How does it work?

To be considered, first submit your startup idea using the link below.  We are especially interested in hearing from entrepreneurs working in targeted areas or "themes" that align with our mission and sponsors. The top 25 teams will be invited to join Stage 2-online traning scheduled in September 2024. Top 12 teams will be invited to a 2-week in person bootcamp in Okianwa. We finish with a pitch competition and award the winning teams with funding and an opportunity to build their startups in Okinawa, Japan.

Please refer to the Program page for more information.



Entrepreneurs seeking to get a foothold in Japan, to tap into one of the world’s leading technological powerhouses, have an opportunity to test and launch their solutions from Okinawa.
As an island nation, Japan is a microcosm of the world. The major challenges facing Japan, (aging population, energy, food security, disease, biodiversity loss, etc.), are shared with many parts of the world. At the same time, Japan has a prominent history of innovation and of being an early adopter of new technologies. This makes Japan a perfect testbed for innovative solutions, and Okinawa is well-positioned as a platform to bring these solutions to the World.


Recognizing that the health of humans, animals, and ecosystems are interconnected, we are seeking entrepreneurs working at the interface of multiple research fields to solve problems facing people and the planet and converge towards a “One World, One Health” society.
The need for innovation to solve complex global problems has never been greater. At the same time, amazing technological breakthroughs have been developed in biotechnology, AI/ML, nano/quantum systems, advanced materials, and imaging/sensing over the last 20 years. These factors pave the way for a Bio-Convergence, synergies between research fields that could not otherwise exist, creating an engine of innovation that drives solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.



  • Entrepreneurs from Japan and overseas with an innovative technology ranging in Technology Readiness Level of 3-6.
  • All technology fields are considered.
  • If selected, at least 1 founder who has (or will have) ownership of the startup must relocate to Okinawa and devote 100% effort on the project for the duration of the program.

Selection Criteria

  1. Passion and commitment to the technology and project
  2. Fit to OIST environment and resources
  3. Team
  4. Technical merit
  5. Market potential
  6. Goals achievable within program duration (up to 12 months)
  7. Societal impact (Okinawa, Japan, the World)

Questions? Please contact