The month of April sees Fund Singapore taking the next big step towards setting up a regional office in Japan, our second overseas base after Australia.
Talks began mid-2017 when Fund Singapore was invited to set up a subsidiary in Tokyo by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG). After nearly a year of planning and discussions, Fund Singapore took our first working trip to Japan, with connections now established across 4 major cities in the Kanto and Kansai region. Throughout the trip, we were honoured to have the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and representatives from Enterprise SG accompany us for some of these meetings.
Kanto region, with its availability of advanced manufacturing and technology facilities is an attractive place for Fund Singapore. Whilst in the Kanto region, Fund Singapore had the privilege to meet up with the Directors from TMG and Senior Officials from the Kanagawa Prefectural Government. Fund Singapore also look forward to obtaining our financial license with The Financial Services Agency (FSA) in 2018, and setting up our first Japan office in Marunouchi, the financial district of Tokyo in the coming weeks.
In the Kansai region, discussions were held with the Osaka Innovation Hub (established by Osaka City Government), as well as the Osaka International Business Promotion Centre. With great support from the officials, Fund Singapore is potentially setting up our second Japan regional office in Osaka.
While Osaka is well known as an innovation hub, Kyoto is strongly reputed as the business centre of Kansai region, where many business activities and SMEs are established along with on-going researches. In Kyoto, Managing Director of JETRO Kyoto joined Fund Singapore in our meeting with the City of Kyoto – Industry and Tourism Bureau, where we were introduced to Kyoto Makers Garage, an accelerator with a strong understanding of the startup eco-system in Kyoto.
Building on our belief that no good company or startup should be allowed to fail due to the lack of funding, Fund Singapore took the opportunity of this trip to also get connected to the several leading banks, incubators and universities in Japan. The University of Tokyo, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, Resona Bank, FinoLab just to name a few. Fund Singapore shared our strategy & roadmap, where we received enthusiasm in promising partnerships for investment and funding of these research and advanced technologies made available by the Universities.