In November 2016, a delegation designated by Soichiro Takashima, Mayor of Fukuoka city, which consisted of the municipal start-up strategy team and several Fukuoka start-up CEOs, came to Berlin for a discovery of the start-up scene. An objective of the trip: connect the spirit of the new Japanese start-up city with the vibrant entrepreneurial soul of Berlin.
In 2015, Fukuoka City started to implement the “Start-up visa”, a special visa for entrepreneurs. It facilitates the arrival of foreign start-ups who are willing to contribute to the business development of Fukuoka city while benefitting from infrastructures, networking and mentoring brought by this new Japanese “start-up tech-hub”. Our founder Ryo Bordini Chikushi and the core NION team thought this was the right moment to connect innovative people in the two cities together: Berlin is a must-go destination to get the one and only inspiration, especially when it comes to digital projects!
In this perspective, the Fukuoka delegation was introduced by the NION team to Betahaus and Mindspace, two flagships spaces in the digital start-up community in Berlin. Amongst the other visits of historical and cultural landmarks, the highlight of the Fukuoka delegation tour remained the “Fukuoka Night” at Betahaus, where Berlin-born start-ups pitched their ideas to the guests. The first prize was awarded to Clue, the mobile health companion app for women. Two members of the Clue team will now have the chance to stay for a half incubation year in Fukuoka start-up city. Congratulations Clue!
We are glad to contribute to plant seed for an inter-city collaboration between Fukuoka and Berlin and want to thank our guests and team who made this innovative spark possible. May it be the first of a successful series!