The Innovation Square Startup Accelerator ([email protected]), is Okinawa’s first global startup accelerator program.

Having made huge significant investments to set up 60 research units, sophisticated laboratory facilities, an interdisciplinary graduate school program, and state-of-the-art equipment, OIST is positioned to become an active driver of R&D in Okinawa, Japan.

It is with this point that, in 2017, President Peter Gruss said his vision for OIST:

To realise an innovation ecosystem in Okinawa that can take ideas to production and marketing and provide the basis for future jobs

Every year, a highly selective group of business inventors from everywhere in the world will be taking part in a fixed-term residency program at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, where they will get the funding, coaching, and partnership required to launch their technology venture right in Okinawa, Japan. OIST is now entering another stage in its development and advancement.

The square startup accelerator combines talent, facilities, and resources from OIST with the most innovative, global technology entrepreneurs to build startups together.


  • The incubator is envisioned as a mixed-use facility that can accommodate wet lab, dry lab, computational research and development activities. It is open to startup companies as well as established companies that wish to collaborate with OIST.
  • Award will range from 3 -10 million JPY ($26,000 to $88,000)  for each project. The amount will be determined based on the project
  • The first phase of the incubator will be a 500m2 pre-fab facility expected to be operational in April 2019


  • You should have passion and commitment to technology and project
  • Be fit to OIST environment and resources
  • Have a team member
  • Technical merit
  • Market potential
  • Goals must be achievable within program duration
  • Societal impact (Okinawa, Japan, the World)


  • Entrepreneurs from Japan and internationally with an innovative technology ranging in Technology Readiness Level of 3-6
  • All technology fields will be considered except projects requiring pharmaceutical/drug clinical trials (Preclinical is eligible)
  • If selected, founder or team leader must devote 100% effort on the project for the duration of the accelerator program

How to Apply

Attract the fund by submitting a form online today. Deadline for application is Friday,  December 7, 2018.

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