Oct. 05, 2023
Sumitomo Corporation

Promoting Regional Revitalization through Startup and Entrepreneurship Support Project for Social Innovation in Namie Town, Fukushima Prefecture~Supporting the opening and operation of "Jyubako Café namie~

Jyubako Cafe namie (hereinafter referred to as "The Cafe"), which Sumitomo Corporation is supporting as part of its community development and startup and entrepreneurship support project in Namie Town, Fukushima Prefecture (hereinafter referred to as "Namie Town"), will be opened on 6th October, 2023.
By business growth of The Café through the collaborating supports among Namie Town, Snow Peak and Sumitomo Corporation, it intends not only to create people involved in Namie Town, but also to create jobs through business growth and attracting more entrepreneurs, thereby promoting immigration to the Namie Town.

Sumitomo Corporation's Initiatives in Namie Town

In January 2021, Namie Town and Sumitomo Corporation concluded a "Partnership Agreement on Hydrogen use and community development" and in September 2021, a 
"Partnership Agreement on Reconstruction of the Local Community in Namie Town through the Power of Design.” Based on these partnership agreements, we aim to boost the reconstruction of Namie Town, which was severely damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake, and to increase the permanent population of the town by engaging progressive town development, that main 3 projects are following;

1.Startup and Entrepreneurship Support Project

As part of the project to promote immigration to Namie Town, the project aims not only to increase the number of people interacting with Namie Town, but also to enhance the attractiveness of the area by creating jobs and further entrepreneurial growth through business growth. Specifically, we operate the co-working space "Namie’s Shinka," which serves as a core for local community and startup and entrepreneurship support community. Also, we provide the "Sprout Program" to support entrepreneurship and new business growth in Namie Town, a function and mechanism for value creation, and the "Unicorn Program" to support the creation and growth of start-ups. Support for the opening and operation of The Café is a newly established project as part of the "Sprout Program.

The goal of Sumitomo Corporation and the Namie Town for town development through Startup and Entrepreneurship Support Project

【Overview of Jyubako Cafe namie】

Namie Town, Snow Peak, and Sumitomo Corporation will utilize our resources and know-how to provide comprehensive support for the opening and operation of The Café. The Café will serve as a "place" for value co-creation in the region. We will take on challenge of value creation through open innovation with various partners, such as menu development using rich and delicious local ingredients harvested in Namie Town and unused food resources, collaboration among businesses in the region, reduction of food loss and environmental impact related to energy use, and so on.
The electricity used to serve some of the menu items, including the coffee, will be supplied by MIRAI, a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. Sumitomo Corporation is supporting its operation of the "Coffee Brewed with Hydrogen" system.

【Store Overview】

name Jyubako Cafe namie
Location 3-8 Gongendo Icchoden, Namie-machi, Futaba-gun, Fukushima 979-1521, Japan (Inside of Namie’s Shinka)
Business Hours 11:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
regular closing day Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays (at the time of opening *to be changed in the future)
URL https://www.namieshinka.jp/jyubako-cafe-namie
Menu Food menu:
Soup curry using regional specialties(especially from Namie Town), soft cream, etc.

Drink menu:
coffee brewed with hydrogen, sodas with regional specialties, etc.
Jyubako Café namie
Example of food menu Soup curry with regional specialties

2. Next Generation Energy Business

Namie Town declared itself a Zero Carbon City in March 2020, aiming to realize carbon neutral by promoting local production for local consumption of hydrogen and renewable energy. In Namie Town, we are considering projects that will contribute to solving regional issues utilizing hydrogen, including the introduction of a facility that will provide variable hydrogen experiences in a familiar form for regional residents. In addition, the Namie Plant of 4R Energy Corporation, a joint venture between Sumitomo Corporation and Nissan Motor, is engaged in the reuse of electric vehicle batteries, and Sumitomo Corporation is constructing a large-scale energy storage facility using reused batteries at a nearby site. This large-scale energy storage facility, Battery Station Namie, will be connected to the power grid and contribute to the spread and increased use of renewable energy in the region. Furthermore, we will contribute to the local community by establishing the Namie Battery Lab, a new research and development center that also aims to contribute to the human resources development to regional people who will lead the future.

3. Namie Station Area Development Project

Together with the Namie Town, Kengo Kuma & Associates, and Junji Ito & Associates, we are promoting the Namie Station area development project. The project aims to create a synergistic effect by combining Namie Town's rich nature, history, and culture with the power of design and the expertise of each party in creating "places and systems" and harmonizing them with the use of hydrogen and renewable energy to create an innovative town. By incorporating the opinions of regional residents, including the promotion of local community activities, the project supports the realization of Namie Town's recovery philosophy of "a town of overflowing with dreams and hopes, where I want to continue living, I want to move for living. The entire project is scheduled for completion by the end of fiscal 2026.

Sumitomo Corporation's Vision through its Involvement with Namie Town

Through these projects, we will contribute to the reconstruction of Namie Town and increase the number of permanent residents, as well as create innovation through progressive town development and realize a carbon-neutral society.


Sumitomo Corporation's Startup and Entrepreneurship Support Project in Namie Town

We have being taking on the challenge of creating new value through the operation of MIRAI LAB PALETTE, an open innovation lab that promote collaboration with partners in diverse fields from 2019. Also, we are conducting accelerator programs and intrapreneurship program that encourages the realization of new business. We are promoting our business in collaboration with various partners by leveraging our experience and expertise in these areas.

■Management of co-working space "Namie’s Shinka”

A members-only co-working space opened in front of JR Namie Station in October 2022. Utilizing the "Jyubako," a trailer house manufactured by Snow Peak that combines high design quality and flexibility, designed and supervised by Kengo Kuma. Namie’s Shinka is a workspace that members can use free of charge, as a venue for various programs in the Startup and Entrepreneurship Support Project, and as a place for interaction with the local community. In addition, Namie’s Shinka plans to move to an exchange facility directly connected to Namie Station around the end of FY2026, when the Namie Station are will be developed.

Current Namie’s Shinka (opened in October 2022)
Exchange facility "Namiyesinke’s Shinka" (scheduled to be opened in the end of FY2026)

■Promotion of the "Shinme Program" business support program

The "Shinme Program" consists of two programs: the "Sprout Program," which supports new business growth in Namie Town, and the "Unicorn Program," which supports the creation and growth of entrepreneurship.
The "Sprout Program" is a joint program with Culture Convenience Club (hereinafter "CCC") that offers a free consultation service called the "Online Consultation Service for Entrepreneurship" to help people who want to start a business, "New Business Development Support" using the resources of the Sumitomo Corporation, CCC, and partner companies, "Support for Sales Channel Development" using CCC's stores in ordinance-designated cities, and regular "Entrepreneurship Events" where people can gain knowledge, know-how, and network for starting a business.
In the "Unicorn Program," we launched the "Entrepreneurship Training Course," where entrepreneurs can learn the basics of entrepreneurship anytime online, and the "Incubation Program," a three-month intensive support program for start-up companies just before they launch their business. In the first phase of the program started in August 2023, with the support of mentors and advisors with specialized expertise, the program supports start-ups to commercialize their businesses in the disaster prevention-related and Web 3.0 domains.

Entrepreneurship Events (Sprout Program)
Support for Sales Channel Development (Sprout Program)
Entrepreneurship Training Course (Unicorn Program)
Incubation Program(Unicorn Program)