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Monday, December 11, 2023

Hamamatsu, Kosai, and Fukuroi cities in Shizuoka Prefecture jointly support a demonstration experiment for startups!

Hamamatsu City has been involved in a variety of demonstration experiments since FY2048, involving the original divisions within the city government that have jurisdiction over various fields, in order to solve local issues together with startups from all over Japan. Utilizing this know-how, the three cities in the Enshu region, Kosai City and Fukuroi City, which are in close proximity to each other, have decided to jointly conduct a demonstration experiment support project for startups from this fiscal year. What are the advantages for startups and what kind of future will be brought about by the joint efforts of the three cities? We interviewed Hitoshi Yonemura, Director of the Startup Promotion Division, Industry Department, Hamamatsu City; Takahiro Kudo, Director of the Industrial Promotion Division, Industry Department, Kosai City; and Yoshiyasu Hirooka, Director of the Industrial Future Division, Industry Department, Fukuroi City.

In the spirit of "don't do it now," three cities in western Shizuoka Prefecture co-create with startups

--Please tell us what kind of business is the demonstration experiment support business?

rice village For the past four years, Hamamatsu City has been involved in the "Demonstration Experiment Support Program," in which it presents local and social issues to startups from across Japan, selects proposals for demonstration experiments from startups that will solve those issues, and provides one-year support for accompanying the startups in their experiments.

For selected demonstration experiments, the program will provide up to 2 million yen in financial support (subsidy rate: within one-half of eligible expenses), mediation for demonstration experiment fields such as public facilities in the city or facilities owned by cooperating companies, support for recruiting demonstration experiment monitors, various types of coordination related to demonstration experiments, advice on legal systems, PR for demonstration experiments, and so on, We provide a variety of support services.

Number of startups adopted in the past 4 demonstrations: 22The program has not only provided Hamamatsu City with an opportunity to solve local issues, but has also helped startups move their businesses forward.

--What specific projects have you adopted?

rice village For example, in addition to automated driving, the use of open data, and the use of drones, Hamamatsu City will actually introduce a cervical cancer screening promotion application that utilizes LINE and a virtual zoo that uses VR technology after the demonstration experiment.

In addition to the introduction to the government, a startup service that provides remote rehabilitation and exercises by physical therapists and other therapists has been introduced to nursing care facilities in the city. Hamamatsu City has always had a "yaramaika spirit," a spirit of challenge, and a love of new things, so we feel that the city is well suited for demonstration experiments.

--This time,Not only Hamamatsu City, but also neighboring Kosai City and Fukuroi City are participating in the demonstration experiment support project.I will do so. What expectations do you have of each?

Kudo Kosai City is a "manufacturing town" with the third largest amount of industrial shipments in Shizuoka Prefecture and is the birthplace of Sakichi Toyoda, founder of the Toyota Group. However, like other regions, Kosai City is facing increasingly complex regional issues, and while we have been working with manufacturing companies to resolve these issues, we need to further leverage outside resources to address them.

That's why we decided to work with Hamamatsu City, which has expertise in co-creation with startups,Contacts with various startups across the countryI would be grateful if I could have a

Hirooka Fukuroi City was no different. We knew that administrative and regional issues could not be solved without outside help, and that Fukuroi City alone could not make contacts with many startups. So, by working together with Hamamatsu City, which already has expertise in co-creating with start-ups,To be the first step for co-creation between Fukuroi City and startupsI am looking forward to seeing the

Absorb real issues from the city and present them to startups

--What specific issues would you like to solve?

rice village We will be conducting hearings on issues within the city, assigning a person in charge of each issue from the relevant government department, and then soliciting proposals for demonstration experiments. Currently, some of the issues that have been raised include the need to make effective use of "tree bark," which is produced when processing lumber, and the need to automate garbage collection points.
(Editor's note: As of June 1, 2023, the FY2023 theme is posted in the Call for Proposals Overview.https://www.city.hamamatsu.shizuoka.jp/desupport/application_overview.html)

--you absorb the needs from the citizens.

rice village That is right, each department of the government, which is in close contact with the citizens, absorbs the needs from the citizens. In the first year of the project, we solicited startups first and connected them to the appropriate department after they were selected. However, this did not go well because we could not gain the understanding of the departments in charge and could not involve them.

Therefore, from the second year, we have changed our approach to involve the competent departments first, so that each competent department can proactively present its own issues and then accompany the startups for a year in their demonstration experiments.

This is the first time in Japan that not only Hamamatsu City, but also Kosai City and Fukuroi City are collaborating on this project.Therefore, I expect that we will be able to conduct demonstrations that could not be done in just one city. Since each city has different industries and topography, we expect to be able to conduct a wide range of demonstration experiments and scale up startups.

