Startup Accelerator Program Overview

Questions? Contact: innovation@oist.jp

 

Go to Application

(The link will direct you to a third-party site)
 

About the Program

The Innovation Square Startup Accelerator (I2@OIST) is Okinawa's first global startup accelerator program. Each year, a highly selective group of entrepreneurs from all over the world is chosen to participate in a fixed-term residency program at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, where they receive the funding, mentoring, and partnerships required to launch their technology ventures right here in Okinawa, Japan. The I2@OIST Accelerator combines talent, facilities, and resources from OIST with the most innovative, global technology entrepreneurs to build startups together.

I2@OIST is a key initiative of the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology and managed by the Technology Development & Innovation Center. By catalyzing startups in Okinawa, OIST aims to strengthen the innovation ecosystem around the university and contribute to self-sustaining economic development in the region.

Startup Accelerator Program is funded by Okinawa Prefectural Government.

Join the first global startup accelerator program in Okinawa!

We are looking for passionate entrepreneurs from all over the world with innovative technologies that have the potential to make a positive impact on society. Once selected, you will participate in a fixed-term residency program as an OIST employee at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology where you will receive the funding, mentoring, and partnerships needed to launch your technology ventures right here in Okinawa, Japan.

Program Duration: 10-12 months (~March 31)

Eligibility

  • Entrepreneurs from Japan and overseas with an innovative technology ranging in Technology Readiness Level of 3-6.
  • All technology fields are considered except projects requiring pharmaceutical/drug clinical trials (pre-clinical is eligible).
  • If selected, founder or team leader must devote 100% effort on the project for the duration of the accelerator program.

Funding

  • Awards up to 10 million JPY
  • Funds can be used for:
    • Personnel (salary, benefits for members who engage in the project in Okinawa)
    • Lab supplies
    • Contract research
    • Travel to conferences and exhibitions

Resources and Services

 

  • Lab and office space
  • Access to OIST core research equipment and resources
  • Connect with OIST research and business network
    • Faculty and researchers
    • Venture capital and industry partners
  • Mentorship
    • Expert industry mentors assigned to each project
  • Professional Training
    • Lean Startup Entrepreneurship Program
    • Business Planning Courses
    • Project Management Courses
  • Professional Services
    • Corporate legal advice
    • Intellectual property advice
  • Administrative Services
 

Application Process for FY2021 Program (~ March 31, 2022)

 

  • STEP 1: Submit a Letter of Intent (using the web link below)
    Due date for FY2021 Program: Nov 30, 2020
  • STEP 2: Submit a full proposal (by-invitation-only)
    Due date: To be communicated to invitees (mid-Dec, 2020)
  • STEP 3: Proposal review by panel of industry experts
  • STEP 4: Interview via web or in-person (by-invitation-only, mid-Feb, 2021)
  • STEP 5: Final Selection
    Date: TBD (Spring, 2021)

Selection Criteria

 

  • Passion and commitment to the technology and project
  • Fit to OIST environment and resources
  • Team
  • Technical merit
  • Market potential
  • Goals achievable within program duration
  • Societal impact (Okinawa, Japan, the World)

 

Go to Application

(The link will direct you to a third-party site)