Press Releases 2021
SoftBank Corp. (“SoftBank”) was selected by Japan's Aichi Prefecture as the representative company to build and operate “STATION Ai,” a facility designed to support start-ups in Aichi Prefecture*. Following SoftBank's winning of the bid, Aichi Prefecture and SoftBank signed a basic agreement on September 7, 2021 regarding the construction and operation of this hub that will support start-ups in Aichi Prefecture.
On September 1, 2021, SoftBank established STATION Ai Corp., as a Special Purpose Company (SPC) that will manage STATION Ai, and it appointed Hirotaka Sahashi as President & CEO of the SPC. Sahashi designed, operated and judged intrapreneurship programs and supported the growth of various new businesses at SB Innoventure Corp., a SoftBank subsidiary that nurtures start-ups.
In collaboration with Aichi Prefecture and participating companies, SoftBank and STATION Ai Corp. will prepare to launch STATION Ai in October 2024 and operate it after opening. Specifically, while applying 5G, IoT, AI and other advanced technologies held by SoftBank and its group companies to the management of the facilities, and by utilizing its know-how and its extensive network of company contacts in Japan and abroad, STATION Ai Corp. will build a global start-up ecosystem that has STATION Ai as the hub. From this, STATION Ai Corp. will aim to form a global start-up community centered in Aichi Prefecture, thereby creating a central base that creates innovation not only for Japan, but also on a global level.
- *First announced on July 21, 2021 by Aichi Prefecture: https://www.pref.aichi.jp/soshiki/startup/senteikekka.html (Japanese)
About the Building of Aichi Prefecture's Start-up Support Hub
In addition to fostering outstanding start-up companies, Aichi Prefecture is encouraging open innovation among local manufacturers, other companies and start-ups, and promoting the building of a global innovation hub that continuously creates new value. As part of this initiative, SoftBank was selected as the representative company on July 21, 2021 in Aichi Prefecture's public bid for a company to build and run a start-up support base in the prefecture. The SPC, STATION Ai Corp., will be responsible for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of STATION Ai.
|Aichi Prefecture Start-up Support Hub “STATION Ai”
(201-204, Tsurumai 1-chome, Showa-ku, Nagoya City)
|Site area: 7,332.11m2, Floor space: 23,098 m2
|Offices for start-ups
Offices for partner companies (including overseas startup support institutions, universities)
Tech labs (for prototype development and evaluations)
Lodging and training facilities
Points of contact for administrative support and personnel support
Cafes, restaurants and other for-profit facilities
|Period of operation
|Design and construction: October 2021 – September 2024
Operation and maintenance: October 2024 – September 2034
|STATION Ai Corp.
|SoftBank Corp. (general management)
|Ishimoto Architectural & Engineering Firm, Inc. (design and construction supervision)
Fujita Corporation (construction)
DMM.com LLC (tech lab management)
SB Innoventure Corp. (start-up support)
CBRE, Inc. (maintenance)
Totmate Co., Ltd. (childcare facility management)
About SoftBank Corp.'s Initiatives and Start-up Support at STATION Ai
To encourage the creation of start-ups at STATION Ai, SoftBank plans to establish a dedicated fund. Furthermore, SoftBank will utilize its network of leading companies in Japan and abroad to proactively invite companies and start-ups to STATION Ai. Utilizing its start-up support know-how, SoftBank will offer programs aimed at creating new businesses and provide mentoring for the post-start-up phase and offer other forms of tailored support in according to business phase. SoftBank will also support the continued growth and overseas expansion of start-ups by deploying programs that foster co-creation among start-ups and with local manufacturing companies to create new businesses. Based on these initiatives, SoftBank will aim to make STATION Ai a world-leading start-up ecosystem hub.
SoftBank also plans to bring its advanced technologies to STATION Ai facilities, including the IoT, AI, robotics and big data analytics being used at its Takeshiba headquarters so general visitors can always experience the latest advanced technologies.
Special Purpose Company (SPC) Overview
|STATION Ai Corp.
|Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture
|September 1, 2021
|Hirotaka Sahahi, President & CEO
(Business Promotion Department Manager at SB Innoventure Corp.)
|Capital and other funding
|100 million yen (including capital reserve)
|SoftBank Corp. 100%
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