About the Launch of Shibuya Startup Support Website

How are you all doing? My name is Yoshiro Tasaka. I am in charge of building the startup ecosystem and internationalization of Shibuya City. In January 2020, the city started new initiatives that aim to make Shibuya City an international, start-up-friendly city comparable to Amsterdam, Berlin, or San Francisco.

“Shibuya Startup Support,” concierge service for overseas startups, is one of those initiatives. I hope that it will help establish an international startup community that can grow together with Shibuya City.

People from all over the world come to work, play, and live in Shibuya, where they can enjoy themselves in different ways. That’s why the city’s culture naturally evolved to embrace a rich diversity and inclusiveness. I believe that it is a cosmopolitan city where people of different backgrounds intersect (diversity), with a bit of a country-like atmosphere where people respect each other (inclusiveness). It makes Shibuya truly an attractive place, much like the other cosmopolitan cities in the world.

Shibuya City is actively supporting diversity and inclusion culturally rooted in the area. In 2015, it became the first city in the nation to enact “Ordinance for Promoting Respect of Gender Equality and Diversity in the City.” And the “Shibuya Partnership Certificate” for same-sex partners is also based on this ordinance.

To return to the topic of startups, the government’s efforts alone can not lead to a better and thriving society. We need help from the businesses that embody the values of diversity, gender equality, respect for sustainability, and the elimination of discrimination. That also means the people who work for those businesses who respect these values. Only then the residents and the government can move forward in tandem.

By nature, startups are young and full of energy to grow by engaging others while holding those ideals head-on. For example, “smart city” projects are underway in major cities in Europe and North America, such as Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, and San Francisco. They are proof-of-concept experiments in which companies, startups, and governments work together to solve the problems cities face. Here, startups play an essential role in the social implementation of wisdom and ideals, such as incorporating design orientation into urban planning and solving social problems through technology and design.

Some types of startup support may find your connections with venture capitalists or let you engage in friendly competition for business growth. Of course, these incubation organizations and communities are essential. Still, if an international startup community rooted in Shibuya City is to emerge, we believe it will be a community of people who are motivated to solve social issues. Supporting the growth of these startup companies is what Shibuya Startup Support is all about. We have only just begun, but we hope to provide overseas startups with access to useful resources that the Shibuya City has to offer, and conversely, let people and businesses here in Shibuya know about those startups.