The Cross-Pacific Technology Innovation (TIP) Seminar, a collaboration between METI Japan, NEDO Silicon Valley, and the Stanford Silicon Valley - New Japan Project was held on March 11th at the Four Seasons in Palo Alto, CA. The event was designed to bring together Japan's technology entrepreneurs and Silicon Valley's venture community and to increase awareness of the bilateral opportunities for Silicon Valley to collaborate with Japan's most innovative startups.
The seminar featured a keynote address by Dr. Kenji Kushida titled "Silicon Valley and Japan: Towards a New Paradigm of Synergy and a New Conversation" which introduced some of the ways in which Japanese companies can harness Silicon Valley by highlighting Japan's existing strengths and challenges facing Silicon Valley, which create opportunities. Kushida stressed the importance of cultivating robust interpersonal networks through which shared experiences and information can help to reduce the hurdles faced by Japanese companies entering Silicon Valley.
The second keynote was delivered by Nobutaka Takeo, who introduced a new program by the Japanese Government to provide support for early stage investors and accelerators.
Following a the two keynote speakers, a panel discussion was moderated by Yoshiaki Tojo (Chief Executive Director, JETRO/Advisor, NEDO). Panelists included: Gen Isayama (Co-founder, CEO, WiL), Tom Kelly (Partner, IDEO), Dr. Ikkei Matsuda (Founder, CEO, SARR), Robert Pearlstein (Executive Director of Corporate and International Business Development, SRI International), addressed some of the opportunities and challenges concerning investing in Japan.
Lastly, twelve startups gave their pitches to the audience. The teams included: TAP Team, Skysea Pharmaceutical Inc., TL Genomics Inc., Bluespin Inc., Aqua Feronia, SnG Inc., IDEAQUEST Inc., Incubation Alliance Inc., Pi-Crystal Inc., Lotus Alloy Co. Ltd, and GreenPeptide Co. Ltd.