Silicon Valley-New Japan Summit Mentioned in the Nikkei

The Silicon Valley-New Japan Summit was mentioned in an article published by the Nikkei this morning!

The article, roughly translates to "The Rise of Silicon Valley's 'Third VC Boom.'" Developments in AI, IoT and Big Data technologies in Silicon Valley have resulted in a new wave of VC investments. Large Japanese corporations have recently been actively partaking in this wave, investing CVC in innovative startups and establishing branches in the heart of Silicon Valley. The article mentions our efforts to try to connect these Japanese firms with Silicon Valley startups, and help Japanese firms better harness Silicon Valley. 

Click here for full article (in Japanese only)  



Working, Earning, Learning in the Age of Intelligent Tools

On November 29-Dec 1, 2017, the Stanford Silicon Valley-New Japan Project co-sponsored a symposium on “Working, Earning, and Learning in the Age of Intelligent Tools” at UC Berkeley. The conference was a joint production by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy, the UC Berkeley Center for Human-Compatible AI, the UC Berkeley Institute of European Studies, the UC Center for Information Technology Research in the Interests of Society, UC Davis Community and Regional Development Program, The American Jobs Project, the German Federal Ministry for Labor and Social Affairs, The German Academic Exchange Service, and the Stanford Silicon Valley-New Japan Project. This closed event brought together an interdisciplinary and international group of about 80 researchers from the fields of engineering and data science, economics, sociology, and political science, to explore the challenges we face in the age of intelligent tools and computation-intensive automation of manufacturing and services, and how we might find ways of working, earning, and learning that support the healthy development of our societies and economies and the humans who inhabit them, going forward.

See list of speakers below. 


List of speakers (Alphabetical by last name):

Paul Alivisatos, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, UC Berkeley

Alexandre Bayen, Professor of EECS and Civil and Environmental Engineering and Director of the Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley

Annette Bernhardt, Director, Low-Wage Work Program, Center for Labor Research and Education; Senior Researcher, Institute for Researcher, Institute for Research on Labor and Employment

Michael Borrus, Founding Partner, XSeed Capital; Co-Founder, BRIE

Stijn Broecke, OECD, Senior Economist, Directorate of Employment, Labour and Social Affairs

Brad DeLong, Professor of Economics, UC Berkeley

Giovanni Dosi, Professor of Economics and Director of Institute of Economics, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna

Chris Edley, Distinguished Professor and former Dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law; Co-Founder and President, the Opportunity Institute

Stuart Feldman, Head of Schmidt Sciences, Schmidt Sciences

Ken Goldberg, William S. Floyd Jr. Distinguished Chair in Engineering, UC Berkeley; Chair and Professor, Industrial Engineering/Operations Research Department; Director of AUTOLAB and CITRIS “People and Robots” Initiative

Montserrat Gomendio, OECD Deputy Director, Directorate for Education and Skills, Head of the OECD Centre for Skills

Jennifer Granholm, Faculty Member at UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy; Senior Advisor, CITRIS; Former Governor of Michigan

Bjoern Hartmann, Associate Professor in EECS, Faculty Director of the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation, UC Berkeley

Stéphanie Jamet, OECD, Directorate for Education and Skills, Senior Economist

Phil Kaminsky, Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations and Executive Associate Dean of the College of Engineering, UC Berkeley

Stephane Kasriel, CEO, Upwork

Martin Kenney, Distinguished Professor of Community and Regional Development, UC Davis

Helmut Krcmar, Chair of Information Systems, Department of Computer Science, Technische Universitat Munchen

Kenji Kushida, Research Scholar, Stanford University; Research Affiliate, BRIE

Mark Kvamme, Co-founder and Partner, Drive Capital

Susan Lund, Partner, Mckinsey Global Institute

Lenny Mendonca, Senior Partner Emeritus, Mckinsey

Niels Christina Nielsen, CEO World Refugee Schools

Mark Nitzberg, Executive Director of the Center for Human-Compatible Artificial Intelligence

Tim O’Reilly, CEO, O’Reilly Media

Lee Rainie, Pew Research Center, Director of Internet and Technology Research

Petri Rouvinen, Research Director, Research Institute of the Finnish Economy; CEO, Etlatieto

Shankar Sastry, Dean of the College of Engineering, UC Berkeley

Patrick Scaglia, Managing Partner, Blue Bear Ventures; Co-founder, CITRIS Foundry Accelerator

Stefano Scarpetta, OECD, Director, Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs

Hanne Shapiro, Business owner, Hanne Shapiro Futures

Andreas Schleicher, OECD, Director, Directorate of Education and Skills

Costas Spanos, Director CITRIS and the Banatao Institute, Distinguished Professor of EECS; Chief Technical Officer of the Berkeley Education Alliance for Research in Singapore, UC Berkeley

Mariagrazia Squicciarini, OECD, Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry, Senior Economist

Claire Tomlin, Charles A. Desoer Chair in the College of Engineering, Professor in EECS at UC Berkeley

Laura Tyson, Distinguished Professor of the Graduate School and Faculty Director of the Institute for Business & social Impact, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business; Chair, Blum Center for Developing Economies

Hal Varian, Chief Economist, Google

Mary Walshok, Dean of the University Extension and Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Programs, UC San Diego

Andrew Wyckoff, OECD, Director, Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation

Saadia Zahidi, Head of Education, Gender and Work; Member of the Executive Committee: World Economic Forum

John Zysman, Professor Emeritus, BRIE Founder/Co-Director, Convener- WITS University of California, Berkeley

Silicon Valley-New Japan Summit 2017 (Silicon Valley)

The Silicon Valley - New Japan Summit 2017 is over! We want to say a huge thank you to our sponsors, co-hosts, and staff for making this event possible, and of course to all of our participants who made this event the success that it was. We had a total of about 500+ attendees of the course of the two-days, with 65 Silicon Valley startups and over 100 large Japanese companies. 

