February 13, 2023

Establishment of SHIBUYA Startups Co., Ltd., a global start-up development organization

  • GMO Internet Group, Inc.

Shibuya City (Mayor: Ken Hasebe, hereinafter referred to as "Shibuya City"), Tokyu Corporation (President and Representative Director: Kazuo Takahashi, hereinafter referred to as "Tokyu"), Tokyu Land Corporation (President and Representative Director: Masashi Okada, hereinafter referred to as "Tokyu Land"), and GMO Internet Group Corporation (Founder, Chairman and Group CEO Masatoshi Kumagai, hereinafter referred to as "GMO Internet Group") decided to establish SHIBUYA Startups Corporation (hereinafter referred to as "SHIBUYA Startups")in late February with the aim of creating and nurturing international startup community in Shibuya.

The starting point of SHIBUYA Startups was in the late 90s, when IT companies gathered around Shibuya Station. Today, more than 2,000 startups are based in Shibuya, forming one of the largest startup communities in Japan.

On the other hand, it is a national issue in Japan that there are no startup companies that are internationally competitive or internationally successful.
In addition, the "Five-Year Start-up Plan" that the Kishida administration prepared for the realization of "New Capitalism" states that "we should have the perspective of creating start-ups that boldly take on the challenge of global markets without falling into a Galapagos mindset." Building international startup community is necessary for economic development.

The Shibuya City, believes that it is necessary to create an environment in which the public and private sectors work together to solve these problems, like the advanced local governments worldwide. Accordingly, we concluded contracts with Tokyu, Tokyu Land, and GMO Internet Group for the establishment of joint ventures.

SHIBUYA Startups will provide and cultivate the greatest value for the growth of startups. This will bring together a diverse range of startups and advanced personnel with new ideas and technologies in Shibuya, creating a globally successful startup, thereby realizing the birth of international startup community.

By promoting the business of SHIBUYA Startups, we will further develop one of the largest startup communities in Japan and aim to become a town where international innovation will occur. We will contribute to the development of the local economy in Shibuya through the creation of new industries and jobs that are internationally competitive.

■Business contents of the new company
1.Development program business for startups
2.Consulting business
3.Other businesses aimed at supporting startups

■Structure of the new company
1.ShihoWatabe, who has experienced working for global companies and served as an advisor to a number of startups both domestically and internationally, is appointed President and Representative Director, and promotes business utilizing a broad network.

2.In addition to overseeing the execution of the business of the new company, Shibuya City will support the growth of start-ups and generate innovation that enriches the lives of the ward residents through collaboration with startup demonstration testing projects such as Innovation for New Normal from Shibuya demonstration support project conducted by Shibuya City.

3.We will support the growth of startups by backing up the businesses of SHIBUYA Startups by utilizing the networks and business know-how cultivated by Tokyu, Tokyu Land, and GMO Internet Group.

■Ideas of each investor

Shibuya City
Shibuya City started a startup support initiatives in 2020, and has been promoting various businesses such as support for Proof of Concept, improvement of the environment, and promotion of globalization. SHIBUYA Startups was established with the aim of making Shibuya a global startup hub, fostering domestic and overseas startups. Public-private partnerships are essential for start-up ecosystem, and we are pleased to collaborate with Shibuya’s leading companies, such as Tokyu and Tokyu Land, which are involved in urban development in Shibuya, led by Shibuya Station, and GMO Internet Group, which symbolizes Bit Valley in Shibuya. We believe that we can carry out unprecedented projects by making full use of each person’s knowledge and resources. Through the business of this organization, the startup community in Shibuya will be further strengthened, and we will aim to enrich the lives of the people of Shibuya City by implementing the innovations that have been born.

Tokyu Corporation
Until now, Tokyu has worked on to foster industries and promote the emergence of innovation through the Tokyu Alliance Platform, a co-creation program with start-up companies, and by forming startup communities at bases such as SHIBUYA QWS, a co-creation facility established within SHIBUYA SCRAMBLE SQUARE. The establishment of SHIBUYA Startups is a revolutionary initiative to support new measures on a global level through public-private partnerships for the further development of the startup ecosystem in Shibuya, and we expect it to further accelerate the development of the city. We will cooperate with new players gathering in Shibuya through SHIBUYA Startups, to realize the "Entertainment City SHIBUYA" set forth by the Tokyu Group and promote urban development aimed at improving the attractiveness of the Greater Shibuya (wide-area Shibuya area) area.

Tokyu Land
Tokyu Land is promoting the development of four projects in the broad Shibuya area: Shibuya Sakuragaoka Block Type 1 Urban Redevelopment Project, Jingumae 6-chome Block Type 1 Urban Redevelopment Project, Daikanyamacho Project, and Yoyogi Park Park-PFI Project. This year and next year are the milestones for the completion of these projects. In Shibuya, where we have created a variety of cultures and businesses, we believe that attracting companies looking for promising startups and innovations will lead to the creation of innovative businesses, and we have deepened our collaboration with startup stakeholders. To date, we have endeavored to create an emergent startup community in Shibuya by co-creating with Silicon Valley-based Plug and Play, opening a small office for startups called GUILD, and opening the Shibuya SAUNAS last year. With the aim of creating an attractive town where new industries will continue to emerge; we will work together with the players who will be gathered through this initiative to boost Shibuya.

GMO Internet Group
GMO Internet Group launched its Internet business in 1995 and has engaged in business activities in Shibuya. Today, we have grown into a comprehensive Internet group that operates the Internet Infrastructure Business, Online Advertising & Media Business, Internet Finance Business, and Crypto assets Business. Therefore, as a corporate group that has grown together with Shibuya, we strongly endorse the idea of Shibuya City that we would like to create international startup communities in Shibuya, and we have decided to participate in Shibuya Startups at this time. By providing our comprehensive Internet knowledge through the Shibuya Startups program, entrepreneurs from around the world will gather in Shibuya to support the creation of many smiles and excitement.

[About SHIBUYA Startups Co., Ltd.]
Company name: SHIBUYA Startups Co., Ltd.
Representative: Shiho Watabe
Common stock: ¥170 million (including additional paid-in capital)
Capital structure: Shibuya City, Tokyu, Tokyu Land, GMO Internet Group
Location: Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Establishment: Scheduled for late February 2023