Open Network Lab HOKKAIDO 7th Batch accepting applications!

Deadline: 2024/5/8, Noon (JST) | Program period: July to November, 2024



Building an innovation ecosystem * in Hokkaido

  • Discovering startups that can leverage Hokkaido’s primary sector, tourism, rich natural world, and other assets to be active on the global stage
  • Industry, government and academia integration to support investment, incubation, and commercialization for a new future
  • Promoting open innovation by Hokkaido companies
  • Startup-centered invigoration of regional communities

*A framework, resembling an ecosystem, in which companies, universities, and others work together to generate many innovations


Startups utilizing Hokkaido’s unique assets to solve problems

  • Primary Industry DX

  • Ocean Problems

  • BioTech

  • MaaS

  • Energy

  • Local Products

  • Tourism

  • Education

  • Healthcare

  • Aging Society

  • Medical tech

  • Food tech

  • Depopulation

  • Administration DX

  • Disaster Prevention

In addition to the above domains, we accept startups solving other problems in Hokkaido. And we will recruit startups regardless of the location or area of the base.

Startups that wants to develop business in Hokkaido

We accept applications from those who have already started a business in Hokkaido, as well as from teams who want to expand their business in Hokkaido in the future. In addition, we are looking for a wide range of people who want to give shape to their ideas and those who want to improve and grow their services. The Onlab HOKKAIDO will provide escort support.


Support for building businesses in Hokkaido
Dedicated support made possible by an industry-government-academia collaboration program

Open Network Lab was launched in 2010 by Digital Garage. We brought this expertise and community to Hokkaido in 2018 to start Open Network Lab HOKKAIDO (Onlab HOKKAIDO) with the mission of “incubating startups from Hokkaido that can compete on the global stage.”

Based in Sapporo, this roughly five-month accelerator program is for developing startups. It supports your business through activity funding, office spaces, and help for polishing your business, as well as mentoring by specialists in various fields.



All sorts of support is offered, from hypothesis testing to presentations. Opportunities are also provided to receive advice from specialists, investors, and established entrepreneurs in various fields from Japan and abroad.



Onlab HOKKAIDO collaborates with our partners, as well as numerous local governments and corporate entities in Hokkaido, to provide proof of concept sites. This program is unique thanks to its environment in which participants can dynamically take on challenges in Hokkaido.



Through the Onlab network, we hold many seminars for sharing entrepreneurial expertise and provide numerous opportunities to communicate with graduates and other startups.



For participating teams, we will consider equity investment within the group based on the company’s situation and track record. Additionally, at Demo Day, we will create opportunities for business presentations by inviting investors, corporate entities, and media.



Participating teams will have access to the coworking space, TREE BASE, located in the heart of Sapporo city.



Gain access to numerous tools and resources from our partner companies. Our partners serve fundamental needs for every startup, ranging from infrastructure, development tools, hiring, and back-office tools—all at discounted or free prices.


The only industry-government-academia collaborative accelerator program in Hokkaido
In response to the challenges facing Hokkaido,
enabling speedy verification in a vast range of fields

Online (remote) program participation

We offer the same program as Open Network Lab, our sister program. A structure is in place to help manage your business progress, including online mentoring and idea sharing.

Hokkaido’s only accelerator program with industry-government-academic integration

Resources are provided to promptly test your hypothesis, including mentoring by specialists in various fields through industry-government-academic collaboration in Hokkaido.

Hypothesis verification in collaboration with local governments in Hokkaido is possible

The Hokkaido administration collaborates on the startup support project STARTUP HOKKAIDO, working together with various public organizations to support issue verification in coordination with local governments within Hokkaido.

Continual support after the program

In addition to utilizing The Hokkaido Shimbun Press’ media network, participants can explore all sorts of business potential, including the Digital Garage Group’s global community, finance, PR, marketing, and business collaboration.


Over 275 onlab alumni
playing an active role in their respective industries and regions


komham,Inc. CEO

Suno Nishiyama (4th Batch)

Condensed experience for output

Of all the Accelerator programs I’ve participated in, there was no program that took such good care of me. I could focus to doing many startup-tasks, like writing pitch deck, that I always postpone because of busy. And I could to expand my connections with the startup community within the region, and meeting senior entrepreneurs who are willing to offer advice when I am in need has also become a valuable asset.

