Starting up in Fukuoka


I’m Stefan and I lived in Tokyo for 7 years. I originally came to Japan in 2011 to work for a company called Cerego, which made the spaced-repetition language learning app . After going through some ups and downs, and switching companies a couple times, I still struggle to find a place where I feel like I belong.

So I decided to call it all quits, and give up my apartment in Tokyo and move to Fukuoka with nothing.

There is a cool place called “Fukuoka Growth Next” which seems to exist specifically for idiots like me.

So, I will just walk in there with nothing but my crappy business idea and start working. No clue if this is going to work out or not, but I want to use this forum as a daily diary to report on progress.

your buhrmi

After presenting the business plan to the staff for consultation and advice, it became clear that what I’m asking for was impossible. I was looking for someone to just give me a loan to kickstart my idea without any security for the lender. Obviously the banks are very strict, and being an unmarried foreigner still speaking only broken Japanese after 7 years doesn’t really help this matter. So it’s back to boring Tokyo for now.

Yeah, it’s really difficult (read, nigh-on-impossible) to get funding if this is your first gig(I mean as starting a new business), and you have nothing to show for.

What you can do, is aim for a gradual rise up, instead of a instant angel funding. Something like crowdfunding, putting out a PoC and MVP and work from there.

Is there a particular reason you want to move Fukuoka ? Probably living cost is cheaper there, so that may help, but you will have more connections in Tokyo, and if you need to move around, transportation costs can easily out do cheaper living expenses.

As for crowd funding, you can check the below. Though you will need a Japanese person to help with the writing up and probably a designer to make it appealing.

Hi, thanks for the reply. I choose Fukuoka because the city is very beautiful and supportive towards the sort of people who fall into the “weird Gaijin who somehow got lost in Japan” category. The existence of the before mentioned facility is proof of that :smiley:

I can recommend you the book “The $100 startup”. This book showcases using real life examples, how it is possible to develop an idea into a bussines and how to test the market for this idea. Here is the link to amazon:

Good luck!

Hey Buhrmi,

I’m moving to Fukuoka soon.
Still around?

Drop me an email:

Yeah I’m still around. Back in Tokyo for now, but will go there again. I won’t give up till I’m dead :joy:

Haha, totally recognize myself in your first post :wink: good luck with your startup and welcome back to Tokyo! Keep us posted if you will :wink: