Information to support new challenges and startups

A startup creation and growth promotion facility at the University of the Ryukyus


STARTUP LAB RYUDAI (Ryulab), which opened in July 2023, is located on the campus of the only national university in Okinawa Prefecture, the University of the Ryukyus. Its purpose is to nurture students’ and young people’s ideas and support innovation. It was established after receiving full-scale adoption of the Collaborative Creation Space Formation Support Program (COI-NEXT) from the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST).

It is located on the 1st floor of the Regional Revitalization Comprehensive Research Building within the University of the Ryukyus (courtesy photo).
Food and drinks are allowed, so it’s convenient to drop by for work or study. 

From Monday to Friday, from 9:00 to 19:00, it is open as a co-working space available to students, staff, and event participants and is fully equipped with Wi-Fi. With the mission, “An Open Space Where People, Activities, and Information Intersect in Real-Time,” it’s a space where people can freely interact.

It has plenty of seats and is suitable for workspaces or meetings.
There are also counter seats, perfect for concentrating while enjoying the view.

Community staff are always available, so visitors can consult with them if they have any questions about how to use the space. The usage fee is free, which is convenient for first-time visitors.

The four missions upheld by Ryulab are:

1. Social implementation of research fields

2. Cultivation and creation of entrepreneurial talent

3. Collaboration and co-creation with the Okinawa startup ecosystem and local community

4. Cultivating open innovation that attracts attention globally

For example, students struggling with career choices can seek guidance on how their research can be implemented in society. They can also receive advice on workstyles and entrepreneurship by networking with business professionals outside of school through events.

Furthermore, the facility’s operation is managed by an external organization, ISCO (Okinawa IT Innovation Strategy Center). Through collaboration with industry, academia, and government stakeholders centered around the Okinawa startup ecosystem, ISCO can provide necessary support and advisors for startups and entrepreneurship.

Learn how to use Ryulab:

This interview took place on the same day as the “Okinawa Campus Idea Pitch Contest,” an English idea pitch contest jointly organized by the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) and “OIST Innovation,” a research-oriented startup support incubation facility operated by OIST. 

At the event held at Ryulab

It’s an English pitch contest where ten students compete with their ideas for the chance to participate in a study tour to the world-renowned Deep Tech Startup Conference, “Hello Tomorrow Global Summit 2024,” in Paris.

The contest is in English and covers various topics, including education, the automotive industry, and solving poverty issues in Okinawa.

It was an intriguing event that combined academic elements unique to educational institutions with the entrepreneurial aspects of valuing ideas.

The feedback from students included, “It was great to hear the presentations from OIST researchers. I couldn’t believe it was free because the content was fantastic,” and “I was very nervous and my mind went blank during the English presentation, but it was a great opportunity to challenge myself.”

Tomohiro Aragaki, Chief Manager of Ryulab

“Ryulab is a space where students and researchers drop by every day, conduct meetings, and where various interactions occur. We receive entrepreneurial consultations from students and researchers, as well as inquiries like ‘I have an idea, but I don’t know what to do with it’ or ‘I want to do something new!’ which are still in the early stages,” says Tomohiro Aragaki, Chief Manager of Ryulab.

“This fiscal year, we have implemented various programs with the cooperation of many people, and we are gradually seeing results. In the 2023 fiscal year, three companies were established in Ryulab’s programs.

On the other hand, entrepreneurship is not necessarily the sole purpose. Ryulab is a collaborative space where people who enjoy pushing themselves to create an exciting future and those who support them gather—not limited to entrepreneurship. Our monthly community event, “moai,” is open to students, faculty, and the public. We invite you to join us and learn about Ryulab. I’m sure new beginnings are waiting for you!” he said with a smile.

In addition to collaborating with OIST, Ryulab organizes various events to support young people who are excited to take on challenges. These include introductory lectures on entrepreneurship, practical Excel courses, and seminars featuring actual startup companies and startup experts as guest speakers, providing opportunities for practical learning.

Information about event dates and content is regularly updated and distributed on their official website and social media channels. Feel free to check them out. 

Their official social media channels:

■Facebook Group:
■To register as a Ryulab member: 

You can receive information on various events from Ryudai Lab via email.

User Voice

Kazuki Tonari
from the University of the Ryukyus

On the interview day, Kazuki Tonari, a University of the Ryukyus student who regularly uses Ryulab, participated in a English pitch event. “Ryulab is comfortable like a café. Being in this environment allows me to meet seniors and peers who are aiming high. I never imagined myself participating in an English speech contest before,” he said.

It is a place of motivation for many students.

Interview and Japanese Text by Kanako Inafuku


Facility Details

Address: 1F, Regional Creation Research Building, 1 Chihara, Nishihara-cho, Okinawa
Hours: 9:00-19:00 (Closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays)
Usage Fee: Generally free of charge
Facilities: Monitor, projector, Wi-Fi, microphone, speaker


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If you are considering starting a business in Okinawa
or would like information about entrepreneurship,
please feel free to contact us.