OUTLINEA place where unicorn companies are born

Fukuoka Growth Next (FGN) is a public-private cooperative startup support facility which started its operation in April 2017 by using the former 90-year-old Daimyo Elementary School in Fukuoka City. The number of companies moving into this facility has steadily increased and now it reaches over 400 in total.

FGN's mission is to create a number of future unicorn companies from Fukuoka. By providing unique hands-on programmes and a variety of events like pitch contests, FGN nurtures startups/entrepreneurs and will eventually accompany them to challenge the global markets.

Fukuoka Jisho participates in FGN as one of the operating companies while playing an important role in stimulating the startup community in Fukuoka.

CHALLENGETo make startup culture settled down in Fukuoka

The startup movement in Fukuoka began in 2012 when the Mayor of Fukuoka City, Soichiro Takashima, made the "Startup City Fukuoka" declaration. We visited couple of famous overseas startup support facilities with Mayor Takashima and found that, although the buildings themselves seemed very old, they were equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and fitted to create a comfortable space. Impressed by their approach to stimulating a hungry spirit and fostering a startup mindset, we started looking for a location that matched those criteria. Thus our effort led to the idea of using the closed Daimyo Elementary School located in the center of Tenjin area.

When FGN opened at the former Daimyo Elementary School in 2017, Fukuoka did not have the ground to invest financial and human resources into startups at the seed phase, or the first stage of growth. Although it was an important time to build the foundations for success, major companies tended to shy away from investment if they were not assured of 'safety and security'. We believe that "If a startup culture settles down in Fukuoka, aspiring companies can make their dreams come true and shine brighter" and so we have taken the leadership to spread the startup culture into Fukuoka.

SOLUTIONAccelerated open innovation culture

Fukuoka Jisho provides variety of supports to startups to improve their products and services, which leads to corporate value enhancement through fundraising. We also actively use startup technology to address issues within the Fukuoka Jisho Group and frequently provide actual examples of solutions.

Fukuoka Jisho also focuses on attracting startups in Tokyo that meet the requirements of major companies. Taking into account the unique characteristics of Fukuoka where variety of services industries such as food, drink and commerce can be found, we have accelerated the open innovation culture through the involvement of local companies such as electric power companies and financial institutions.

In FY2023, thirty-four companies participated as sponsors and the amount of funding raised was close to 30 billion yen. Startup culture is steadily taking root in Fukuoka, with an increasing number of major companies that include examples of open innovation with FGN startups in their financial statements.

FUTUREBecoming a world-class startup city

Currently, Fukuoka Jisho provides all manner of support to startups using FGN in the form of regular interviews and surveys. A mentoring programme, which includes one-on-one meetings with investors, venture capitalists, managers and professionals in various fields, in and outside Fukuoka, is also being implemented to further promote startup culture in Fukuoka.

Meanwhile, the second phase of the Tenjin Business Center, scheduled for its construction to be completed in 2026, is currently being planned as a startup support facility (name to be determined) for startups in the 'middle phase', when their business is on track and stable earnings are expected, and in the 'later phase', when they have entered a further growth stage. To make Fukuoka a world-class startup city. Fukuoka Jisho will continue to support Fukuoka's startups in all aspects and help them grow into unicorn companies.


Location 2-6-11 Daimyo, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture (formerly Daimyo Elementary School)
Management Fukuoka City Startup Support Facility Steering Committee (Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Jisho Co. Ltd., Sakura Internet Inc. and GMO Pepabo Inc.)


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PROJECT 01Tenjin Business Center

To embody the vision of "Make Fukuoka More Exciting",
we embarked on a project that marks the beginning of "Tenjin Big Bang".