CIC Tokyo, CIC’s first location in Japan, will host its official launch as Japan’s largest innovation center in esteemed business hub, Toranomon district of Minato-ku, on Oct. 1, 2020.
Founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts, home to some of the world’s best universities including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University, CIC is an innovation community of startups, entrepreneurs, and innovators that aims to provide an environment where you can focus on growing your business. With that goal, CIC is set to open its first location in Asia in Toranomon Hills Business Tower in Tokyo.
Completed in January 2020, the Toranomon Hills Business Tower has been under construction for almost three years, starting in February 2017. In the completed building, the lower three basement floors are for commercial use. The high-rise upper levels from the 4th to 36th floors have office space. On average, each floor has over 3,000 square meters of space. To build their community to support startup growth, CIC Tokyo will occupy the 15th and 16th floors in a massive space totaling over 6,000 square meters.
CIC Tokyo will offer shared workspace, which can accommodate over 200 companies with a focus on recently formed startups aiming for rapid growth, as well as other innovation companies and organizations. In addition, CIC Tokyo will provide business services and help to grow a community to accelerate startup growth and global expansion.
CIC, together with Tetsuo Kobori Architects, jointly created the interior design of CIC Tokyo. CIC brought knowledge and core design concepts built over 20 years of designing and operating innovation centers in Europe and the United States. Tetsuo Kobori Architects added unique design features to foster a new way of working and to create an environment for fostering innovation. The result is an innovation center with a revolutionary design unlike any other.
In addition to accessing office and community spaces and other amenities, startups that are members of CIC Tokyo will be able to participate in the innovation community and make new connections with key stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem. CIC Tokyo will serve as a gateway, facilitating access to innovation centers around the world.
Collaborations Between CIC Tokyo and Regional Organizations
In order to create a community to support the growth of startups, CIC Tokyo will partner with venture capital firms and government agencies, as well as other professionals who support startups (such as patent attorneys, lawyers, accountants, and marketing experts). Since the very beginning of launching the center in Japan, CIC Tokyo has been closely working with our partner Mori Building Co., Ltd., to co-create the Toranomon Hills area. Under this partnership, CIC Tokyo and Mori Building will develop an innovation ecosystem by building unique community and providing experimental field for startups in the area.
In addition, CIC Tokyo will partner with for Startups, Inc., which is focused on staffing and talent search. CIC Tokyo welcomes large corporations, universities, and government groups that are interested in working with startups. CIC Tokyo will also create clusters of companies, entrepreneurs, startups, investors, researchers, and institutes around sectors, which will be important to industries in the future for Japan. In the area of energy and the environment, CIC Tokyo will partner with Energy Tech Meetup, Energy Tech Study Group, and Green Teach Lab. For sports tech, CIC Tokyo will collaborate with the INNOVATION LEAGUE, which is cosponsored by the Japan Sports Agency and SPORTS TECH TOKYO. CIC Tokyo will work with LEO Pharma, a pharmaceutical company, in the field of life sciences, and with WOMB, an acceleration program, in the field of wellness.
Pursuing their mission of “Connecting Innovators to Make Things Happen,” Venture Café Tokyo, a sister organization of CIC Japan, is building an open innovation community where anyone can participate. Venture Café Tokyo’s programming centers on its weekly innovation event called the Thursday Gathering. This year, Venture Café Tokyo expanded its activities to areas outside of Tokyo, including Tsukuba and Nagoya. Venture Café Tokyo makes up one of Japan’s largest innovation communities with a total of over 15,000 people expected to join events in 2020.
About Toranomon Hills Business Tower
The Toranomon Hills Business Tower is in an easily accessible area from which you can reach anywhere in Tokyo with a single train. The Tower is connected underground directly to the new Toranomon Hills Station on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line, which recently opened in June 2020, as well as the Toranomon Station on the Ginza line. The Tokyo Metro “Kasumigaseki Station” and JR Shimbashi Station are within walking distance. Thanks to the central location, employees can easily commute to work and other companies can easily visit. In addition, starting on October 1, a bus terminal for the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service will begin operation on the first floor of the Tower. Airport limousine bus service is expected to be available in the future. With the soon-to-be opened Ring Route 2, the Tower will be connected to the world with easy access to Haneda Airport.
The lower commercial floors of the Toranomon Hills Business Tower have nearly 60 restaurants and retail stores. In the morning, you can buy breakfast at the 3rd Burger on one of the lower levels and then go to work. For lunch, you can visit the specialty grocery store Fukushiyama and, depending on your mood, choose from among their premium bento lunch boxes, as well as international fare like burgers, tacos, and spaghetti. If you find yourself absorbed in work all day, you can wind down with a casual drink at Toranomon Yokocho on the third floor with over 26 restaurants.
Moving into CIC is not only about moving into a new physical office; the space can also enrich the work-life balance of managers and employees. Every day at work, you can enjoy working in an office with a vibrant community of startups and meeting founders with innovative ideas. Plus, you can attend a diversity of events to gain new knowledge. Outside of work, you can look forward to enjoying the shops, restaurants, and other entertainment in the Toranomon Hills Business Tower — so that not only your time at work, but also your time outside work, can be fulfilling. With the trend towards remote work, the day may come when commuting to work becomes less common. However, for now, why not take this opportunity to set up your office in a place where you can look forward to commuting to?
About Cambridge Innovation Center
CIC is a global leader in building and operating innovation communities. Founded in 1999 in Cambridge, MA, CIC is one of the first companies to offer flexible office space and coworking options for innovators and entrepreneurs with the mission to find solutions that fix the world’s problems. As of 2019, CIC has approximately 1.2M square feet (110K square meters) open and in development in nine cities. The company has supported over 6,000 startup and technology companies, and over $8 billion has been invested in companies that began within CIC spaces. The company is privately held and has cofounded a number of mission-aligned organizations including Venture Café, CIC’s rapidly growing global network of nonprofit innovation ecosystem-building organizations, as well as District Hall, Impact Hub Boston, LabCentral, and MassRobotics. Over the next ten years, CIC plans to grow its network of innovation hubs to create positive impact in 50 leading cities around the world. More info at cic.com.
About CIC Tokyo
CIC Japan, G.K. (headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo; Charman: Takaaki Umezawa; hereafter referred to as “CIC Japan”) will open Japan’s largest innovation center — CIC Tokyo — in the Toranomon district of Minato-ku in Tokyo on October 1, 2020. CIC Tokyo will support the growth of startups by collaborating with venture capital firms and government agencies, as well as professionals who support startups (such as patent attorneys and marketing experts). CIC Tokyo aims to contribute to nurturing the innovation ecosystem in Japan. Venture Café Tokyo, the nonprofit sister organization of CIC Japan, will move its headquarters into CIC Tokyo once the innovation center opens.