The startup industry in Japan is struggling. The country is known for its large companies such as Toyota and Nintendo, but such large companies make it difficult for newly-formed companies to distinguish themselves. Younger people in Japan are more likely to take jobs at established firms, as they value having stable career paths and do not like the risk involved in starting their own companies. Therefore, startups do not thrive in Japan, as funding is difficult to come by. The government, however, is looking to turn this around.
The government is hoping to change many things related to their startup industry. They have already been attempting to encourage the launch of small businesses, but now they are paying more attention to companies that support the small businesses as well. For example, the government is focused on venture capital firms, as well as on creating a supportive startup environment and attempting to change the mindset of the less adventurous younger generation.
Obviously, this will take time and a lot of change.
The Japanese government is looking to start by instituting entrepreneurial classes in some schools, to encourage students to think outside of the box in terms of career paths. This will take a large amount of extra education, as much of the young Japanese population is hesitant to get into a precarious financial position.
The government is also working alongside Japan’s Venture Capital Association to push investors into making venture capital investments. Having large companies work with startups will, they hope, encourage professionals to take risks in starting new companies, as the professionals will now have some support. A large portion of this partnership is educating younger people on how venture capital works. They believe a better understanding of venture capital will lead more people to see venture capital investment as an option.
The government is also pouring a lot of money into the startup industry. They have put billions of dollars into helping the industry for the last two years, and the number appears to be rising every year. Events pairing startups with investors have become a trend as well. Basically, the government is working all possible angles to try and make their startup industry competitive.
The Japanese government wants its companies to be able to tap further into the global market. Their efforts to expand their startup culture will assist them in their goals overall, but they certainly have a long way to go.
For more information on Japan’s startup industry, I encourage you to go to this article in The Japan Times.