Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s 3rd incubation batch showcases emerging 10 finalists



See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s business plan contest Tokyo Startup Gateway 2016 held its finale earlier this week.

It’s a contest style event for globally-minded entrepreneurs from various genres, such as technology, social business, regional problem solving, etc., who are looking to begin in Tokyo. ETIC, a Tokyo based-NPO, was in charge of the administration and organization. Business plans for this event (the third time it has been held) were accepted from April of 2016. 1,000 business plans total were collected. Among them, 10 were selected as finalists and gave presentations.

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The judges for the contest are as follows:

  • Chiaki Hayashi, CEO of Loftwork
  • Tomy Kamada, CEO and Founder of TomyK
  • Mifuyu Ando, Author / CEO of Spree
  • Allen Miner, CEO of Sunbridge Global Ventures
  • Kazutaka Muraguchi, CEO of Nippon Technology Venture Partners (chairperson of judges)

Grand Prize: Feeding farmed fish using crickets by Seiya Ashikari

Supplemental award: A trophy and 1 million yen (around $10,000 US)   


In the aquaculture industry nearly 70% of expenses are said to go towards the cost of feed. What is more, in recent years the cost of the fish meal used as feed has risen so high that it is putting pressure on cultivators. Ashikari suggests using crickets as feed for farmed fish. He plans to offer pellets made from the powder of crushed crickets. The effectiveness of this approach has already been proven through tests with the cooperation of an aquaculture company.


Runner-up: Job training for disabled children provided by medical therapists by Natsumi Okano


Supplemental award: A trophy and 500,000 yen (about $5,000 US)

As people with disabilities are often assisted by the people around them, they experience less failure compared to people without disabilities, do not have the opportunity to work part-time jobs, and as a result have overwhelmingly less social experience. The number of companies providing opportunities for people with disabilities are increasing, however a gap remains between these companies and the people they seek to employ. With Okano’s plan the skills of persons with disabilities would be appropriately and quantitatively evaluated, they could then be trained by setting goals, with facilitation of employment with business partners, and finally encouraging follow-up within the company.


Runner-up: A proactive, intuitive robot that exceeds the limits of existing information terminals by Fuma Higashide

Supplemental award: A trophy and 500,000 yen (about $5,000 US)


Current information terminals have a decisive problem. That problem lies in not doing the operations you intended and thus not having the necessary work done for you, as well as relying too much on the output of information from a screen. Higashide developed “Hako” a robot equipped with Raspberry Pi, that has various sensors to read human movement. By simply switching on the power, it is possible to enjoy a variety of applications. The price is about 30,000 yen (about $300 US). He plans to carry out a crowdfunding campaign in the future.


Audience Prize: “Feeding farmed fish using crickets” by Seiya Ashikari

Supplemental award: Trophy


See the above Grand Prize for content details.

The following is a list of finalists that did not receive prizes.

  • “Build a matching platform for connecting users with craftsmen to enjoy emotional crafting experiences” by Tomohiro Akiyama
  • “Build a platform for helping our society better understand Vegetarians” by Haruko Kawano
  • “A Next-Generation medical service combining wearables and artificial intelligence” by Kosuke Shimizu
  • “Make economic relationships just like families with people around the world” by Junichi Sugiura
  • “Deliver sanitary and comfortable toilet spaces to developing countries with ToiTech”by Naoki Tashiro
  • “Make a textbook for the next generation of football goal keepers” by Daichi Mizozaki
  • “Build global online discussion media” by Yuta Moriyama

Translated by Amanda Imasaka
Edited by Masaru Ikeda