Harnessing Silicon Valley: 10 Worst Practices by Japanese Companies

In an interview article published by Ishin, Kenji Kushida discusses 10 of the "worst practices" by Japanese companies attempting to harness Silicon Valley. 

The article (Japanese only) is available online via the below link. An English version of the article will be available in the coming weeks.





On Friday, February 3, 2017 the Stanford Silicon Valley-New Japan Project (SV-NJ)  hosted its second ANA Ideathon, co-sponsored by World Innovation Lab (WiL), ANA, and Ito En. This year brought together seven teams of Stanford University students to reimagine air travel before, during, and after the flight experience. The teams had 90 minutes to brainstorm and create their ideas, and then deliver a three minute pitch to a panel of judges from WiL, ANA, and special guest, actor and start-up investor, Masi Oka. Ideas where judged on creativity, feasibility of implementation, team work, and presentation with the winning team received the grand prize of round trip tickets to Tokyo.

Recent Stanford SVNJ Research at the Canon Institute of Global Studies

Further reading on a variety of SVNJ research topics can be found at the Canon Institute of Global Studies (CIGS) website for columns by Kenji Kushida (Japanese only), accessible at: http://www.canon-igs.org/column/network/

The most recent columns include:

  • "The Politics of AI and Robotics: Unexpected challenges for the US and potential for Japanese strength -- towards mutual benefit"


  • "The shock of Deep Mind's artificial intelligence (AI), the shock of US election results, the shock that AI will deliver to employment and Japan's potential in the world."


New Publication: シリコンバレー発 アルゴリズム革命の衝撃

Silicon Valley - New Japan Summit 2016: Activating Silicon Valley Startup-Japan Connections

The Stanford Silicon Valley-New Japan Project (SV-NJ) is excited to announce the Silicon Valley-New Japan Summit 2016: Activating Silicon Valley Startup-Japan Connections, in partnership with Ishin USA and their media project, The SV Startups 100, on Oct 4, 2016 at Stanford University.

The conference is for knowledge deepening, networking, and business matching. We will bring together established Japanese corporations and connect them to Silicon Valley startups. The morning has panel discussions, Silicon Valley startup pitches, and a keynote. The afternoon is a business matching event, with tables of startups to facilitate business development. It will take place at one of Stanford's best large venues, the Arrillaga Alumni Center. Approximately 50 Silicon Valley startups have committed to attend so far, and the list is available at the event website.

Silicon Valley – New Japan Summit 2016: Activating SV Startup - Japan Connections

Date and Time
Tuesday October, 4, 2016 9:00am-6:00pm

Stanford University, Francis C. Arrillaga Alumni Center (McCaw Hall)

Morning Session 9:00-12:10
   - Keynote speaker
   - Panel Discussion 1
   - Start-up Company Presentations 1
   - Panel Discussion 2
   - Start-up Company Presentations 2
Lunch 12:10- 13:45
Afternoon Session 13:45-17:00
   - Biz-Dev Booths with invited Silicon Valley Start-ups
Networking Reception 17:00 – 18:30

The above schedule is tentative and subject to change.

Registration Fee
General Admission: $950/person
To register to attend please use the inquiry form on the event website: http://svs100.com/event_en/#Conference_Contact

NOTE: Registration is free for Stanford University faculty, staff, and students with valid Stanford University ID. Please contact Amanda Stoeckicht at amst at stanford dot edu for further registration instructions and details.

Event Sponsorship
For those who may be interested in becoming an event sponsor, various level sponsor plans are available. For more information regarding event sponsorship, please contact:

Hiro Nishinaka at event at svs100 dot com or by phone at 323-287-7041.

SVNJ eBook Series New Publication

This book examines various aspects of information governance in Japan, utilizing comparative and historical perspectives. The aim is threefold: 1) to explore Japan’s society, politics, and economy through a critical but hitherto under-examined vantage that we believe cuts to the core of what modern societies are built with—information; 2) articulate a set of components which can be used to analyze other countries from the vantage of information governance; and 3) provide frameworks of reference to analyze each component.

Kenji Kushida, Yuko Kasuya, Eiji Kawabata, ed.
"Information Governance in Japan: Towards a New Comparative Paradigm" (SV-NJ e-Book series)

The eBook is available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Information-Governance-Japan-Comparative-Paradigm-ebook/dp/B01FRXHKUW

Managing Open Innovation: Lessons from Harnessing Silicon Valley

A panel discussion on Managing Open Innovation: Lessons from Harnessing Silicon Valley was held on Monday, May 23 at Stanford University's Bechtel Conference Center. Panelists for the event were Joanna Drake Earl, General Partner, Core Ventures Group, Gen Isayama, Co-Founder and CEO, World Innovation Lab, and David Swanson, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, SAP SuccessFactors. The discussion’s interlocutor was Kenji Kushida, Shorenstein APARC Japan Program Research Associate and Silicon Valley-New Japan Project Leader.

