Business Meeting

The Program

The Startup City Acceleration Program was launched by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) in order to build strong global ecosystems in Japan with the support of top tier international accelerators, angel networks, venture capital firms, and other startup ecosystem builders.

The program aims to accelerate Japanese startups striving to achieve global expansion through business development and fundraising outside of Japan. It is an immersive experience spanning 8 weeks of expert speaker sessions, pitch training, and 1-1 mentorship culminating in a demo day during which each startup showcases what they have built to a global audience of investors.

There are four Japanese economic regions represented in this program: Tokyo, Nagoya, Kansai, and Fukuoka. These regions have been qualified as the top priority development regions by the Japanese Cabinet office.


The Startup City Acceleration Program is a single cycle acceleration program from January to March of 2020.

  • Application Phase (pre-program; concluded Dec 2020): Online submission of ideas/products.

  • Shortlist (January 2021): Up to 50 startups will be selected through a selection and mentor assignment process.

  • Acceleration (January to March 2021): Shortlisted companies will be supported through a 8-week acceleration period including seminars from subject matter experts, mentorship from experienced startup operators and investors, and a demo day to showcase their startups to global venture capital investors.

Note: the above timeline may be subject to change.

Participating startups work intensely through the 8-week program to ensure they're ready for global expansion. But we don't simply disband at the end of the demo day - our community of mentors, collaborators, and liaisons continue to support each startup's ongoing journey even after the program.