Business

Venture companies to form new hub for startups in Tokyo's Gotanda district

Kyodo

About 10 venture firms headquartered in Tokyo’s Gotanda area will form a mutual support group called Gotanda Valley, aiming to turn the district into the capital’s newest hub for entrepreneurs, sources close to the move say.

The firms setting up Gotanda Valley include cloud-based accounting software maker freee K.K., mazrica Inc., which provides sales support services using artificial intelligence, and coconala Inc., which runs an online platform for buying and selling people’s skills, such as drawing and fortune-telling.

“We hope to create a place like Silicon Valley in the United States,” one of the sources said Saturday.

Companies joining Gotanda Valley are expected to jointly conduct recruiting and personnel training. They will also promote collaboration with governments and financial institutions.

The founders aim to ask more businesses to join, as more than 50 ventures have established themselves around JR Gotanda Station in Shinagawa Ward.

In Tokyo, Shibuya attracted internet ventures in the late 1990s and was once dubbed Bit Valley — a play on the reading of the kanji for Shibuya, which mean bitter valley. However, many later moved out of the area due to the lack of office space.

Gotanda has become more popular in recent years as office rents are cheaper than in other parts of central Tokyo.