Seminar for FDI into Japan for start-ups organized by JETRO in Taipei

November 2017

On November 22, JETRO organized its first seminar for FDI into Japan geared toward start-ups in Taiwan. This seminar; which was held with the aim of calling on Taiwanese start-ups to invest in Japan, or expanding business in Japan or third countries, in collaboration with Japanese companies; was realized under the auspices of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, the Asia Silicon Valley Development Agency (ASVDA), the Taipei Computer Association and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council.

Promoting the merit of doing business in Japan with Japanese companies

The Taiwanese government has been focusing efforts on attracting investment into Taiwan from overseas start-ups capable of contributing to forming a business ecosystem, as well as supporting entrepreneurs. In line with this, it has also been facilitating business expansion to third countries and regions through collaboration between overseas companies and the start-ups which have grown in Taiwan. On the other hand, Japanese companies –especially large ones have been actively adopting "open innovation," in which companies are able to widely tap innovative ideas from start-ups in order to expand business in the global market.

In the opening remarks as organizers, Deputy CEO Ting-An Wang of ASVDA and Director General Ryoichi Ito of JETRO Hong Kong individually emphasized the importance of strengthening collaboration between Taiwan and Japan in creating innovation. Following them, Managing Director Yuma Saito of Deloitte Tohmatsu Venture Support took the podium and explained reasons why now is the best time for overseas start-ups to enter Japan and the keys to success in entering the Japanese market. He emphasized the fact that there are also opportunities for Taiwanese start-ups to succeed in Japan as large Japanese companies are looking for new technologies and ideas. To illustrate a successful example of collaboration between Taiwanese and Japanese companies, a representative of the Taiwanese start-up NextDrive, an IT-based smart electric power equipment manufacturer active in Japan, gave a presentation on collaboration with a leading Japanese IT company, including from the perspective of the Japanese company.

Presentations were also given by two representatives of Taiwanese start-ups already operating in Japan; General Manager Emma Wu of Free Bionics Japan, which develops walking support robots for patients with spinal cord injuries; and Co-founder Ian Liao of Golface, a company which develops applications for golfers. They talked about the background of their incorporation in Japan and the attractiveness of doing business in the country. Free Bionics Japan introduced their cooperation with Saga University and business alliance with one of Japan's largest medical equipment distributors, stressing that Japan has an open medical field compared to the rest of the world. Golface cited the geographical proximity to Taiwan, the market size and the active support by Fukuoka City, as reasons for choosing the city as a location. Chief Executive Hirohiko Nagaura of Fukuoka City, home to Japan's first National Strategic Special Zone for start-ups, introduced innovative activities conducted by the city including the introduction of the easing of visa restrictions for start-ups in order to assist foreign entrepreneurs in starting business, and the support services by the incubation facility named "Start-up Cafe." In the last session, Yugo Yoshida, Sub-team Leader for the Taiwanese Company Investment Support Group of JETRO’s Invest Japan Department made a passionate call for Taiwanese companies to invest in Japan, introducing JETRO's service for investment into Japan and successful cases of start-ups assisted by JETRO.

Greeting by Director General Ryoichi Ito of JETRO Hong Kong

Presentation by General Manager Emma Wu of Free Bionics Japan

Presentation by Co-founder Ian Liao of Golface through Skype

Public relations activity by local governments focusing on strategic fields

In the networking reception after the seminar, a PR corner was set up by five local governments of Kanagawa, Osaka, Kyoto, Fukuoka and Okinawa Prefectures in order to disseminate information on the strategic fields particularly focused on by the local governments in drawing overseas companies, as well as the attractiveness of each business environment. JETRO's consultation desk received inquiries from 22 Taiwanese start-up companies active in the IoT and biotechnology fields expressing interest in investment in Japan regarding procedures for establishing a business site and information on the Japanese market.

Networking reception

Outline of seminar

Date and time Wednesday, November 22, 2017 14:00-16:30 (Networking: 16:30-18:00)
Venue Sheraton Grand Taipei Hotel
Organizers Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, Asia Silicon Valley Development Agency (ASVDA),
Taipei Computer Association (TCA)
Co-organizer Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA)
Visitors 121 people including 18 people from 17 media outlets
Program Seminar
Opening remarks by organizers
Ting-An Wang, Deputy CEO of the Asia Silicon Valley Development Agency
Ryoichi Ito, Director General of JETRO Hong Kong
Presentation by expert
Yuma Saito, Managing Director of Deloitte Tohmatsu Venture Support 
Presentation by Taiwanese companies
Fumitoshi Keino, Vice President of NextDrive
Emma Wu, General Manager of Free Bionics Japan
Ian Liao, Co-founder of Golface
Presentation by local government
Hirohiko Nagaura, Chief Executive, General Affairs & Planning Bureau of Fukuoka City
Introduction of JETRO's service
Yugo Yoshida, Sub-team Leader of Taiwanese Company Investment Support Group in JETRO
Networking reception
* A consultation corner was set up by Kanagawa, Kyoto, Osaka, Fukuoka, Okinawa Prefectures and JETRO.