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Keihanna science city

About KGAP+

Keihanna Global Acceleration Program Plus (KGAP+) is an acceleration program that brings startups from around the world to Japan to collaborate with leading Japanese organisations and grow their businesses. KGAP+ aims to provide startups with the support they need to access the Japanese market in a more efficient manner. The program offers mentorship, market exposure, and partnership opportunities with Japanese organisations to help startups succeed in Japan.

The program was launched in 2019 by Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR), the core institute of Keihanna Science City, striving to promote the global innovation ecosystem as part of the Keihanna Research Complex Project.

Keihanna Science City location
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How KGAP+ works

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Pre-screening & Selection

At the pre-screening and selection stages, we review applications nominated by our partner organisations around the world. Pitch events called Local Challenge will be then held for each region in order to select a total of 20 startups to join the program. This ensures our program is populated with the world's most promising and innovative startups.


Our mentors are experienced professionals from a variety of industries and are dedicated to helping startups succeed. They are passionate about bringing innovative startups to the Japanese market, and providing guidance and advice throughout their journey.  We match startups with mentors who have the same industry experience and goals in mind, creating mutually beneficial relationships.

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Pitch Events

We work closely with our partners to host a range of pitch events to provide startups multiple chances to shine and connect with potential partners, mentors and industry experts. Our events, including the Unveiling, several collaboration events and Demo Day, take place at various locations to provide diverse experiences and opportunities. Whether attending virtually or in person, our events offer a fantastic networking opportunity that can lead to meaningful partnerships and collaborations.

Securing Partners

To find the most suitable business partners for startups, we leverage our extensive network of contacts with the industry, academia as well as the government. Startups can gain valuable insights into industry trends, customer preferences and market competitors in Japanese market that will help them better tailor their offerings. This allows startups to better position themselves to succeed in the market and gain a competitive edge.

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Oversea Special Program

In collaboration with our global partners, we offer a 1-week special program overseas at the end of each patch which presents an exciting opportunity for startups to explore regions and expand their business horizons on a global scale. By immersing startups into a different cultural and business environment, the program aims to foster cross-cultural collaboration, enabling participants to exchange ideas, learn from diverse perspectives, and access international markets.

The Journey Goes On

Upon completion of the program, startups will become a part of our ever-growing startup ecosystem. Alumni are often invited to participate in pitch events, conferences and exhibitions continuing well beyond their completion of our program. Furthermore, Keihanna Science City serves as a hub and helps export startups to our partner regions countries.

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