city after Tokyo. It is a home to many companies in a wide range of sectors, including deep tech. As one of our outstanding features compared with other prefectures, we have the advantage of working with other cities in the Kansai regions to provide support. We aim to promote the presence of Kansai startups to domestic and international investors and create new synergy in startups through the exchange of cutting-edge technology and global wisdom in Kansai, a region rich in long-lived companies. OIH makes Kansai a place of connection for the hard-working entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs, and all the people who want to support the process.

Check the document to learn more about the startup ecosystem in Kansai region

Meet Yurie Ishikawa, the coordinator at Osaka Innovation Hub in Japan. Her role as the coordinator is to support startups from the Kansai region that are taking on global challenges. Yurie is responsible for developing and implementing the organization's strategic plan. This includes setting goals, identifying resources, and developing strategies for achieving those goals. Yurie is committed to assisting startups in the region grow into successful businesses. 

Visit if you would like to know and connect more with Osaka Innovation Hub.  


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