J-TECH STARTUP SUMMIT 2016 Report
December 7, 2016 at Hulic Hall (Asakusabashi)
Eight promising technology venture companies representing Japan featured at J-TECH STARTUP SUMMIT 2016!
On December 7, 2016 (Wed), TEP, a technology venture company support organization, held the J-TECH STARTUP SUMMIT 2016 together with Nikkei Technology Online. Representatives from eight J-TECH STARTUP certified companies gathered together for an award ceremony.
The event also featured a keynote speech on "Creating an Unknown World: Microwave Chemical Process Commercialization" by Mr. Iwao Yoshino, CEO of Microwave Chemical Co., Ltd., a technology venture company that is rapidly expanding its business, and a panel discussion on "Deep Tech Ventures Hold the Key to Creating New Industries" moderated by Mr. Kouji Kariatsumari, chief editor of Nikkei Technology Online, which was joined by Mr. Yoshino, CEO of Microwave Chemical Co., Ltd., Mr. Masahiro Yamaji, president of tiem factory Inc., one of the J-TECH STARTUP certified companies, and Mr. Shingo Kokudo, chairman of TEP. At the get-together, many people gathered at the exhibition booths for J-TECH STARTUP certified venture companies and actively networked.
About J-TECH STARTUP
J-TECH STARTUP is an endeavor for certifying technology venture companies representing Japan that identify technology as their core business competence and are expected to grow on a global scale. This was the first J-TECH STARTUP SUMMIT to be held.
With assistance from research institutes and support organizations where top Japanese technology gathers, we selected technology venture companies in a wide range of fields, including energy, mechatronics, materials, medical, and embedded software.
1st J-TECH STARTUP certified companies *Alphabetical order
BONX INC. (embedded software) https://bonx.co/ja/
- Representative: Takahiro Miyasaka
- Business overview: Development and sales of a group talk system (wearable transceiver) comprised of a Bluetooth earphone and a smartphone app that includes a unique voice data communication system and voice recognition technology
Challenergy Inc. (energy) https://challenergy.com/
- Representative: Atsushi Shimizu
- Business overview: Research, development, and sales of the world's first vertical axis Magnus wind turbine that generates electricity using the wind power of typhoons
OligoGenie Co., Ltd. (medical)
- Representative: Tsuneo Kido
- Business overview: Research and development for a new type of human neural stem cell called OligoGenie, which can differentiate into oligodendrocyte with almost 100% efficiency, and commercialization in the fields of regenerative medicine and drug development
- Representative: Satoru Ozawa/Takashi Kobayashi
- Business overview: Leasing usage licenses for the Origami/ETS large development structure analysis program to analysis software vendors and developing interfaces for existing analysis software
Quantaglion Co., Ltd. (electronics) http://quantaglion.com/
- Representative: Kunihiko Negishi
- Business overview: Development of an ultra-small quantum authentication element that supports an IoT security infrastructure that cannot be duplicated, with the world's first physical security device that generates true random numbers without whitening
Spectee Inc. (cloud engines) http://www.spectee.co.jp/
- Representative: Kenjiro Murakami
- Business overview: Development and operation of an AI platform for collecting and analyzing videos and images from SNSs and the Internet, with patented technology for video/image recognition and natural language analysis, as well as an operation service for the collected video/image content
tiem factory Inc. (materials) http://www.tiem.jp/
- Representative: Masahiro Yamaji
- Business overview: Research, development, and sales of "sufa," the world's first multi-purpose transparent heat insulation aero gel, which is light, highly heat insulating, and lower-cost than glass
Xiborg (mechatronics) http://xiborg.jp/
- Representative: Ken Endo
- Business overview: Development, clinical trials, and sales of artificial legs utilizing robotic technology, and the development of rehabilitation devices that use artificial leg technology
What are the three hurdles faced by technology venture companies?
Keynote speech by Mr. Iwao Yoshino, president of Microwave Chemical Co., Ltd.
Creating an Unknown World: Microwave Chemical Process Commercialization
A keynote speech by Mr. Yoshino of Microwave Chemical, who developed technology for efficiently manufacturing chemicals using microwaves, established the world's first large-scale microwave chemical plant, and is currently developing business by commercializing this technology. Mr. Yoshino talks about the three hurdles that technology venture companies have to overcome based on his own experiences.
■ Hurdle 1: Enlargement
The technology of microwaves is said to be interesting but more of a laboratory technology that is difficult to scale up. Our development team was the most important factor for scaling up the technology. Although microwaves had been researched as a part of physics up until now, our team spent almost 10 years and nearly 5 billion yen in development costs to conduct research that combined microwaves and chemistry, and in 2014 we finally succeeded in launching the world's first large-scale microwave chemical plant. We were able to achieve this major breakthrough thanks to our research team combining both physics and chemistry in its engineering.
■ Hurdle 2: Business model
Every venture company is confronted with the need to build a business model. Microwave Chemical also went through that process to build its current business. Although our company was originally founded as a bio-diesel company, it was difficult to get the business started. When we were exploring options for our business model, a manufacturer gave us advice that led us to a new direction for utilizing microwaves on things other than bio-diesel. We now provide fundamental microwave technology to chemical manufacturers as a technology provider, and this has enabled us to bring the potential of microwaves to a wide range of industries.
