The private-led Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Fukuoka City Government to further advance the bilateral technological and economic relations of Singapore and Japan.
This is the first overseas deal by the ACE International Centre (ACEIC) following its launch earlier in September. The ACEIC, a one-stop centre for burgeoning startups aspiring for international recognition, was formed to boost Singapore's playing field.
The deal between ACE and Fukuoka City will see the two entities collaborate and find synergies in supporting startups based in both cities. The partnership will enable these startups to create new networks and expand their overseas markets.
Under the signed agreement, ACE will be providing assistance to Japan's startup city, which houses the country's fastest-growing startup hub. Fukuoka City is positioned to be Japan's own Silicon Valley.
Fukuoka is the only city recognised as an economic special zone in Japan for startups. This is due to its business-friendly legal regulations and tax systems. The city offers startup visas, free consultation to lawyers for foreign entrepreneurs, and startup corporate tax reductions.
ACEIC and the city of Fukuoka will provide startups with reciprocal privileged access to resources, knowledge, networking, funding opportunities, support services, and research facilities and higher education institutions.
ACE Deputy Chairman James Tan said the partnership will allow startups in both cities the opportunity to expand their global footprint much faster.
"We have found an ideal partner in Fukuoka, which has set its sights on becoming Japan's startup hub and earned a reputation as Japan's startup capital for the rapid growth of its startup community," he said.
Meanwhile, Fukuoka City Mayor Soichiro Takashima said the partnership could not have come at a better time as the city celebrates its three years of being a national strategic special zone.
"With our startup scene flourishing and ready for the next phase of growth, we are excited to be part of this dynamic partnership that will strengthen cross-border collaboration between Singapore and Japan and bring forth the next wave of high-growth regional startups that will make Asia the startup destination of choice," the mayor noted.
The partnership is fully supported by IE Singapore, JTC, and SPRING.