Düsseldorf becoming one of 26 international destinations

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for JETRO’s Global Acceleration Hub Program

After seven months of JETRO’s Innovation Hotspot Program, during which several Japanese startups were successfully connected with corporates and startups in Düsseldorf, JETRO decided to not just continue the program in cooperation with digihub and the Office of Economic Development Düsseldorf, but to upgrade Düsseldorf to a Global Acceleration Hub! Thereby Düsseldorf became member of an exclusive club of 26 international destinations like Singapore, Shenzhen, Tel Aviv, Austin, London or Berlin. This underlines its interesting mixture of being home of continental Europe’s biggest Japanese business community with a more than 70 year-old tradition in combination with a dynamically growing startup ecosystem and its central location within Germany’s major economic center, offering international startups access to more than 500 000 companies that could become future clients or partners.

Last year, the Japanese External Trade Organization (JETRO) selected Düsseldorf as one of worldwide 11 destinations for their Innovation Hotspot Program which offered various services for Japanese startups on their road to internationalization. Due to its unique position within the region of Düsseldorf’s startup ecosystem and its quickly growing expertise in cooperating with Japanese startups, corporates and institutions, Digital Innovation Hub Düsseldorf was chosen as JETRO’s cooperation partner on site.

This great initiative was of course backed by the City of Düsseldorf and its Office of Economic Development. In order to formalize this support Mayor Thomas Geisel and the Head of JETRO Düsseldorf Masayoshi Watanabe signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) on supporting the exchange between Japan’s and Düsseldorf’s startup ecosystems including all Innovation Hotspot Program related activities during startup roundtable organized by DJW at DMM.make Akiba in Tokyo last September.

The successful first period of JETRO’s Innovation Hotspot Program, which was strongly supported by the City of Düsseldorf, in particular by the Japan-Desk of the Office of Economic Development, resulted in the decision to upgrade Düsseldorf to a Global Acceleration Hub. We are very happy that we can continue to support Japanese start-ups in establishing valuable contacts at such a dynamic and international business location and in developing their future German and European business from here. We also look forward to further cooperating with digihub and the Office of Economic Development.