Horizon Illumination Lab Optics, Co. Ltd. CEO

Maho Amano (4th Batch)

Rich hands-on Support

I’ve joined Onlab HOKKAIDO before I build company. I could get support about how to build start-up and mindset in every aspect. And I had chance to meet up with non-university-led startups I couldn’t connect in Academic Accelerator programs. It was so greate that I got a lots of motivation from them. Besides, support after program also makes me reassured. Onlab HOKKAIDO mentor supports me even now when I have worries.

yobimori,Inc. CEO

Keisuke Chiba (3rd Batch)

Changing the lives of entrepreneurs

When we are too focused on our business, we often lose our cool and stop thinking properly. At such times, it is important to have a friend or someone on your side who is in the same situation. This program has given entrepreneurs the opportunity to meet such people and to overcome barriers that were difficult to overcome. And these connections will continue to support moving ahead with their businesses in the future. We believe that this will be a lifelong asset in the life of an entrepreneur. We hope you’ll jump on board with this potentially life-changing opportunity!

Floatmeal Co., Ltd. CEO

Moana Kitamura (6th Batch)

Full-scale support from Hokkaido

As a startup originating from Hokkaido, participating in the program was incredibly valuable for us. In particular, receiving full-scale support from Hokkaido’s startup ecosystem, along with the increase in our visibility and the growing trust from financial institutions and corporations, has been invaluable to our business. Furthermore, the significant improvement in the quality of our pitches, which now clearly communicate not only our technology but also our business strategies and approaches to solving problems, has greatly boosted our confidence.


Extensive mentoring to support your business, from Open Network Lab mentors to people leading Hokkaido’s future and specialists in various fields


You can also apply for the Open Network Lab Seed Accelerator Program, however, individual applications are required for each program. Multiple interviews will be held with applicants who pass document screening between the application deadline and the start of the program.

Open Network Lab HOKKAIDO Program is held once per year.
For the latest information regarding application, please refer to our website, Facebook, Twitter and email newsletter.

* Please note that the content of our support may change.



    coming soon


Collaboration Partners

  • Startup City Sapporo


Are you up for the challenge?

ProgramOpen Network Lab HOKKAIDO 7th Batch
OrganizerOpen Network Lab HOKKAIDO: D2 Garage, Inc.
DeadlineDeadline Noon on 2024/5/8 (Wed)
Participation Requirements
  • If research results, patents or other intellectual property rights are to be used in participants’ business, the participants need to have the rights to use such research results, patents, or other intellectual property rights in their business and shall not infringe the rights of any third party.
  • Participants are required to attend the events such as lectures, mentoring or regular meetings that are to be held in the daytime on weekdays and scheduled for approximately ten (10) hours a week during the period of Onlab HOKKAIDO “Seed Accelerator” program (approximately 5 months) and Open Network Lab “Seed Accelerator” program (approximately 3 months) (collectively referred to as the “Program”), and to have skills to produce prototypes or achieve a certain level of the business progress during the Program period and to demonstrate the results.
  • If the Applicant has received investment by third party(ies), the Applicant shall have obtained prior consent from such investor(s) to the Applicant’s participation in the Program.
  • The Applicant’s business shall not violate public policy.
  • Individual participants, members of the participating team, their relatives or their stakeholders shall not be involved in a part of anti-social forces or have any relationship with anti-social forces.
  • Although participants may apply to the Program regardless of nationality, age or gender, participants who have nationality other than that of Japan and live in Japan need to be legally qualified to stay in Japan during the period designated by D2 Garage, Inc.(“D2 Garage”) or its shareholders, Digital Garage, Inc., and any of their group companies (collectively “D2 Garage Group”) in the Program period.
  • Participants under the age of twenty (20) need to have acquired the written consent of their parent or legal guardian.
Terms of participation
  • The Applicant shall submit additional documents for screening or investing by D2 Garage and D2 Garage Group, if requested by them.
  • In addition, the Applicant shall comply with other obligations including those regarding the application procedures. Furthermore, the Applicant shall agree to the terms and conditions of participation to be separately designated by D2 Garage and D2 Garage Group.
  • Participants shall attend events relating to the Program held by D2 Garage and D2 Garage Group during the Program period.
  • If participants’ corporate entities have not yet set up at the time of application, the participants shall incorporate a corporation after participating in the Program.
  • The Applicant agrees that its activities may be posted on the websites or other media designated by D2 Garage, D2 Garage Group and the Hokkaido Shimbun Press, and any of their group companies in addition to the official website of Open Network Lab.
  • During the Program Period, the Applicant shall concentrate on the business that they have undertaken to conduct in the application for the Program.
  • Participants shall not discuss possible business alliances or receiving investments during the Program period with a third party without the prior consent of D2 Garage and D2 Garage Group.
  • The Applicant shall allocate its shares to D2 Garage D2 Garage Group (if it is incorporated afterwards, it shall do so after incorporation). When D2 Garage and D2 Garage Group make an investment, contract(s) regarding such investment needs to be separately concluded.
Application Process
  1. Application: Apply via website with filled entry form.
  2. Entry Form Screening: We will review your entry form from the perspective of your product idea, target market and team.
  3. 1st Interview: There will be a face-to-face or online interview with Onlab team. *We may ask you to have interviews several times and submit additional documents.
  4. Final Interview: Giving a presentation to board members of D2 Garage and D2 Garage Group.
  5. Adoption: Program Starts.


