The City of Yokohama signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on August 14th, 2019 with WeWork Japan, the Japanese division of a leading office space-sharing company headquartered in NYC, pledging to collaborate and cooperate to promote startups, support SMEs and attract companies to Yokohama. WeWork Ocean Gate Minato Mirai is equipped with 2,800 desks, making it the largest space among WeWorks in Japan. It was established last November in Yokohama’s Bay Area, and the City of Yokohama opened its New York Rep. Office in the same month. Both organizations and their new locations have agreed to strengthen their ties, and to cooperate on the following points:
- Support startups to create innovation out of Yokohama through collaboration among communities of Innovation City Yokohama and WeWork
- Assist companies’ efforts in launching new business through Yokohama City’s open innovation platforms: LIP.Yokohama, and I・TOP Yokohama
- Encourage health and productivity management, and women’s empowerment
- Attract foreign affiliated companies to Yokohama
- Continue to exchange information to create mutually beneficial business opportunities
Previously, the City of Yokohama and WeWork co-hosted an event at WeWork Times Square on November 8, 2018, as the City of Yokohama’s New York Rep. Office and the WeWork Ocean Gate Minatomirai opened that same month. The event was well-attended by WeWork members and Japan-related organizations in NYC and provided an opportunity for attendees to network with each other as well as with personnel from the City of Yokohama’s brand-new NYC office.
Meanwhile in Yokohama, one of the other unique featues of the WeWork Ocean Gate Minatomirai location is LIP. YOKOHAMA BIBLIO, a newly-opened support center for life-science SMEs and startups. The support center offers services including online theses search tools; access to technical, medical, and health-related literature; consultation with coordinators well-versed in medicinal development and Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Law; and consultation with patent attorneys specializing in intellectual property. The center is expected to contribute to the growth and acceleration of Yokohama’s life-science innovation.