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Kiryu  2 Spaces

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The city known for its "saw-tooth" roof structures, Kiryu sits in the Gunma Prefecture with a population of around the 114,924 mark. The town has a long history with its main economy built around silk textile manufacturing that goes back to 713. Industrialization happened after World War II and its factories manufacture 60% of Japan's pachinko machines - think mechanical gaming and gambling used in arcades for entertainment. Kiryu is also home to the Mitsuba Corporation involved in auto parts. The city has numerous educational facilities plus the Gunma University School of Science and Technology pushing out tech savvy students onto its' streets. Coworking venues have popped up in the town to cater to these youths who have grown up with the media hype of being involved in startups.

Japan is changing its view on entrepreneurship and today's graduates are not afraid of the stigma of failure any more. Once upon a time being adventurous and going alone or with other tech savvy souls was the Plan B for many youths who were scared of not having a job. Today it is the opposite, with many leaving their corporate positions to found their own companies or to join other startups.

Japan does lag behind China and Silicon Valley, but the future holds a more positive outlook. For those with big ideas, it appears that health care, agritech Internet of Things, enterprise software and artificial intelligence are the popular niche markets to get into. Coworking venues are offering the support and the collaborative environment where creatives can get busy doing their own thing.

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