Propelling Startups to Success

Proof of Concept programme for startups

 KKJ provides foreign startups with access to demonstration fields and financial assistance to support their growth in the Japanese market.

Success stories of foreign startups in KKJ

 Check out some examples of foreign startups that have received support from KKJ.

SWAT Mobility Japan Co., Ltd

Service using proprietary technology to analyze existing bus route data to efficiently revise timetables
Kitakyushu City Transportation Bureau
※Continuing contract in FY2023
Comments on KKJ's support
SWAT Mobility Japan is confident about opportunities for collaboration because of the presence of major corporations and manufacturing companies that have set up head offices in KKJ.

LESS and CO Co., Ltd

Development of recipe for beer brewed using out-of-spec tomatoes grown in KKJ and creation of a model for regional revitalization
Vegetable production company, local microbrewery
Comments on KKJ's support
LESS and CO stressed how important KKJ’s support was in helping them gain recognition in other parts of Japan and build a track record for their next phase of growth.

Startup visa

 Kitakyushu City is engaged in activities to attract startups from overseas that are looking to enter the Japanese market.
 Typically, foreign nationals who intend to set up a business in Japan must have a “Business Manager” status of residence. However, it is possible for individuals to obtain a “Business Manager” visa with a 6-month preparatory period of stay if Kitakyushu City reviews and confirms the content of business startup plans in advance.
 To utilize this system to obtain a “Business Manager” status of residence, a startup plan must be prepared and submitted to Kitakyushu City describing the business activities that you intend to conduct here.

 Individuals who have received confirmation about their startup activities* will be issued a “Certificate of Confirmation of Business Startup Activities”. After receipt, please submit an application for the “Business Manager” status of residence at the immigration office in your jurisdiction.

* The process for confirming the content of startup activities includes an assessment by Kitakyushu City on the activities described in the business startup plan and other documents, in order to determine how likely it is for an applicant to be approved for a regular status of residence (“Business Manager”) after the 6-month period of stay.


 Foreign nationals seeking to start up businesses in Kitakyushu City

Target businesses

〇Innovative technologies and ideas that will help strengthen the global competitiveness of industries in Kitakyushu, as follows:

  • Knowledge creation industries (related to semiconductors, IT/IoT industries (software, AI, robotics, ICT technologies, etc.))
  • Environmental and energy industries
  • Health, medical care, welfare and education-related industries
  • Logistics-related industries
  • Tourism sector (related to efforts to stimulate inbound tourism to Kitakyushu from overseas and activities that enhance the city’s appeal)

〇Any businesses, other than those mentioned above, recognized by the mayor as helping to promote Kitakyushu City’s future industrial promotion strategy.

Required documents for submission

 Foreign nationals who are applying for an assessment by Kitakyushu City to confirm the content of startup activities should prepare and submit all of the following documents.

  1. Application for Confirmation of Business Startup Activities
  2. Plan for Confirmation of Business Startup Activities
  3. Schedule of Business Startup Activities
  4. Curriculum vitae
  5. Written pledge
  6. Documentation proving residence for the first six months after arrival (i.e., copy of lease agreement, rental application form, etc.)
  7. Documentation proving that the applicant has adequate funds for daily life for the first six months after arrival and for return to their home country (i.e., copy of bank book or other documents that indicate cash balances and deposits)
  8. Copy of passport (identification page)