A Base That Aspires to Create the World's Most Startup-Friendly City

Tokyo Innovation Base (TIB) holds its grand opening in May 2024 as a new base in Tokyo that provides support to startups. It will be a place that connects various international and domestic players offering support to the challenges undertaken by startups, such as accelerators, venture capital (VC) firms, universities, and local governments.
Opening on the second and third floors of SusHi Tech Square, located one minute on foot from Yurakucho Station, the base boasts one of the largest floor spaces for startups in Japan.

A Node That Connects Diverse International and Domestic Players

TIB opens its doors as a platform where startups and their supporters can gather and interact. In addition to a large event space that can fit around 300 people, it also offers a wide range of other features that will bring many people together.

In November 2022, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) announced a 10x10x10 goal as part of its startup strategy Global Innovation with STARTUPS. It aims to increase the number of Tokyo-based unicorn companies, valued at over one billion dollars, by 10 times, the number of startups created in Tokyo by 10 times, and the number of public-private partnerships with the TMG by 10 times over five years. TIB will function as a base to achieve this high goal.

Another event space is located at the back of the second floor for seminars and pitch events. It can fit around 150 people.

Startup ecosystems are spread out and operating independently in different areas of Tokyo, such as Shibuya, Roppongi, Toranomon, Daimaruyu (Otemachi, Marunouchi, Yurakucho) and Hongo. TIB aims to connect all of these and create one big startup ecosystem.

The US research company Startup Genome publishes the Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking every year, which ranks the world's cities in order of how easily startups can grow. In the 2023 ranking, Tokyo dropped to 15th place from 12th place the year before. Tokyo's low score in market reach poses an issue in particular, which is a criterion that measures the ability of startups to scale in international and domestic markets and the city's ability to produce unicorns.

Nishigawa Tomonobu from the TMG's Office for Startup and Global Financial City Strategy said, "TIB's main goal is to become a node for innovation around the world, but at the same time, it also aims to be the first point of entry for international startups and investors wanting to expand into Japan."

Nishigawa at the TMG's Office for Startup and Global Financial City Strategy.

The Concept at TIB is to "Create Together" through Unified Public-Private Partnerships

Twenty-six companies and organizations made up the Starting Members of TIB, who have worked with TMG officials to plan and carry out projects since the organization's launch (as of November 27, 2023). Furthermore, companies, organizations, and universities from across Japan are applying to become TIB Partners, who organize events and programs that aim to support startups.

Around 400 people attended the kick-off event held on November 27, 2023, including government officials, ecosystem players from Japan and around the world as well as people from across Japan who are working with startups. Photo: Tokyo Innovation Base

Various Features Being Expanded in Preparation for the Grand Opening

Since the pre-opening in November 2023, TIB's facilities have been refined in preparation for the grand opening in May 2024. On the second floor, accelerators and VC firms are regularly stationed. There is a concierge service desk for consultations on fundraising and overseas expansion while a working space is open to the public. These features are being expanded.

In addition, various events and programs are being held daily and bringing excitement to TIB. These include pitch events where startups promote their products and services, matching events where startups from regional prefectures meet supporters in Tokyo, and programs for students and young people to nurture entrepreneurship.

This spring, SusHi Tech Tokyo 2024 Global Startup Program, Asia's largest startup event, is held to discuss sustainable urban visions for the future. It will be a great opportunity for TIB to promote its initiatives to the world.

All eyes are on TIB's role and whether it can become a base that spurs innovation in Tokyo.

Tokyo Innovation Base



SusHi Tech Tokyo, short for Sustainable High City Tech Tokyo, is a Tokyo-based concept that aims to create sustainable new value by overcoming global urban challenges through cutting-edge technology, diverse ideas, and digital expertise.

SusHi Tech Tokyo 2024: 

Interview and written by Tsutsumi Mikako
Photos by Endo Hiroshi
Translation by Maria Smith