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Venture Business Support in Osaka, Japan
Osaka, Japan

Venture businesses are rapidly increasing in number in APO member countries, generating a wide range of innovative and creative firms. These venture businesses are considered to be one of the important factors in revitalizing national economies with abundant possibilities for utilizing human capital, skills, and creativity. Therefore, many APO member governments have acknowledged the importance of venture businesses and are developing a variety of support measures.

003Group discussion with Venture Business Forum participants

In an effort to support member governments in developing such support measures, the APO, in collaboration with the Japan Productivity Center for Socio-Economic Development, organized the study meeting on Venture Business Support in Japan, 13−16 November, to share experiences in offering support to those businesses. Additionally, the study meeting intended to provide the participants with useful insights from Japanese support schemes, policies, and experiences for possible adoption in other APO member countries. The meeting brought together 18 participants concerned about venture business support, including government officials and venture capitalists and incubators, from 14 member countries. To achieve synergy, the study meeting was organized concurrently with the Asian Forum on Venture Business. The forum is a major annual event organized by the APO in cooperation with several partners in Osaka and the Kansai region, and attendees were mainly venture business owners.

Professor Noboru Maeda, of the Graduate School of International Management, Aoyama Gakuin University, gave a presentation on “Present Status and Issues on Venture Business and Public Support System in Japan,” and introduced various international examples of venture business support measures, along with two notable Japanese cases of venture start-up initiatives, i.e., the establishment of the Spin-off Encouragement Committee and the Japanese cluster development phenomenon. Guest speaker Susana Garcia-Robles, of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) headquartered in Washington, DC, spoke about “Venture Business Support in Latin America under the IDB Multilateral Investment Fund,” and provided detailed information on its history and operations.

Study meeting participants also took part in some programs at the Venture 2007 Kansai conference, held discussions with forum participants on existing and possible support systems, and devised a “needs and wish list” of venture entrepreneurs in terms of desired support. Two site visits were made to the Entrepreneurial Museum of Challenge and Innovation and Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The study meeting participants also heard a presentation on “Financial Support Systems for Venture and SMEs” by Deputy Director Yutaka Tamatani, Finance Support Department of the Osaka Industrial Promotion Organization and toured Creation Core Higashi-Osaka, where Senior Executive Masanori Shimoda spoke on “Industry–Government–Academia.”

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001 Prof. Maeda introducing venture business support measures 002 Guest speaker Garcia-Robles speaking on venture business support in Latin America
004 Mr. Shimoda explaining venture products displayed at Creation Core Higashi