■ Hurdle 3: Experience
Although many companies expressed the desire to innovate and work together, when it came to actual business discussions, they were reluctant to pursue the scaling up of microwaves due to our lack of a proven track record. Since it was difficult to find a company that was willing to work with us, we ended up taking the initiative to create a plant ourselves, and in 2014 we had completed the world's first large-scale microwave chemical plant. We then started manufacturing and selling the raw materials for ink and now our products are used by three companies, for applications such as color ink for newspapers. This enabled us to overcome the hurdle of experience, and led to the large response we now enjoy.
"When bringing something new into the world, we cannot rely on existing systems. I believe that unless we become able to accommodate total systems (everything concerning manufacturing), it is difficult for a new technology to be accepted by the world."
Microwave Chemical overcame these three hurdles and created their own business without relying on existing business models and systems. Two years since their plant was established, they finally started a new initiative for supporting the plant designs of manufacturers. In 2015 the company established a joint venture with Taiyo Kagaku Co., Ltd., which is now building a plant in Yokkaichi City in Mie Prefecture, and is scheduled to start operation from next Spring.
No Tech, No Innovation！ Will Deep Tech Save Japan?
Panel Discussion: "Deep Tech Ventures Hold the Key to Creating New Industries"
Moderator: Mr. Kouji Kariatsumari, chief editor of Nikkei Technology Online
Mr. Iwao Yoshino, CEO of Microwave Chemical Co., Ltd.
Mr. Masahiro Yamaji, president of tiem factory Inc. (one of the J-TECH STARTUP certified companies)
Mr. Shingo Kokudo (TEP chairman)
The panel discussion focused on what technology venture companies need to grow in order to create new industries, from the perspective of technology venture companies in various phases and the organizations that support them.
1. Core technology holds the key to a strong business plan!
2. How to overcome the hurdle of mass production
3. What about the big companies of Japan?
The panel discussion featured a lively debate. In the subsequent get-together, participants engaged in networking to build an ecosystem for technology startups.
Related articles by Nikkei Technology Online
・"J-TECH STARTUP Certified Companies (2016)"
・December 1, 2016 "Wind Power Generation Able to Withstand Typhoons"
・December 2, 2016 "Robot Legs to Make the Impossible Possible"
・December 2, 2016 "JAXA Venture Providing Structural Analysis with Satellite Antenna"
・December 5, 2016 "Random Number Generation Using Nuclear Decay for the IoT Age"
・December 6, 2016 "Kyoto University Venture Making Transparent Material That Is Ultra Lightweight and Insulating"
・December 6, 2016 "Automatic Analysis Technology for Analyzing and Organizing SNS Data"
・December 6, 2016 "Startup Aiming to Create a GoPro for Earphones"
・December 6, 2016 "Developing New Neural Stem Cells to Treat Spinal Cord Injury"
・December 8, 2016 "Eight Venture Companies with the Core Technology to Create New Industries"
(End of report)
"Deep tech" venture companies strive to create the core technologies needed for the creation of new industries. Despite the nurturing of these companies being essential for improving the international competitiveness of Japan, they have not received the attention that they deserve up until now. The J-TECH STARTUP SUMMIT was established as an event for identifying these deep tech venture companies and providing them with assistance for entering the world market.
The J-TECH STARTUP SUMMIT announces technology venture companies representing Japan that identify technology as their core business competence and are expected to grow on a global scale as J-TECH STARTUP certified companies, and also features presentations and exhibitions on these companies, and talks and panel discussions. Don't miss these promising deep tech ventures!
■ 1st J-TECH STARTUP certified companies (announced November 22, 2016) *Alphabetical order
- BONX INC. (embedded software)
- Challenergy Inc. (energy)
- OligoGenie Co., Ltd. (medical)
- Origami/ETS (software)
- Quantaglion Co., Ltd. (electronics)
- Spectee Inc. (cloud engines)
- tiem factory Inc. (materials)
- Xiborg (mechatronics)
■ Overview of the J-TECH STARTUP SUMMIT
● Date/time: December 7, 2016 (Wed) 13:00 to 18:00
● Location: Hulic Hall (1 min. walk from Asakusabashi Station)http://www.hulic-hall.com/access/
● Program (schedule):
12:00 Reception open
13:00-13:10 Opening address: Mr. Shingo Kokudo (TEP chairman)
13:10-14:00 J-TECH STARTUP presentation (1)
14:10-15:00 J-TECH STARTUP presentation (2)
15:00-15:15 J-TECH STARTUP award ceremony
15:25-15:55 Keynote speech "Creating an Unknown World: Microwave Chemical Process Commercialization"
Iwao Yoshino (CEO of Microwave Chemical Co., Ltd.)