--As the area expands, so do the possibilities. What issues are Kosai City and Fukuroi City hoping to solve?

Kudo We too are in the process of discussing what issues to present, but Kosai is a city where many people come to work from nearby areas,A theme that crosses the proximity of work and residenceWe hope to be able to

From a start-up's point of view, city borders are irrelevant, so I think it is an advantage to be able to conduct demonstration experiments in a cohesive area, and I think it is easier to try things that cannot be done alone.

Hirooka Fukuroi City has a facility called "Ecopa" with a stadium, arena, and arena, which attracts 1.2 to 1.3 million visitors annually. However, the purpose of visitors is to watch events and sports games at Ecopa, and there is a problem that they rarely tour around Fukuroi City.

So, even a little bit.A mechanism that encourages people to tour around the city.If we can do this, we hope that it can be horizontally extended to Kosai City and Hamamatsu City as well.

We want the startups to take root in the Enshu area, knowing what the area has to offer.

--What kind of startups would you like to see?

Kudo Kosai City has many automobile-related manufacturing companies, and it is essential for them to change their business by shifting to EVs. However, we don't know how to change, and I think outside help is needed to make the change.

Nevertheless, there are few examples of outside help, so we would like to create a successful case study by first having city hall work with a startup on a demonstration project. Issues are under scrutiny, though,Startups that take the challenges we present seriously.Then any type of business is acceptable. We would like to create success stories one by one and spread them throughout the city.

Hirooka Fukuroi City is located inProblem solving tied to two major themes: "areas to develop the city's characteristics" and "chronic issues.We would like to aim to

Fukuroi City is characterized by its core industries of agriculture such as melons, rice, and tea, but lack of successors and manpower is a serious problem. We would be happy to receive ideas to solve this problem. We would also like to explore other ways to increase tourism consumption by having visitors to Ecopa tour around the city, as well as harmonize and co-create with foreign workers in their 20s.

One chronic issue that has been raised is the problem of labor shortages in nursing care. The issues will be raised by the various divisions, and we would like to scrutinize them carefully and present them to all the startups in the country.

--What is your vision for the future and the Enshu region as a whole?

rice village Hamamatsu City is,A startup ecosystem where startups are born, grow, and gatherWe would like to create a new type of business. In fact, we offer a rich menu of support services, including a fund support program to help startups raise funds, support for the development of sales channels for products and services, and a trial order certification program that gives the city priority in introducing such products and services.

However, it is difficult for one municipality alone to solve social issues, and this initiative in the three cities is a good start,Revitalization of the entire Enshu regionI would be happy if we could connect to

Kudo In Kosai City, elementary and junior high schools are connected with manufacturing companies,Fostering future manufacturing talentWe are working on the following, and would like to work together with the help of startups to develop the industry.

Hirooka By accompanying the startups in their demonstration experiments in cooperation with each section, we would be happy if the startups could not only solve social issues and improve the lives of citizens, but also establish themselves through the expansion of sales channels and other means.

What can be drawn beyond that,A future where the city's young people aspire to work in established startups.This is the first step in this process. This initiative is the first step in this process. We would like to create an environment where startups can learn about the charms of the Enshu region and have a base of operations, and where the next startup is born through exchange.

Mr. Hitoshi Yonemura Director, Startup Promotion Division, Industry Department, Hamamatsu City
Born in Hamamatsu City. After joining Hamamatsu City Hall, he worked in the tourism and human resources divisions before being appointed to the industrial division in 2015, where he was involved in the creation of growth industries. Currently, he is working on startup support in the Startup Promotion Division, which was newly established in 2021.
Mr. Yoshiyasu Hirooka Manager, Industrial Future Division, Industry Department, Fukuroi City
Born in Fukuroi City. After joining Fukuroi City Hall, he worked in the taxation and sports departments, etc. In 2017, he was appointed to the industrial department, where he was involved in tourism promotion and the creation of new industries, etc. In April 2023, he assumed his current position and is working on overall industrial promotion.
Mr. Takahiro Kudo Chief, Industrial Promotion Division, Industry Department, Kosai City
Born in Kawanishi City, Hyogo Prefecture, he joined the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) in 2012 and has worked in the departments of energy conservation and new energy, SMEs, Fukushima reconstruction, and materials industry promotion. He is working on policies to promote agriculture, industry, and commerce.

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Tomomi Tamura
He joined Snow Brand Milk Industry in 2000. He then worked for an advertising agency and as a sole proprietor before joining BizReach in 2012. Engaged in content creation, he joined NewsPicks in 2016 as an editor on the BrandDesign team, and is now a freelance writer and editor.
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