Fukuoka Growth Next opened this last April inside the former Daimyo Elementary School. The facility aims to support potential entrepreneurs and businesses looking to venture into new areas.
The historic Daimyo Elementary School first opened in 1873, and the current reinforced concrete building, with its retro art deco interior, dates back to 1929. The first floor of the facility is open to the public and houses the Startup Cafe, which offers consultations on business startups, and the DIY Studio, a joint project of a hardware store and an e-commerce company. You can also stop by the cafe in the daytime for cup of coffee or visit the standing bar for some sparkling wine in the evening.
The second and third floors house the offices for startup companies and supporting organizations. The offices were made by dividing up the old classrooms, and company name plates hang in the old hallway, making for a unique atmosphere. A wide range of seminars and workshops are held daily at Fukuoka Growth Next, providing opportunities to meet new people and try new things.
The old Daimyo Elementary School site is an invaluable open space conveniently located in the heart of downtown Fukuoka. Fukuoka Growth Next was intended to be a temporary facility until a decision was made on how to use the land, but, due to the large number of users it has attracted since opening, discussions are now underway to retain the facility’s current function there.
Whether or not you’re interested in starting a business, feel free to stop by and see what’s happening at Fukuoka Growth Next.
Originally published in Fukuoka Now Magazine (fn224, August 2017)