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12/12/17
FIBA Holds Event at Governor's Residence
On Nov. 20, FIBA (Fukuoka International Business Association) held an event at the Governor's official residence, one of its regular networking sessions aimed at sharing information about business in Fukuoka and the greater Kyushu region. This year, an official from UniqueSec AB, a Swedish startup company developing small-scale radars for use in automobiles and other applications, gave a presentation. Governor Ogawa mingled with the participants and promoted a range of local products, including Akiou sweet persimmons, Amaui kiwis, Genkitsukushi brand rice, and Japanese sake.

12/12/17
Fukuoka Venture Markets Holds First-ever Event in Tokyo
On Oct. 27, Fukuoka Venture Market (FVM) held an event dubbed "Fukuoka Day in Diagonal Run Tokyo" in Tokyo. FVM was established in 1999 as a virtual venue for small and medium-sized venture companies to meet and pair up with business partners, and since then, over 200 monthly events have been held in Fukuoka Prefecture. This was the first time ever that an FVM event was held in Tokyo. On the day of the event, approximately 120 attendees listened to lectures given by major companies engaged in open innovation in Kyushu and proactive Fukuoka-based venture companies.

12/12/17
Braveridge Opens New Plant inside Itoshima Research Park
On Nov. 15, Braveridge, a maker of wireless communications technologies for IoT, held a completion ceremony for a new plant it built inside the prefecture's Itoshima Research Park. At this new facility, the company will conduct research and development in an effort to mass produce long range wide-area network (LoRaWAN)-compatible wireless modules. The two-story building has a total floor area of 1,986 m2. The plant will start with a staff of 60, and Braveridge aims to add 50 more staff by 2020 as part of its efforts to concentrate on production. The plant is the first private-sector facility to be built inside the Itoshima Research Park.

11/02/17
Kenya Selects Kurume as Location for Olympic Training Camp
On Aug. 23, the Republic of Kenya, Fukuoka Prefecture, and Kurume City held a ceremony to sign an agreement under which Kenya's national track and field team will train in Kurume ahead of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. This makes Kurume the fourth municipality in Fukuoka Prefecture to host an Olympic training camp after Fukuoka City (Sweden and Norway), Yukuhashi City (Mexico), and Kitakyushu City (Thailand). According to Kurume City Hall, Kenya chose the location for a number of reasons, but mainly due to the large number of medical facilities in the city.

11/02/17
Dogan Establishes New Fund for SMEs
On Oct. 1, the Fukuoka City-based investment fund firm Dogan established a new fund to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) based in the Kyushu, Shikoku, and Chugoku regions looking to make a turnaround. Dubbed the Kyushu-Setouchi Potential Value Fund, the fund will focus on assisting small companies struggling to find successors. In addition to investing in growth strategies, the money can be used to pay off existing liabilities, thereby facilitating smooth management transitions through win-win partnerships between investors and the SMEs. Local banks and companies will invest in the fund in such a way that keeps capital flowing within the region. Dogan will begin lining up investors next September and aims to create a fund that will top out around 5 billion.

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