This is a guest post by Sabrina Sasaki, a marketing representative of Kyoto-based hardware startup accelerator Makers Boot Camp. The accelerator holds the Monozukuri Hub Meetup event in Kyoto on a monthly basis.
Additionally, all photos in this article were taken by Kyoto-based systems biologist Tugi Guenes.
On Tuesday, Makers Boot Camp joined a special Monozukuri Conference organized by Osaka City and held at Osaka Innovation Hub, getting together key players in the hardware ecosystem to introduce new trends for the next generation of entrepreneurs.
The main lecture was given by Osamu Ogasawara, CEO of Tokyo-based hardware incubator ABBALab CEO Osamu Ogasahara. HWTrek team members Roger Wu, VP of Supply Chain, and Alan Jung, Business Development for Japan, brought their international expertise from manufacturing in China and Taiwan, and our CEO Narimasa Makino presented Makers Boot Camp partnership with Kyoto Shisaku Net, a group of over 100 local manufacturers that combined their business strengths to face daily industrial challenges, focused on their prototype expertise (Design for Manufacturing).
The purpose of the panel discussion was to talk about new ways that collaboration in hardware can lead to a win-win business environment SMEs can benefit from. The main topic was introduced by Ogasahara, part of his own experience as a serial entrepreneur, leading recent IoT trends in Japan, not only for ABBALab and the DMM.make ecosystem but also for Sakura Internet.
- Japan’s hardware-focused incubator ABBALab launches $14 million startup fund
- Japanese internet giant DMM launches spectacular hardware lab for startups in Akihabara
Ogasahara spoke about the challenges to start changing the common sense to a new market, focused on small and medium-size manufacturing industries and its specific needs. Just as the internet has revolutionized the information industry, manufacturing is following the digital age, and there are many opportunities available in the current industrial structure for SMEs to develop and adapt more quickly to the market’s new demands.
In addition to this movement, automation evolution and factories using 3D printers, such as the China movement of manufacturing-based entrepreneurs with a focus on gathering in Shenzhen, is massive and growing more and more, starting a new way of manufacturing: smaller lots, targeting customized products for connected devices.
The concept of connected devices and IoT (Internet of Things) leads to a range of new opportunities to solve most of our current problems: large corporations can’t handle them, as its structures are solid and change demands more time than our resources can wait. The solution then remains on small and medium enterprises, who must play an innovative role and be open to try new things out, as startups have been doing actively and constantly.
Roger encouraged entrepreneurs to invest time and energy talking to the new creators in order to try to find alternative applications for their own products and technologies: new projects are coming out, from many hubs in the world, as HWTrek platform has proven, and partnerships between creators and experts can lead to new approaches and different solutions.
The audience, composed by around a hundred SMEs, was interested to share insights about how to change the common sense and consider the new IoT market: a new business model for the manufacturing industry. During the networking session, innovative cases of new business in IoT were presented by HWTrek, to introduce creators that will come to Japan in November to network with local enterprises.
Makers Boot Camp is co-organizing the next Asia Innovation Tour 2016 with HWTrek. The tour will start in Shenzhen on November 2nd and arrive in Japan on November 7th, with the following two events open to the public.
- Monozukuri Hub Meetup (sponsored by Kyoto City): Japan as a Starting point for IoT – November 7th (Monday)
- Osaka Innovation Hub: HWTrek Meetup – November 8th (Tuesday)
If you’re interested to know more about Design for Manufacturing, join our next meetup on October 12th at MTRL Kyoto, where we’ll make a direct bridge Paris-Kyoto, bringing Japanese and French makers and talk about ways to get ready for manufacturing.