This article is also featured on Osaka Innovation Hub.
Our first encounter with Osaka was when we participated in the Startupbootcamp Acceleration program in the winter of 2019, where we had the opportunity to collaborate with Hankyu and JR West Innovations on setting up indoor digital map and navigation systems on their premises, including Kyoto Railway Museum, Osaka Railway Station and Hankyu Smart Office. Within our brief stay in the city, we quickly understood how Osaka has risen to be the 4th most liveable city in Asia.
Osaka is vibrant, down to earth, and full of character. The city's distinctive culture impeccably differentiates herself from the rest of the country. Long renowned for its collectivist culture and prioritization in group harmony, Japan is internationally recognized for its bureaucratic nature that has made it arduous for foreigners in going into business in the country. For us, however, Osaka felt like a breeze of fresh air. We were immediately charmed by the openness and directness of Osakans, or how they know to enjoy themselves in the midst of the hustle and bustle.
But Osaka's attraction goes beyond her people and distinctive culture. As entrepreneurship has always been a fundamental part of the history of Osaka, it is often promoted through a variety of developments including startup acceleration programs, where they have gained tremendous popularity amongst the startup community from all over the world. While Osaka is known for her resourcefulness, dynamism and robust startup ecosystem, we especially look forward to participating in the Osaka-Kansai World Expo 2025 in alignment with "Society 5.0" — Japan's national strategy in building a human-centric society.
As an enterprise that focuses on indoor mapping — a fundamental pillar in enhancing urban mobility, our team sees exponential potential in extending our vision in Japan, where it houses a total population of 126.2 million, with more than 90% residing in an urban setting. We see an opportunity in helping to alleviate Japan's deep-rooted urban crises e.g. aging population, through building a more inclusive, accessible and safer city experience for citizens. With Osaka's capabilities in startup support and innovation creation for foreign businesses, we believe without hesitation that global startups will be able to empower the Japanese population through leveraging technology for the greater good.