Japan

Osaka

MEMBERS:
Osaka Business Development Agency

"In 2025, the Osaka-Kansai Expo will be held under the theme of Designing a Future Society that Shines with Life and the concept of a testing ground for a future society. We will make the most of this impact to attract people, goods, investment, and technology from all over the world."

Hirofumi Yoshimura
Governor of Osaka Prefecture and Ichiro Matsui, Mayor of Osaka City
Top 30 Global Ecosystem in Knowledge
Top 30 Asian Ecosystem in Bang for Buck
Top 30 Asian Ecosystem in Talent & Experience

Highlights

With its cluster of leading universities, research institutes, and companies, the Osaka region has all the essential ingredients to become a thriving startup hub. The ecosystem features particularly deep expertise in Life Sciences and Deep Tech thanks to its advanced R&D capabilities and long history with these industries. The Japanese government has designated Kansai, the region of Osaka, Kobe, and Kyoto, one of the country’s four Global Startup Cities. Osaka is working towards its goal of creating 300 startups that can scale globally by 2024.


The 2025 Osaka Kansai Expo will showcase cutting-edge technologies under the theme of "Designing Future Society for Our Lives," while also introducing the world to Osaka’s startup ecosystem . The event will serve as a laboratory for the future of society, with a particular focus on innovations in advanced mobility, Life Sciences, and sustainable development.


Launched in July 2021, Biocommunity Kansai (BiocK) aims to further develop Osaka’s potential as a global Life Sciences hub by nurturing connection, community, and information sharing both within the ecosystem and among international collaborators. One of Japan's largest urban redevelopment projects, Umekita 2nd Project, is scheduled to open in 2024 in front of Osaka Station, the largest terminal in western Japan. As the node of the Kansai region, Osaka was designated as a Super City Special National Strategic Zone in March 2022 by the government, and will function as a base for the creation of new industries in health, medicine, the environment, energy, and other fields by attracting capital, technology, and human resources from Japan and abroad.

Ecosystem by the Numbers

TOTAL EARLY STAGE FUNDING
(2019H2-2021)
$61 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$687 m
ECOSYSTEM VALUE
(2019H2-2021)
$392 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$28.6 bn
MEDIAN SEED ROUND (2019H2-2021)
$923 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$671 k
MEDIAN SERIES A ROUND (2019H2-2021)
$2 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$4.7 m
SOFT. ENGINEER SALARY (2021)
$44 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$46 k
300 m
GLOBAL AVG.
11.3 bn
25
GLOBAL AVG.
101
Amount ($)
Count (#)

Exits

(2017-2021)
EARLY-STAGE FUNDING GROWTH TIER (2018/19 VS. 2020/21)
7
Calculated on a scale of
1 (lowest) to 10 (highest)
TOTAL VC FUNDING (2017-2021)
$372 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$4.5 bn
TIME TO EXIT (2017-2021)
11.4 years
GLOBAL AVG.
9.4 years

Sub-Sector Strengths

Life Sciences

Osaka boasts a concentration of Life Sciences companies, including Takeda and Shionogi Pharmaceutical. Osaka University is highly ranked for immunology and biomedical engineering, and biotech ventures originating from the university include Luxna Biotech, which raised a $10.73 million Series B in December 2021. The International Hub for Healthcare Innovation in Nakanoshima will open in 2024, housing activity in regenerative medicine, genomic medicine, and AI and IoT. Light Touch Technology invented the world’s first noninvasive blood glucose sensor, and Cuorips, which is developing a treatment for heart failure, raised ¥100 million ($800,000) in March 2021.

Advanced Manufacturing & Robotics

Many international manufacturing companies, including Panasonic, KEYENCE, Daikin Industries, and Iwatani are present in Osaka. The 2025 Osaka Kansai Expo will showcase innovative new mobility technology including electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles — “flying cars.” Microwave Chemical raised a total of ¥4.2 billion ($33.7 million) over seven rounds. Circuit design company ArchiTek has raised over ¥1billion ($8 million) over two rounds.

Reasons to Move Your Startup to Osaka

Dedicated Support

Kansai has government-led startup support, including acceleration programs by stage. Startup visas for up to one year are available in Osaka. The Application Support Desk for International Founders helps entrepreneurs from outside Japan apply for the Startup Visa and set up their business in Osaka. Osaka Landing Pad, a platform to attract startups and investors from abroad, was formed in 2022.

Quality of Life

Osaka is both safe and friendly. The city consistently ranks near the top of The Economist’s annual Safe Cities Index and placed second in its Global Liveability Index 2021. It is one of the most welcoming Japanese cities for foreigners. Although it is Japan’s second largest city after Tokyo, land prices are about half of those in Tokyo. Kobe and Kyoto are a 30-minute trip away.

Selected Startup Organizations

Startup Genome Members

"With more than 2.5 million people, highly ranked universities, and thriving life sciences and manufacturing industries, we're proud to share the strengths of Osaka's startup ecosystem alongside our local partner, the Osaka Business Development Agency."
Stephan Kuester, Head of Ecosystem Strategy of Startup Genome

Key Ecosystem Players

Get connected

Are you interested in diving deeper into this ecosystem? Drop us a message. Our Ambassadors and Partners can plug you in.