Explore - Focus - Build

Welcome to OIST Innovation Accelerator Program, a transformative journey for entrepreneurs shaped by a dynamic competition-based format. This startup launchpad will propel you through a series of stages while providing an immersive entrepreneurship training designed to help you refine your idea and business plan. The winners of the competition will be funded to come to Okinawa, Japan, to build their product and launch their startups. 

Once you have secured your spot in the competition, the excitement begins!


Stage 1: Explore - Online training program

Of all applications received, the top 25 teams will be selected to join this stage - a 9-hour online course in September 2024, to help you explore the most interesting business opportunities around your startup idea.  At the end of it, you make a slide deck with your learnings that you will present in a video.  The top 12 winning video pitches will make it through the next stage. All sessions will be conducted in English.

 Session 1: September 10 (Tue), 2024
 Session 2: September 17 (Tue), 2024
 Session 3: September 24 (Tue), 2024

Time: 15:00-18:00 JST (UTC +9)

Stage 2: Focus - Startup bootcamp in Okinawa

The 12 selected teams will be invited to join the second stage - a two-week on-site bootcamp in January 2024 on the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology campus in Okinawa, Japan. The 12 teams (up to 2 members/team) will receive financial support for travel and hotel costs (based on OIST travel rules) to attend the in-person bootcamp. In these two weeks, we guide you through the five most important aspects of creating and running a startup: tech & product, customers & markets, funding & finance, team & culture, and IP & legal. This allows you to decide where you will focus your efforts in the coming months and build your product. We finish with a pitch competition and select 4 teams for Stage 3. All sessions will be conducted in English.

Dates: December 2-13, 2024
Check-in Date: December 1, 2024
Check-out Date: December 14, 2024

Stage 3: Build - Accelerator Program in Okinawa

In Stage 3, the 4 winning teams will receive up to 12 months to build your product and startup at OIST, starting from April 2025. The teams must be willing to relocate to Okinawa for the defined period. You will receive up to 10,000,000 Japanese Yen as a non-dilutive grant to use for salary, lab supplies, contract research, or travel to meetings and exhibitions. You will have access to office space, lab space, and equipment in OIST's state-of-the-art facilities.  In addition, we will connect you to a global network of scientists, investors, government leaders, and industry experts who can guide you through the startup journey.

Dates: From April 2025

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