The panel brought together expertise from multiple vantages-- SAP from Germany, which has a major presence in Silicon Valley, World Innovation Lab (WiL) which works with large Japanese companies in a variety of ways, and Core Venture Group, a boutique San Francisco venture capital firm and explored the broad perspectives and specific insights on how large outside firms can successfully harness Silicon Valley.



Google Big Data Leader gives talk on "Big Data: Lessons from the Field"

On Wednesday, May 18, Gaurav Kataria, Big Data leader at Google who is responsible for driving Production Adoption initiatives across various Google for Work product lines - Gmail, Drive, G+, Hangouts, Google Docs, Drive, Android and Chrome gave a seminar as part of the Silicon Valley-New Japan Project Public Forum Series. Gaurav shared his perspective on how to create a data-driven organization and the specific capabilities businesses need to develop to harness the power of machine intelligence.



Forbes Japan highlights New Economy Summit (NEST) 2016

Forbes Japan highlights the New Economy Summit (NEST) 2016 in an article published on April 25. SV-NJ participated in NEST with Kenji Kushida as part of the planning committee. He moderated a panel on medical innovation with the aim of going beyond innovations in medical fields themselves to make connections to harnessing Silicon Valley and new ways of Japanese engaging with the world.

The article (in Japanese) can be found here: http://forbesjapan.com/articles/detail/11856

New Economy Summit (NEST) 2016 in Japan

On April 7 and April 8, 2016, the Japan Association of New Economy (JANE) held its annual New Economy Summit (NEST) at the Hotel New Otani in Tokyo.


The event opened with a startup pitch contest with esteemed VCs from Silicon Valley as judges. Panels included topics such as Fintech, Japan's Startup scene, innovation in India, medical innovation, drones, the sharing economy, philanthropy, and others. Keynotes included the Prime Minister of Estonia, which has a remarkably advanced implementation of Information Technology (IT) in government, and a talk by Andy Rubin, who invented the Android operating system which was bought by Google, focusing on his new robotics project. 

Videos of the sessions will be uploaded to the NEST website when available. 


and the program and list of speakers can be found here: http://nest.jane.or.jp/en/program/



SV-NJ participated in NEST with Kenji Kushida as part of the planning committee. He moderated the panel on medical innovation with the aim of going beyond the incredible innovations in medical fields themselves to make links to Silicon Valley, Japan's new regulatory framework for regenerative medicine, and extend the discussion to Japan's brain circulation. He invited: Keita Mori, founder of San Bio, which began in Silicon Valley but moved to Japan when the regulatory framework for regenerative medicine in Japan allowed for the shortest time to market in a 2015 revision of the Pharmaceutical Law; Tadahisa Kagimoto, founder of Healios; and Hiroshi Mikitani invited Hisataka Kobayashi, a scientist at the US National Institute of Health, who is undertaking breakthrough research and commercializing it through a startup supported by Mr. Mikitani. 


More pictures of NEST available on the JANE Facebook page as well. 


Japanese Pitch Night

On March 10, 2016, NEDO Silicon Valley, in collaboration with the Silicon Valley Forum, presented Japanese Pitch Night,  hosted by GSVLabs, which included 1) a pitch contest for startups from Japan, 2) a keynote speech, and  3) a panel discussion about Silicon Valley and Japan.

1) Startup Pitch startups included Drivemode, Eyes Japan, Brand Pit, APSAM, DyNARNA, Cognitee, eNFC, QDLaser. Judges included prominent Silicon Valley venture capitalists Steve goldberg, Partner at Venrock, Toshiya Otani, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Translink Capital, and Bill Reichert, Managing Director of Garage Technology Ventures. The winner was DyNARNA, founded by Nagoya University scientists who developed a new way to rapidly synthesizes proteins. 

2) The keynote speech was by Ramona Pierson, CEO of Declara, who shared her inspirational story of being in a coma for 18 months and rebuilding much of her body after getting hit by a car, and her belief in radical collaboration in learning. 

3) The panel discussion was moderated by Kenji Kushida, with panelists Steve Goldberg, Partner at Venrock, Gen Isayama, Co-Founder and CEO of WiL, and Zafer Younis, Venture Partner at 500 Startups. Some themes for Japanese entrepreneurs that emerged included: 1) Marketing, rather than a "build it and they will come" mentality 2) Go to Silicon Valley, 3) Communication -- the importance of learning the Silicon Valley communication style with good ideas up front, and 4) Don't intimidate yourself