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Regional Business Conference held in Osaka

March 2019

From March 12 to 14, JETRO jointly held the Regional Business Conference (RBC) in Osaka City with the municipal government; the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI); and other local authorities, an event consisting of direct promotion by leading figures and matching with local companies by inviting business people from overseas. With the attendance of three accelerators and two venture capital firms with interest in doing business in Osaka from Denmark, Australia, Singapore, the Netherlands and China, the advantages of Osaka, a hub for creating innovation, were publicized, and audience members were encouraged to take part in the global innovation ecosystem which Osaka is aspiring to develop. In addition, before and after the RBC, the investment environment within the Kansai region was introduced to invitees through tours of the cities of Kobe and Kyoto.

Promotion of advantages of Osaka at RBC and Joint Welcome Reception of RBC and Hack Osaka

On the first day, the RBC Seminar was held at the Osaka Innovation Hub (OIH), a support center for startups in Osaka. The seminar started with an explanation by Director Hidechika Koizumi of the Investment Facilitation Division of METI on the purpose of the RBC and activities by the government in drawing overseas companies. Following that, Director-General Michiteru Kashiwagi of the Economic Strategy Bureau of Osaka City introduced municipal efforts toward building an innovation ecosystem, touching on the accumulation of universities, research institutions and industries within the Kansai area centered on Osaka. Emphasizing that efforts to create innovation will be continuously and vigorously made toward the 2025 Osaka Kansai Expo, he promoted the advantages of the city as a hub for creating innovation.

A representative from the Osaka International Business Promotion Center (IBPC) explained its support program for overseas companies to start business in Osaka. The seminar ended with a presentation by Director-General Ichiro Sone of JETRO Osaka about the office’s activities in attracting overseas companies to the Kansai area, declaring “Relevant organizations will become as one to fully assist overseas companies in doing business in our region." After the seminar, participants visited the Knowledge Capital at the Grand Front Osaka, where the OIH is located, and gained a deep understanding of the efforts large companies and academic institutes in Osaka make in creating innovation.

That evening, the Joint Welcome Reception of the RBC and Hack Osaka, a global innovation conference organized the following day, was held at the Yamamoto Noh Theater. At the reception, Director-General Kashiwagi expressed his hope that participants would have a meaningful time with others participating in this RBC and Hack Osaka toward the generation of new business ideas.

Director-General Kiyoshi Mori of the Kansai Bureau of Economy, Trade and industry stated that his bureau will proceed with developing an innovation ecosystem within the Kansai region through support for ventures and strongly encouraged companies to start business in Osaka as trends toward creating innovation in the city will accelerate. Many local companies playing a pivotal role in the Kansai economy were also in attendance at the reception, presenting invitees with an excellent opportunity for networking.

Promotion by Director-General Kashiwagi at RBC Seminar

Joint Welcome Reception of RBC and Hack Osaka

Participation in Hack Osaka

On the second day, March 13, the invitees took part in Hack Osaka 2019, which marked its seventh year this year, and made presentations and took part in panel discussions based on their experiences in starting business and overseas acceleration programs. A competition for ideas and business models among entrepreneurs was held under five themes—digital health, travel tech, smart cities, sports tech and food tech—in which ten companies from Japan and overseas made short presentations and some invitees acted as judges. The remaining invitees participated in the Speed Dating, a matching event held in the same venue, where they met Japanese startups aspiring to expand business in the future and gave them advice on important points and on how to find business partners when aiming at entering overseas markets.

Hack Osaka

Speed Dating

Business meetings with local startups and SMEs

On the last day, March 14, business meetings were held at the OIH and the Global Venture Habitat for the invitees and local firms including startups based in Osaka and SMEs aspiring to expand business with their own independently developed technologies. In a total of 32 business meetings, the invitees offered recommendations from an international perspective, such as through introducing companies and agencies who could be good partners in expanding business overseas as well as suggesting new business models, making the event a fruitful opportunity for the participating local firms as well.

Business meeting with a local firm

Outline of the RBC in Osaka

Date Tuesday, March 12 to Thursday, 14, 2019
Venue Osaka City
Organizers JETRO, Osaka City, METI
Guest companies A total of five companies from Denmark, Australia, Singapore, the Netherlands and China
Program
  • Tuesday, March 12: RBC seminar, Joint Welcome Reception of RBC and Hack Osaka
  • Wednesday, March 13: Participation in Hack Osaka
  • Thursday, March 14: Business meetings