Entrepreneurs to hold “Startup Weekend Organizer summit” in Okinawa

Entrepreneurs to hold

On May 21, at the Urasoe Municipal Office, Satoru Iizuka (middle of the back row) is one of the leaders who will hold the Startup Weekend Organizer summit and Urasoe Mayor Tetsuji Matsumoto (middle of the front row).

May 26, 2013 Ryoki Nagahama of the Ryukyu Shimpo

Event organizers from all around the world involved in the Startup Weekend will meet for the first time in Asia in Urasoe this autumn. According to the organizer, Startup Weekend is a global network of leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams, and communities. The organizers hold events in many countries. Participants, including students, share ideas to become entrepreneurs for the weekend. Local members also expect the summit meeting to help create self-sustaining businesses in Okinawa through networking with members from other countries and listening to their business success stories.

Members who have organized a Startup Weekend event in their own countries will take part in the meeting, which is carried out once every six months. About 200 people from more than 40 countries participated at the last summit meeting, which took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil over four days in March. Since they began in the United States in 2006, Startup Weekend events have been held more than 700 times in 92 countries, including Japan. The project has produced many entrepreneurs. The events have been held twice in Okinawa and the third Startup Weekend is scheduled for July.

In the Startup Weekend Organizer summit in Okinawa, organizers will exchange opinions with Okinawan young people who have entrepreneurial aspirations. They aim to make use of the event to introduce local performing arts and cultural assets to a broader range of people. Preparation for the event is being carried out with the cooperation of the Urasoe Municipal Office.

One of the organizers, Satoru Iizuka, a 44-year-old teacher, said, “Support projects for cultivating entrepreneurs have just started in Japan. This summit represents a breakthrough.”

Mayor Tetsuji Matsumoto, who will host the organizers summit, said, “We would like to show the people of Urasoe what creating a business is all about.”

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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