The summit, in its second year, was broken up into two days - the first day was entirely in Japanese, and the second day in English. This year’s summit featured keynotes from Executive Chairman of RENOVA, Sachio Semmoto, and CEO of StartX, Joseph Huang, and also highlighted some interesting Japanese large firm and Silicon Valley startup partnerships, featuring panel discussions with Softbank and Aeris, and Panasonic and Citrine Informatics. This year we heard pitches from 30 innovative startups, including firms such as Skycatch, Coinbase, Cylance etc.

A longer report is forthcoming.  


Day 1

Day 2

10 Worst Practices by Japanese Companies: The Sequel

In February, in an interview piece with Ishin, Kenji Kushida discussed 10 of the worst practices by Japanese companies attempting to harness Silicon Valley. 

In a second interview piece with Ishin, Kushida discusses a new set of worst practices, discussing the areas in which Japanese firms and Silicon Valley firms might feel disconnect, and suggesting ways in which Japanese firms can better harness Silicon Valley. 

The article (in Japanese) is available online via the link below. 

[続編] シリコンバレーの日本企業は陥る、10のワーストプラクティス


Nikkei Finsum Week 2017

Kenji Kushida participated in the Nikkei Finsum Week 2017 in September. He held a fireside chat with SBI Holdings CEO Kitao Yoshitaka. He also moderated a panel with fintech firms that had experienced and were planning ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) and participated in a panel discussion on the future regulation and social issues in a cross-border talk. 

photo3 Fireside_preview.jpeg

New Book Chapter on Blockchain

Kenji Kushida's new book chapter, "Blockchain, a Silicon Valley Vantage on its Potential and Challenges" was published in new book, "The Future of Blockchain: How it will impact finance, industry, and society" edited by Yuri Okina, Noriyuki Yanagawa, and Naoyuki Iwashita.

The book is an investigation of the potential and challenges of adopting a disruptive technology such as blockchain. Experts on blockchain applications explain the concept of blockchain, how it is being utilized in a variety of areas, and its wide-range impact on economy, industry, business and society, based on cases in Japan and overseas. 


The book is part of a NIRA project, and is now available on Amazon. 


Press Conference for the Silicon Valley - New Japan Summit 2017

The Silicon Valley-New Japan Summit 2017 that will be held here at Stanford University is right around the corner. Last week, we held our first press conference in Tokyo, with the heads of JMA and Ishin Group. 

The summit, which will take place at the end of November, follows the success of both the Silicon Valley-New Japan Summit 2016 at Stanford, in which over 50 Silicon Valley startups participated, and over 400 people attended, and the Silicon Valley New Japan Summit 2017 Tokyo this past June in Japan, that saw about 600 attendees. With a growing interest in open innovation from both large firms and startups, our hope is to create opportunities for the exchanging of ideas, and facilitation of collaborations.

The event will be jointly produced with the Japan Management Association (JMA) and Ishin Group, and will be held here at Stanford University.

Article in Japanese


Silicon Valley - New Japan Summit Tokyo

On Tuesday, June 27, 2017, Ishin and the Stanford Silicon Valley – New Japan Project co-hosted the Silicon Valley – New Japan Summit 2017 Tokyo.

The event kicked off with a VIP dinner on Monday, June 26, for our speakers/panelists and supporters, that featured a talk from Kenji Kushida, and a toast from KDDI founder, Dr. Sachio Semmoto.

On Tuesday, June 27, nearly 600 policy makers, startups, VCs, company executives and employees, aspiring entrepreneurs, academics and other interested parties gathered at the Azusa Center Building in Iidabashi. The day began with introductory remarks from Yoshiaki Ishii from METI, a keynote speech from Kenji Kushida, and an introduction to open innovation by Naomi Nagatomi from Fujitsu, and later on by KPMG Partner Hiroshi Kinoshita. During the day we had some great conversations with Nori Matsuda, Ryoichi Togashi from Komatsu, Naoki “Nick” Sugimoto from Honda, and a second keynote speech by the riveting Dr. Semmoto. The program was interspersed with presentations from innovative and exciting startups, including Skycatch inc., DocuSign, App Annie, and Rancher Labs.

We would like to thank all of our speakers, and all of the supporters who made this event possible, and as successful as it was.

On November 28 and 29 we will hold a bigger version of this event at Stanford Unviersity. This event will feature pitches and business matching with over 60 Silicon Valley startups, and boot-camp activities and talks in English and Japanese over the course of two days. Registration page will be ready soon, so we hope you will be able to join us! 

"10 Worst Practices by Japanese Companies in Silicon Valley" Cited In Nikkei Column

Kushida's article, "10 Worst Practices by Japanese Companies in Silicon Valley" published by Ishin, was cited in CEO & Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Ventures and Laboratory Silicon Valley, Hiro Saijo's most recent column in Nikkei (Japanese only). In his column, Saijo discusses the importance of purpose and reciprocity when forming strategic partnerships with Silicon Valley firms. 

The SV Startups 100 Interviews Honda Silicon Valley Lab Senior Program Director, Naoki (Nick) Sugimoto

SV-NJ strategic partner, and creator of the Silicon Valley Startups 100, Ishin, interviewed Honda Silicon Valley Lab Senior Program Director Naoki (Nick) Sugimoto last month (article in Japanese). In the interview, Sugimoto discusses Honda's collaborations with Google and Apple, and the recent announcement of a partnership with VISA, and Silicon Valley startup, Drivemode.

Honda is discussed as a case study of interesting and innovative attempts at open innovation by Japanese companies in Silicon Valley in the most recent SV-NJ working paper.

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:

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."