What does the geography of the Tokyo startup ecosystem look like?

Shibuya is Tokyo’s capital for youth fashion, culture and entertainment, and is regarded by some as a hub for young entrepreneurs and startups. In the late 1990s, when IT-related startups were gaining attention, the Shibuya "Bit Valley" conception became popular. So, is Shibuya still (if it ever was) the epicenter of the Tokyo startup ecosystem? How does the Tokyo startup ecosystem look geographically? 

We decided to investigate this with real data. 

In order to answer these questions, we decided to try to map out the different ecosystem players. On our map, we have included the top-funded 25 and 50 startups, active VC firms, and active accelerators/incubators in the Tokyo area.

For the top-funded startups, we used two lists, compiled from two sources. One list uses data from CB insights, and the other uses data from the Japan Venture Research run website, Entrepedia’s Venture Map database. We look at only the top funded startups for now because of data availability and because those are the startups that VCs have put their bets that they would grow successfully. (Mapping all of the startups of Tokyo just after they were formed might give us a different picture, and we welcome suggestions on how to do this intelligently).

Our list of VCs is based on the Japan Venture Capital Association’s member database. The categories listed follow JVCA’s categories: VC (divided into independent, finance-related, and university VCs) and CVC (non-financial corporations, as defined by JVCA).

The list of accelerators/incubators are compiled from a number of sources including TechinAsia and the Bridge. 

The maps show that VCs/startups/accelerators and incubators are dispersed across several downtown city centers, including Shibuya but also including the Roppongi area and Otemachi/Tokyo station area. 

The map is embedded below, with a link underneath. For the embedded map, it is easiest if you click maximize on the upper right, and click on the various layers to remove or add the layers of startups, VCs, incubators/accelerators. 

Compiled by Elin C. Matsumae, Shorenstein APARC Japan Program, Research Assistant