Seeking Tech Entrepreneurs to Make a Global Impact from Okinawa

2025 OIST Innovation Accelerator Now Accepting Applications

OIST Innovation Accelerator Program Title

The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) is now accepting applications for the 2025 OIST Innovation Accelerator. This program, sponsored by the Okinawa Prefectural Government and the Japan Science and Technology Agency's (JST) "Open Innovation Platform for Academia-Industry Co-Creation (COI-NEXT)," is an entrepreneurship training program, a bootcamp competition, and a startup incubator, all designed to support entrepreneurs with innovative technologies aiming to start businesses in Okinawa.

Applicants who pass the document screening will participate in a bootcamp-style training designed to refine their unique ideas and business plans, culminating in a pitch contest where they will compete with their business ideas. Four selected teams from the competition will be welcomed as OIST Innovation Accelerator fellows, receiving up to 10 million yen in funding, personalized coaching, networking opportunities, and up to a year of support to establish their businesses in Okinawa.

So far, ten startups, including EF Polymer, REPS JAPAN, HerLifeLab, and GenomeMiner, have graduated from this program, successfully securing venture capital funding and launching their products into the market.

Opportunity for ambitious entrepreneurs aiming for global expansion
This program offers ambitious entrepreneurs the opportunity to accelerate their business on a global scale, leveraging the geopolitical advantages of Okinawa, a central hub in Asia. Participants can tap into OIST's extensive global network, which attracts talent from over 60 countries and regions, and benefit from diverse support for global business expansion. The program also provides access to OIST's cutting-edge research equipment and facilities.


  • Entrepreneurs, both domestic and international, with innovative technologies at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 3-6.
  • If selected, at least one founder must relocate to Okinawa and commit full-time to the project during the accelerator program.


◆Stage 1: EXPLORE

The top 25 teams will be selected to join an online course to learn about the business opportunities around their startup ideas. At the end of it, teams will be asked to do a video presentation, and the top 12 winning pitches will make it through to the next stage. All sessions will be conducted in English.

- Session 1: Tuesday, September 10, 2024
- Session 2: Tuesday, September 17, 2024
- Session 3: Tuesday, September 24, 2024

◆Stage 2: FOCUS

The 12 selected teams will be invited to a two-week bootcamp (intensive training program) held at the OIST campus in December 2024. They will receive various training to ensure business success and participate in a pitch contest on the final day. Four winning teams will be given the opportunity to participate in the OIST Innovation Accelerator support program at OIST.

Dates: December 2-13, 2024

◆Stage 3: BUILD

The 4 winning teams will receive up to 12 months of support to build their products and startups at OIST, beginning in April 2025.

Application deadline and procedures

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