【Aging, safety net and fiscal crisis in Japan】No.83: Among University Startups, Most Ventures Pursue Fields of Business related to Medicine

In this column series, Yukihiro Matsuyama, Research Director at CIGS introduces the latest information about aging, safety net and fiscal crisis in Japan with data of international comparison.

In March 2018, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry released a report on university startup ventures. As shown in Figure 1, there were 2,093 companies in 2017, as opposed to only 55 companies in 1990. In 2016, there were 1,846 companies. The details explaining the rise in number since then are as follows: 103 companies were newly established in 2017, 251 companies were established before 2017 but were not covered by the 2016 survey, 73 companies closed down after the survey in 2016, and 34 companies are no longer university ventures.

In this survey, university startup ventures are classified into six types as shown in Table 1. A majority of ventures are of the research result type. By business fields, ventures pursuing medicine and related fields such as bio, healthcare, and medical equipment are the highest in number, comprising 659 out of 2,093 companies. The second most popular business field is IT-related, such as applications and software, comprising 614 companies.

Based on the 2017 survey results, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has established a database for university startup ventures and started operations. It contains basic information on university startup ventures, related patents, human resources, funds and other related areas. It aims to help these ventures get support in the form of human resources and management, and obtain funds, such as risk money.

Figure 1: Number of university startup ventures


Source: Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry

Table 1: Classification of university startup ventures in 2017


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