"Kyoto has a wide range of industrial communities such as biotechnology, precision machining, robotics, AI, games, foods, etc. It also has a concentration of university research institutes and the optimal environment for startups, working, and living that is close to history, culture, and nature. People with drive and ambition will be able to achieve wonderful new things in ‘Startup Capital Kyoto’."
Kyoto is both Japan’s ancient capital and a bustling university town, hosting 34 universities and a thriving researcher cluster. This combination of traditional craftsmanship and modern innovation makes for fertile soil for a successful startup ecosystem.
Startups in Kyoto benefit from a range of startup support organizations and events. Plug and Play Kyoto holds the Winter/Spring 2022 Kyoto Summit, a three-month accelerator program that supports domestic and international startups looking to partner with Japanese corporations. JETRO, together with the Japanese Government, offers top global accelerator programs and strongly supports the overseas expansion of Japanese startups. Fourteen Kyoto startups participated in the program, the second-largest number in Japan after Tokyo. Kyoto Smart City Expo is an international event that provides an opportunity to foster innovation.
Founders of Notion Labs, a San Francisco-based maker of a popular workplace productivity platform, completely revamped the product after moving to Kyoto in 2018. Today, the company has raised more than $343 million over five rounds; the latest was an October 2021 $275 million Series C. In 2021, solid-state battery developer QuantumScape announced it will open a new R&D center in Kyoto Research Park to develop and manufacture its batteries for electric vehicles. FLOSFIA, a spin-off from a research of Kyoto University that is developing semiconductor devices for electric vehicles, raised a ¥1 billion ($8 million) Series E round in March 2021. Adtech startup AdInte raised ¥5.2 billion ($45.5 million) of venture funding in January 2022. Asia’s first fusion energy startup, Kyoto Fusioneering, has raised $18.6 million to date.
Ecosystem by the Numbers
1 (lowest) to 10 (highest)
Advanced Manufacturing & Robotics
Reasons to Move Your Startup to Kyoto
Dedicated Startup City
Startup Visa Program
Selected Startup Organizations
Startup Genome Members
Kyoto Startup Ecosystem Promotion Council
Key Ecosystem Players
Explore more ecosystems
Are you interested in diving deeper into this ecosystem? Drop us a message. Our Ambassadors and Partners can plug you in.