Fukuoka- An untapped startup jewel
A lot of R&D companies operate out of Tokyo, Kyoto etc. but Fukuoka brings in the best of Japan and South Korea together. The costs are reasonably low, and the talent availability is reasonably good
Sandwiched between 3 prime hotspots of Asia (Tokyo, Shanghai and Seoul), Fukuoka is a fastest growing urban centre bound to become Japan’s answer to Silicon Valley. A tight-knit start-up ecosystem, diverse fresh talent pool and an affordable infrastructure will appeal to a lot of MNCs that are keen to avoid Tier-I rat race. About 400 foreign-affiliated companies predominantly from US, Europe and China have been advancing business operations in Fukuoka.
Japan designated Fukuoka as a “National strategic special zone” for start-ups offering incentives, free workspaces and tax cuts for entrepreneurs. The city’s infrastructure and wireless regulations are being redefined to facilitate startups demonstrate their IoT experiments and prototypes. Accenture’s new ‘Intelligent operations centre’ in Fukuoka focused on IoT and AI based solutions is a clear evidence of the city’s tech-potential. The government is also building a “smart city” that uses technology like IoT and data analytics to enable smarter service innovations in areas like transport, utilities and government.
Fukuoka’s unique blend of entrepreneurial energy, diverse talent set and proximity to major hubs is the answer for enterprises looking for the ideal ‘Gateway to Asia’. With the rise in intent of globalization, MNCs need to take the high road to cater their talent demand rather than relying on mature hotspots which is an obvious approach. Its high time that companies start tapping hidden hotspots like Fukuoka that offers rich ecosystem of low-cost talents and helps in evading the digital talent battle.