Entrepreneurial Youth!


Future of Work

Entrepreneurial Youth!

Japanese people are said to lack entrepreneurship. According to the 2021 survey, 1.5% of all students in Japan have already started a business, and 4.9% are preparing to start a business, much lower than the 10.8% and 28.4% of students worldwide. Of the 17.2% of the respondents who hope to become founders 5 years after graduation, 57.8% of them have not made any preparations to become founders*. Although Japanese students are said to be less entrepreneurial than their counterparts overseas,* there have been many entrepreneurial ventures by students in the past. Many of the IT ventures were founded by students, and the darlings of the era became the talk of the town. Recently, startups that are revolutionizing the world are also being born from students, such as "research and development startups" that utilize university research and "impact startups" that combine solutions to social issues with economic growth. Hokkaido University also began startup support and entrepreneurship education in 2018, and startups are being created by researchers. Next, momentum is building for the creation of student startups. Through DEMOLA, we want to create student "startups" at Hokkaido University. We are waiting for the "strongest" students who have a strong desire and interest in social issues and seriously want to solve them. Hokkaido University, the Industry-Academia Collaboration Promotion Headquarters of the Organization for the Promotion of Industry-Academia Collaboration and Regional Cooperation, strategically facilitates a wide range of business activities such as licensing initiatives and collaborative development through patents, as well as commissioned research and industry-academia collaboration projects, to commercialize inventions and knowledge derived from Hokkaido University's research for societal utilization. As part of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology's "EDGE-NEXT Program" for nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs, Hokkaido University launched the DEMOLA HOKKAIDO office in 2018. Since then, we have collaborated with 40 companies and successfully resolved 47 challenges. Hokkaido University believes that "innovation startups are necessary for social change" and supports start-ups through all-Hokkaido collaboration. A startup is a company that creates social innovation (innovation) through innovative technology or business models. Unlike a small business that steadily develops its business, a startup aims for rapid growth and business expansion in a short period. The impression that entrepreneurship is risky and reserved for a select few is becoming a thing of the past, and the momentum to support startups is growing in Japan. 101st Prime Minister Kishida has designated 2022 as the first year for startups and has called for the creation of human resources and networks for startup creation. He has been promoting a startup policy based on the three pillars of strengthening the supply of capital, diversifying exit strategies, and promoting open innovation. Hokkaido is also moving forward with the creation of startups, and in 2023 Hokkaido University's Organization for Promotion of Industry-Academia-Regional Collaboration will establish a Startup Creation Division to support startups through the combined efforts of the Startup Support Division and the Entrepreneur Education Division. In the area of research and development support, the GAP Fund* has been adopted, and the movement to return research results to society and implement them in the future will be further promoted. In the area of entrepreneurship education, the EDGE-PRIME Initiative* was launched last year, accelerating the expansion of entrepreneurship education, which had previously been offered to university students, to elementary, junior high, and high school students. With various supports in place, we hope to create new startups from Hokkaido. We are looking for people who are interested in social issues and have already taken action, people who want to provide value to society through their research or that of their teachers, people who have expertise in finance or business and want to support startups, and people who seriously want to "change the world". We are looking for people who want to "change the world" with us. Let's create "startups" that will change the world together with us. * GAP Fund: A fund for universities to autonomously and flexibly provide relatively small amounts of development funds (prototype development, prototype testing, etc.) to university laboratories to fill the gaps that exist between basic university research and commercialization, thereby promoting technology transfer of advanced university technologies and the creation of university-launched ventures. * EDGE-PRIME Initiative:(Exploration and Development of Global Entrepreneurship for Primary , Middle and High School Students Initiative : EDGE-PRIME Initiative)
Contact person
Itsuro Sugimura
Itsuro Sugimura

+81 11-706-9485


Nozomi Shiina
Nozomi Shiina

facilitator of Demola Hokkaido



Keiji Iwaki
Keiji Iwaki



Basic information

Apply by

20 Jul 2024




In person




Project starts

03 Aug 2024

Project ends

29 Sept 2024

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