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Redefining the Dynamics of Innovation and Collaboration in Asia 

AsiaBerlin’s Expansion Lab – Japan & Korea 


In a resounding testament to AsiaBerlin’s commitment to fostering innovation and collaboration, the recently concluded ExpansionLab program in Japan and Korea stands as a beacon of success. This extraordinary journey unfolded last October, leaving an indelible mark on participants and reinforcing AsiaBerlin’s role as a catalyst for global connectivity.


Ahead of our transformative journeys, we meticulously prepared the startups, aligning with our unique program tailored to the specific needs of expanding businesses. This strategic readiness not only saves time on-site but also equips participants with essential insights for productive conversations. Our online program kicked off with a powerful in-person session in Berlin, bringing together 12 participants under the shared identity of being Berliners. This initial gathering laid the foundation for a robust network and camaraderie. On the first day, as we engaged in pitches and discussions, immediate synergies emerged, exemplifying the effectiveness of our program. Following this dynamic kickoff, we seamlessly transitioned into the online realm, ensuring continuous engagement and collaboration.

We’ve engaged in informative sessions with Berlin Partner and experts specializing in expansion strategies and the Japanese market, among other topics. The breadth of our discussions encompassed essential subjects such as defining goals for Expansion Lab, complemented by a networking lunch for all participants. We delved into crucial themes like market entry strategies, cross-border business models, crafting customer profiles, and the intricacies of partner matchmaking. Furthermore, we gained valuable insights into the Japanese industry, ensuring thorough preparation for our upcoming visits.

Exploring the Captivating Launch of Expansion Lab Japan in Shibuya District

What could be a more fitting launch for AsiaBerlin’s Expansion Lab Japan than right at the beating heart of Tokyo, the Shibuya District? Famous for its pedestrian crossing, Expansion Lab Japan kicked off with a community gathering event at Portal Port Shibuya. This icebreaker was perfectly suited for engaging and fostering valuable connections among all our participants. We extend our gratitude to Shibuya Startup Support for making this event possible.

As we moved into day two, our journey continued with a warm welcome from Japan’s phenomenal startup advisor and investor, John Kojiro Moriwaka at the famous co-creation space Shibuya QWS. A networking brunch swiftly followed this warm welcome, providing a day filled with valuable connection-building among all the participants. The day concluded with a visit to JETRO, where participants learned strategic entry points for outside companies into the Japanese market.

Article about the visit of AsiaBerlin and Expansion Lab in the morning edition of the prefectural newspaper Fukui Shimbun

Fukui’s Warm Welcome in the Land of Opportunities and Dinosaurs

A major highlight of the trip was the warm welcome received by Expansion Lab participants from the Governor of Fukui Prefecture, Tatsuji Sugimoto. Local newspapers featured this momentous event, highlighting the impressive cooperation. During the meeting, Governor Sugimoto emphasized upcoming developments, such as the district’s robust textile and manufacturing industries, with 99% being small and medium-sized enterprises. Additionally, the development of the Shinkansen station, providing easy access to the capital, opens exciting opportunities for future collaborations. Aside from Snow Crabs and Mackerel, Fukui is renowned for numerous dinosaur fossil discoveries and will soon launch a faculty specifically for dinosaurs at Fukui University.

Apart from Fukui, participants attended a networking event at Impact Hub Kyoto, a gathering of minds within the tech community of Kyoto, with over 500 companies in Kyoto Research Park in the center of the city.

Second Week of Insights, Connections, and More in Japan

As if the first week couldn’t get any better, the second week in Japan was a blast. It began with a Startup Lunch Club meetup, a crucial discussion tackling key points in entering the Japanese ecosystem. Another highlight was a meet-up with Hacker News Tokyo, Tokyo’s longest-running hacker networking event, attended by over a hundred people from the English-speaking community and tech industry. We also explored Fashion Tuesdays with our participant Afiba Fashion Street, engaging with local people from the fashion, design, and tech communities.

Our adventure with Expansion Lab Japan concluded with our exclusive “Berlin comes to Japan” event, supported by our partner Shibuya Startup Support. This spectacular event is opened by Mr. Yoshiro Tasaka, Director of Global Strategy Division at Shibuya City Government. It allowed us to introduce our online and onsite participants venturing into the Japanese market, resulting in a successful event with tons of new connections and potential collaborations.

The Secrets of Korea's Thriving Startup Ecosystem

The last leg of Expansion Lab Batch 1 took place in the vibrant and enticing cities of Korea. Our journey started in the capital city of Seoul, where, together with the Smart City Delegation from Berlin, we learned about the process and culture of the Korean startup ecosystem. The talk with local ecocsystem builder and investor, Brian Kim provided insightful information about Korean unique scheme of programs for startup support. Furthermore, the meetings taught us about the impact of K-soft powers on economics and business. We also had the chance to meet with people from NIGT – National Institute of Green Technology, KITA – Korea International Trade Association, Seoul Control Room, Seoul Metropolitan Government, and enjoyed a sumptuous networking dinner co-organized with the local catalist, Marta Alina and Seoul Startups where we met their community of tech and ecosystem builders.

The last two days were dedicated to Incheon, where we attended the Smart City Symposium. Our delegates participating in the Startup BoomUp festival were showcased on a grand stage, presenting their set-up booths to appeal to investors and partners. They also attended our networking dinners to build lasting connections.

A Huge Success: Batch 1 of Expansion Lab

We firmly believe that the Batch 1 of Expansion Lab has been a huge success. If you are considering expansion into neighboring countries like Singapore or Indonesia, let us collaborate to build a strong and solid business network.You will leverage the incredible resources and strategic partnerships with industry experts in the second phase of Expansion Lab, powered again by our strategic partner betahaus and their extensive network of partners.

Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to expand your horizons and be part of something extraordinary. Join us for an unforgettable journey with Expansion Lab Batch 2.

Click the link to register for Expansion Lab Batch 2 in Singapore and Indonesia: 


The summit is being hosted at the following venue:

Spielfeld Digital Hub GmbH
Skalitzer Straße 85/86
10997 Berlin

Note: satellite events take place at various addresses