On Wednesday, December 13th, a group of entrepreneurially minded GIGA students and international graduate students attended an evening information session on the Keio Shonan Fujisawa Campus Innovation Village (SFC-IV). It is held once a year at the SFC-IV for all students interested in starting a business. The SFC-IV receives more than 200 consultation per year, and allows students to talk with the staff anytime. The facility is a collaboration between Keio University, Kanagawa Prefecture, Fujisawa City, and SMRJ (Small/Medium Enterprise Support, Japan), an organization that provides business incubation services for new business start-ups and entrepreneurs.
The session started with Mr. Ueda (Incubation Manager, SFC) giving an overview of the facility. The SFC-IV provides every type of facility needed for businesses, such as shared and private office space, high speed internet, server rooms, workshops, meeting rooms, a relaxation room, and even a small kitchen. Users receive a wide range of support for their businesses as well as assistance from the SFC-IV community. There are some obstacles that need to be overcome for foreigners who wish to start a business in Japan but the SFC-IV can offer them practical advice and support. They also provide support to undergraduate students whose businesses exist only as an idea. Mr. Ueda repeatedly said “if you have an idea for starting a new business, just visit us. We always welcome you.” He also talked about the subgroup of the Mitakai alumni network that focuses on investing in businesses and providing resources to students.
Following Mr. Ueda, Mr. Liu who graduated from the graduate school of media and governance at SFC explained how he started his business at the SFC-IV even with a residence status of “student” until he graduated from SFC. SFC-IV also provides support from the Certified Administrative Procedures Legal Specialists to assist with all different kinds of matters.
One of the students who attended the session joined the community right after the session ended and is now preparing to start his business with the SFC-IV.
Related link Keio University News;