Kobe has always been a home to innovation and a place known for adopting new ideas. Today we continue that tradition by creating an environment where innovative entrepreneurs can solve problems faster than ever before in ways unavailable anywhere else.
Kobe isn’t just another big city in Japan – it's home to a startup ecosystem like few others in the world. It's an ecosystem created from the belief that passionate entrepreneurs can change the world when they’re given the chance. And that the city’s role is to let capable innovators lead the way while supporting them with introduction, incubation, funding + financial support, visas, accelerators and adaptability.
The blocks below build the foundation to our holistic startup ecosystem; from consultation to funding to incubation and acceleration, Kobe & The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) make this a unique environment to seed, grow and thrive in.
From before you launch to helping you go (inter)national, Kobe has a dedicated staff that's with you every step of the way.
As a core member of the Kansai economic bloc, Kobe is one of fewer than 10 areas of Japan where you can get a Startup Visa.
We incubate & accelerate.
No ecosystem would be complete without inhabitants, and the Kobe Biomedical Innovation Cluster is home to some of the best and brightest in Japan. 500 Startups has partnered with Kobe for our 500Kobe Program, helping provide access to experts, funding, and the community conducive to success.
Kobe is home to more than 360 companies in the medical industry, several of Japan’s most advanced medical hospitals, and a bulk of Japan’s top-level research institutions in life science and computational science. Together they form the Kobe Biomedical Innovation Cluster (KBIC), an unequaled network of experts working together as part of an international coalition.
See how Kobe city partners with you
Urban Innovation Japan is Kobe City’s program dedicated to empowering business and members of the community to solve, local, social, and administrative issues. In other words, it’s about collaborating with people who want to make Kobe a better place to work and live. From more effective use of city parks to improving fire safety, Urban Innovation Japan is helping push forward innovation.
See how Kobe city partners with you
Kobe’s startup ecosystem can offer a variety of business support and benefits, from free temporary offices to reductions in corporate enterprise tax. You can qualify for employment subsidies, subsides in market research, and more.
We also offer expert consultations and assistance pertaining to virtually every aspect of doing business in Kobe, including residence qualifications, corporate registration, market research, and more. The goal is to streamline the entire process of creating a business, so Kobe’s ecosystem can lay the groundwork for new enterprises to succeed.
Come meet our business specialists who will be with you along every step of your journey. With a variety of business backgrounds and industry connections, and the full backing of Kobe city, these mentors will work one-on-one from start to post-launch to ensure you're never left without the support you need.
Helping provide the talent, financial assistance, and expert consultation can open the way to success. The Kobe startup ecosystem is essentially an environment carefully cultivated to help support new businesses. Along with the thriving local economy, for many industries, there’s no better place to do business in Japan.