Have any questions?

Application-Related Questions

When does the application period for the next Seed Accelerator Program begin?
One batch is held during the year. The application begins during spring season. We review every application in the order in which they are submitted.
There are no engineers on my team; can I still apply?
We will gladly accept applications of all candidates regardless of the structure of your team. However, it is expected that your product is developed and released during the duration of the program; therefore, precedence goes to teams with engineers.
I am the only member in the team; can I still apply?
Yes, however we expect you to develop and release your product by the end of the program.
I am a minor or a student; can I still apply?
Yes, however in the case of minors, we require parental or legal guardian consent.
Can I submit application documents in English?
Please submit applications either in English or Japanese.
I don’t speak Japanese; can I still apply?
You may apply as long as you speak English.
I don’t speak English; can I still apply?
No worries! Onlab staff will translate as necessary.
Are teams with multiple services eligible to apply for the program?
Yes. Applications are limited to one per team per application period for the same program, but it is possible to list multiple services when applying. However, if you advance to the first interview, you will be required to explain multiple services in a single interview session.
Can I still participate in Onlab even if I raised seed money?
We welcome all companies, whether or not they have raised money.
Is it possible to apply for the same business idea multiple times during the period?
You may apply only once per team during each application period for the same program. If not selected, please apply for the next program cycle.
Can I apply to other programs?
You may also apply separately to the Open Network Lab Seed Accelerator Program, but please note that each program has its own selection process.

Interview Process Questions

Is there a language designation for the interview?
Interviews are available in Japanese and English.
Is it required for all team members to be present during the interview?
No, any number of team members may participate provided that they are able to describe the service and answer any questions that may be asked.
Can my team members participate in the interview?
Yes, however we ask that each team limits participants to three members.
Can we receive feedback on the application results?
Due to the large quantity of applications, we do not give out feedback on application results.
Should I make a presentation at the interview based on the slide material that was attached to my application?
Yes, we ask you to follow the slide. Unless you have the interviewer’s instruction, you do not need to send in your updated slides prior to the interview.

Program-Related Questions

Do I need to stay in Hokkaido during the program?
Not necessary, if you can participate online. With the impact of the new coronavirus infection in mind, we are prepared to complete the selection process and program all online.
What is the fee to join the program?
The program is free of cost.
Do I have to be incorporated to join the program?
Incorporation is not necessary prior to the program; however, we require all teams to incorporate during the program.
Can I participate in other programs at the same time?
We ask that teams refrain from joining multiple programs so they don’t mix up priorities and tasks.

For other enquiries please contact us through the Contact Form

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