(Profile) Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Chemical Department), engaged in venture and consulting work in the United States. Established Microwave Chemical in 2007. Graduated from the Faculty of Law at Keio University in 1990, obtained an MBA at UC Berkeley in 2002, and became an MOT Hitachi Fellow. A member of the General Committee for Research & Development that makes investment decisions for research and development ventures at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
15:55-16:55 Panel discussion: "Deep Tech Ventures Hold the Key to Creating New Industries"
Moderator: Kouji Kariatsumari (chief editor at Nikkei Technology Online)
Panel members: Shingo Kokudo (chairman of TEP), Iwao Yoshino (CEO of Microwave Chemical Co., Ltd.), and one other
*Exhibition booths for the technology venture companies will also be prepared.
● Entrance fee: 3,000 yen (tax included)
● Applications made from the PEATIX website (j-tech.peatix.com)
● Cosponsored by: TEP (TX Entrepreneur Partners) and Nikkei Technology Online
● Supported by: Kanto Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry; Kanto Regional Head Office, Organization for Small & Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation, Japan; New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO); National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST); Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR); Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA); Information-technology Promotion Agency, Japan (IPA)
● Cooperation: Venture Tsushin Online (http://v-tsushin.jp/)
● Inquiries: J-TECH STARTUP 2016 executive secretariat: firstname.lastname@example.org
■ Purpose of creating J-TECH STARTUP
Services that use the Internet, such as SNSs, EC sites, and games bring us much convenience and new value. The applications that enable these services can be developed in a relatively short period of time, and successful examples and support methods are starting to be established in Japan. On the other hand, the deep tech (core technology) that supports these services, such as high-speed communication, AI engines, and CPU technology is inconspicuous, difficult to understand, and requires a lot of time and human resources to commercialize. That is why it is risky to turn into a business and there is not an adequate support system for investment. However, service technology cannot exist without deep tech, which is their core technology. That is why in recent years, Silicon Valley has started actively investing in deep tech, instead of focusing investment on companies that provide service-type technology. There is great attention from overseas on the advanced technology of Japan, as seen in cases such as in 2013 when a global foreign-owned company purchased a university-based robotics venture company in Japan.
The J-TECH STARTUP SUMMIT focuses not only on hardware, but deep tech in the broad sense, including embedded software, cloud-based processing engines, biotechnology, advanced materials and robotics. The summit focuses on the importance of these technologies and discusses what is required to establish a support system for deep tech venture companies.
This year, eight ventures will be announced as J-TECH STARTUP certified companies to help raise awareness on the status of deep tech in Japan.
Now seeking technology ventures that want to go abroad!
Applications for the 2016 J-TECH STARTUP have closed. Thank you for all of your applications.
■ Application conditions
Venture companies that meet all of the following conditions:
(1) Business field: Companies with technology as their core business competence. Both hardware and software are acceptable. Other businesses such as embedded software, cloud-based processing engines, biotechnology, advanced materials, and robotics are also acceptable.
(2) Stage: Unlisted companies up to Series A. Companies are allowed to be receiving investment from venture capital, etc.
(3) Scope: Companies that meet the following conditions.
- Capital: Less than 100 million yen
- Number of employees: 50 or less
- Not a subsidiary of a major company
*The year of incorporation does not matter. Second start-ups are also acceptable.
■ Selection criteria (a decision will be made based on the following four items as a whole)
(1) Business innovativeness (that the technology will change the industry structure)
(2) Economic scope (that the scope of the target industry is large and will have a wide
(3) Social impact (that the business will have a large impact on global society)
(4) Ability to execute business (competitive advantage, management team, overall consistency of strategy)
■ Application method (please send the following two items before the application deadline)
(1) Fill out and send the application form (https://goo.gl/forms/nlXfdElKvPuOLwYi1).
The application form can also be accessed from the TEP website (https://tepweb.jp/)
or Nikkei Technology Online (http://techon.jp/tech_startup/).
(2) Send a presentation covering the following points to the executive secretariat (email@example.com)
(A) Overview of the business and business model
(B) Whose and what kind of problems you want to solve
(C) Overview of your product/service that will solve those problems
(D) Competitors and the competitive advantage of your company
(E) Economic/social impact of the business
■ Application deadline
November 9, 2016 (Wed). This deadline is strict, and based on the time that applications are received by the executive secretariat. Applications for the 2016 J-TECH STARTUP have closed. Thank you for all of your applications.
■ Selection method
Selection is performed jointly by TEP and Nikkei Technology Online.
Results will be announced in a press release in late November 2016 and an award ceremony is planned for the J-TECH STARTUJP SUMMIT on December 7, 2016 (Wed).
■ Benefits for J-TECH STARTUP certified companies (the following benefits are provided to J-TECH STARTUP certified companies)
(1) Various types of assistance for the year of 2017 by TEP, an expert in assisting technology venture companies
(2) Network introductions by the 30 global partners of TEP found in 22 cities around the world and assistance for global expansion by sending information to venture communities over the world
(3) Introduction of company and technologies by Nikkei Technology Online
J-TECH STARTUP 2016 executive secretariat (ask for "Goto"): firstname.lastname@example.org
TEP public relations (ask for "Kumamoto") TEL: 03-6759-8989 (in Story Design house) / E-MAIL: email@example.com