Venture Business Creation Council, Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, The Tokyo New Business Conference (Connect!), and Japan New Business Conferences held the award-presenting ceremony for the 1st Nippon Venture Awards on Thursday in Tokyo, where Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, economy minister Yoichi Miyazawa, and six winners of the awards were invited.
Prime minister’s award winner: Euglena
Euglena researches, develops, produces and markets microalgae with a strong focus on euglena. It is expected to be used effectively in functional foods, cosmetics, and jet plane fuel. Euglena CEO Mitsuru Izumo revealed that they want to provide prime minister’s aircraft with fuels from Japan-made with euglena.
Economy minister’s award winners (partnership of venture and established company): Cyberdyne and Daiwa House Industry
Cyberdyne has developed robots for medical, welfare, nursing care, manufacturing, disaster rescue, entertainment industries leveraging Cybernics technologies.
Daiwa House Industry invested in and partnered with Cyberdyne on robotics business in February of 2007. Since then, Daiwa has been entirely supporting Cyberdyne from launching a business to IPO.
Economy minister’s award winner (female entrepreneur): Coiney
Coiney provides a smartphone-based credit card payment solutions. It is served with a small, circular credit-card reading device that is attached to smartphones via the earphone jack.
See our past articles featuring Coiney:
- Japanese payments startup Coiney looks back on key metrics from its first year
- Japanese mobile payment startup Coiney starts selling its card reader on Amazon Japan
- Japanese mobile payments processor Coiney secures $8M in funding
Special jury award winner (regional vitalization): Spiber
Spiber is working on mass-producing artificial spider silk, an extremely strong, light and stretchable fiber.
See our past article featuring Spiber:
Special jury award winner (work style evolution) : Crowdworks
Crowdworks is a leading crowdsourcing platform that connects 250,000 individuals with 44,000 companies.
See our past articles featuring Crowdworks:
- Japan’s crowdsourcing platform provider CrowdWorks files for IPO
- Japanese startups find creativity at Crowdworks
- Can crowdsourcing startups change Japan’s employment landscape?
- In Japan, some seniors turn to crowdsourcing job platforms for work
- Japanese crowdsourcing platform ‘Crowdworks’ raises $10.7 million
- Japan finds a new way to work: In conversation with Crowdworks’ Koichiro Yoshida
- Japan and the culture of crowdsourcing: Crowdworks’ CEO Koichiro Yoshida (2/2)
- Want to draw a Japanese game character? Gotcha Warriors enlists illustrators on Crowdworks
- Japan’s Crowdworks rolls out crowdsourcing platform for hardware manufacturers
Shuichi Matsuda, the awards’ chief juror and professor of Waseda University, said that 153 applications had been received from companies from all over Japan. While applying companies must be less than 10 years old, it turn 53% of these were less than five years old. Companies headed by female entrepreneurs accounted for 15% of all applicants this time, but the professor sees this ratio reaching 30% in the near future.
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy