Start-up Program

As an entrepreneur, why not make the leap from Hokkaido to a global presence?
Professionals from Finland, a country known for its progressive start-up ecosystem, will provide real support.

The IKEUCHI GROUP offers the opportunity to validate international mentoring and business ideas.


IKEUCHI LAB Startup Program supports the international expansion of startup companies and the enhancement of international competitiveness of products and services through a three-month "Start-up Program", provided through one of our working partners, DEMOLA GLOBAL.

DEMOLA GLOBAL is a Finnish venture company that provides business development and innovation programs to companies, and originated from cooperation with Finnish technology corporations in 2008.

It has now, however, evolved into a global network that transcends industry and university boundaries. Wide range of companies, from large enterprises to new startups and scaleup companies are using Demola Global programs, with more than 20 000 companies, university, and student participants from all over the world.

Selection Criteria

  • Satisfy items 1 to 3 below and have a willingness to contribute to Hokkaido
  • Some members can speak English (*All content is provided in English)
  • Aim at internationalization

    The company has a strong desire to expand overseas and wants to create a product/service concept that makes it possible.

  • Has a cross-functional team

    The company has the flexibility to handle various business situations, and employs sufficient human resources with adequate training.

  • Has a prototype product/service

    The company is a start-up that has acquired customers locally (within Japan); an MVP that has been validated in the local market.

Five companies shall be selected from those that meet the selection criteria

When applying online, selection will be based on answers provided to the necessary items and questions.


Benefits of Participation

Program Schedule

  1. Applications & Selection

    ~ Wednesday, 22 March

    Applications available by application form on the website.


    Five start-up companies shall be selected by Monday, 27 March.

  2. Program start

    Monday, 27 March ~ Friday, 31 March

    An individual kick-off event will be held for each start-up company.

  3. Boot Camp 1

    Wednesday, 5 April ~ Thursday, 6 April

    Coaching & events

    * Mentoring may be provided online.

    Tuesday, 18 April ~ Thursday, 20 April

    Follow-up (round session)

  4. Boot Camp 2

    Monday, 1 May ~ Tuesday, 2 May

    Coaching & events

    * Mentoring may be provided online.

    Monday, 15 May ~ Tuesday, 16 May

    Follow-up (round session)

  5. Boot Camp 3

    Wednesday, 31 May ~ Thursday, 1 June

    Coaching & events

    * Mentoring will be provided face-to-face.

Boot Camp 1

Customers/Target Market
  • Identification of customers
  • Confirmation of issues, needs and demand
  • Development of value propositions
  • Clarification of business ideas

Boot Camp 2

Development of business model
  • Development of business model
  • Partnerships
  • Main activities and resources
  • Revenue and monetization
  • Gaps between team and know-how

Boot Camp 3

Improvement in sales responsiveness
  • International validation
  • Market building and improvement in sales responsiveness
  • Development planning, investment accumulation planning


How to apply?

The program is designed for idea-stage companies seeking successful international business. The program will select five startups that have the most potential business ideas and a desire to create an international success story and want to build wellbeing in the Hokkaido region.

The application form asks for basic information about your company, business idea, and the market you are aiming for.

Wold-class mentoring competence from Finland

Finland, known as the Silicon Valley of Europe, is a small country with a population of 5.5 million, but it is the only country in Northern Europe that has introduced the European common currency Euro and developed a "start-up ecosystem" with an eye to the world market.

There are many mechanisms to support start-ups, such as acceleration and venture capital, but Finland is unique in that industry, government, academia, and successful start-up companies work together to create an ecosystem based on open innovation.

IKEUCHI LAB focuses on Finland as it has much in common with Hokkaido in that it takes a global perspective despite being a small country far to the north of France in the center of Europe.

DEMOLA Global, which provides the mentoring for this program, has a track record of supporting more than 1,000 start-ups and entrepreneurs for more than 10 years, and the companies chosen to participate in this program can acquire both know-how and the opportunity to build networks.

Demola Logo

Demola brings the mentoring expertise
Demola Global

Demola Global Ltd. from Finland is responsible for the program implementation, training content, and mentoring.


The mentors of the program are
  • Ville Kairamo
    Demola Global CEO

    Ville Kairamo

    He has experience in leading incubation programs in Europe as well as extensive mentoring experience.

  • Tommi Järvinen
    Demola Global CSO

    Tommi Järvinen

    He has worked on startup development for more than 10 years and helped hundreds of companies.



More about Ikeuchi Group

We at Ikeuchi Group want to provide the very best products and services to as many people as possible and to contribute to their lives.

We are situated in Hokkaido that has a unique climate, rich nature, and is full of creative energy.

Our mission is to make the best out of Hokkaido’s potential: maintaining passion and sense of responsibility towards people and Hokkaido, we aim to develop and spread information about Hokkaido’s lifestyle and culture.

Welcome to make new success stories in Hokkaido

IKEUCHI LAB IKEUCHI LAB. is an entrepreneurship support platform that will assist launching new businesses
in Hokkaido and promote the vitalization of the Hokkaido area.

Through our networks in Japan and abroad and with Demola Global, we aim to increase the added value of highly potential industries
in Hokkaido and support their business development not only in the domestic but foreign markets as well.

Please address any questions or inquiries to the following address:


18, South 1 West 2, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Japan 060-0061

TEL. +81-11-281-6160 FAX. +81-11-222-2908