Past Events

10th Annual Japan-US Innovation Awards Symposium

Combining the best of Japanese creativity and American entrepreneurial skill to create unimaginable opportunities

The Japan – U.S. Innovation Awards Symposium is a signature event of the Innovation Awards Program, organized by the Japan Society of Northern California in cooperation with the Stanford University US-Asia Technology Management Center.

The 2019 symposium was held Friday, July 26, 2019 at the Stanford University Arrillaga Alumni Center from 1:30 – 6:00 p.m. 

2020 SunBridge Emerging Leaders

2020 Innovation Showcase

2020 Schedule

Day 1: SunBridge Emerging Leader Awards & Panel Discussion

July 14, 2020 (Pacific Time) & July 15, 2020 (Japan Time)

4:30-4:35 PM (PST)
8:30-8:35 AM (Japan)

Welcome

Richard Dasher, PhD; Director of Stanford University’s US-Asia Technology Management Center and Moderator of the Symposium

4:35-4:40 PM (PST)
8:35-8:40 AM (Japan)

Opening Remarks

Consul General Toru Maeda, Consul General of Japan in San Francisco

4:40-5:10 PM (PST)
8:40-9:10 AM (Japan)

Prior Winner Report + Q&A (2011 Emerging Leader Awardee | Tesla)

Kurt Kelty Photo

Kurt Kelty is the VP of Automotive at Sila Nano where he leads Business Development, Sales, and Marketing for the Automotive market. He brings more than 25 years of experience in the battery industry, including 11 years at Tesla, where he most recently served as Senior Director of Battery Technology. There he was responsible for leading numerous key initiatives, including setting the company’s battery cell usage strategy, delivering the batteries implemented in the Roadster, Model S/X and Model 3, and leading partnerships and material sourcing efforts at the Gigafactory, among many others. Prior to Tesla, Kelty was Director of Business Development at Panasonic, where he founded the U.S. battery R&D lab.

Kelty holds a BA in Biology from Swarthmore College and a Master of Science from Stanford. He is the author of 16 patents.

 

Moderated by: Richard Dasher

5:10-5:20 PM (PST)
9:10-9:20 AM (Japan)

Sponsor Presentations

5:20-5:30 PM (PST)
9:20-9:30 AM (Japan)

 

Break | Exhibitor Sponsor Presentation

5:30-6:00 PM (PST)
9:30-10:00 AM (Japan)

SunBridge Emerging Leader Awards Presentation

Introduction by:

Allen Miner Photo

Allen is the Founder and Chairman of SunBridge Corporation. Allen is one of Japan’s leading venture capitalists and angel investors with significant experience in internet, enterprise software, entrepreneurship and international business development. He and his firm were early backers of many innovative Japanese startups including Macromil, ITMedia and G-Mode and have been instrumental in the Japan market success of Salesforce.com, Concur, Marketo and others.

Through the Miner Foundation, he provides funding, guidance, and support to a variety of organizations furthering social innovation and entrepreneurship in Japan. Upon his graduation from Brigham Young University, Allen joined Oracle Corporation in 1986, where he subsequently founded and helped lead Oracle Japan. He has been recognized by Forbes and Always On as one of the world’s 100 top technology investors.

Spiber Inc. (Japan)

Kazuhide Sekiyama Photo

Kazuhide Sekiyama, born in Tokyo in 1983, serves as Director and Representative Executive Officer of Spiber Inc. He co-founded the company in 2007 while studying Bioinformatics at Keio University. As part of its mission to help build a sustainable society, Spiber is engaged in the development and industrialisation of Brewed Protein™, structural protein materials produced from plant-derived feedstocks through a microbial fermentation process.

6:00-6:30 PM (PST)
10:00-10:30 AM (Japan)

SunBridge Emerging Leader Awards Panel Discussion

Panelists:

Daniel Meyer Photo

Daniel Meyer is originally from the West Coast, USA, but has spent the last ten years doing business in Japan. Daniel has a passion for helping synthetic biology startups unlock their potential on a global stage. He is currently the Head of Global Corporate Planning at Spiber, a company revolutionizing fashion apparel and industrial materials by brewing proteins, as well as a Director at Synplogen, a DNA synthesis startup spun out of Kobe University.

Allen Miner Photo

Allen is the Founder and Chairman of SunBridge Corporation. Allen is one of Japan’s leading venture capitalists and angel investors with significant experience in internet, enterprise software, entrepreneurship and international business development. He and his firm were early backers of many innovative Japanese startups including Macromil, ITMedia and G-Mode and have been instrumental in the Japan market success of Salesforce.com, Concur, Marketo and others.

Through the Miner Foundation, he provides funding, guidance, and support to a variety of organizations furthering social innovation and entrepreneurship in Japan. Upon his graduation from Brigham Young University, Allen joined Oracle Corporation in 1986, where he subsequently founded and helped lead Oracle Japan. He has been recognized by Forbes and Always On as one of the world’s 100 top technology investors.

6:30-6:35 PM (PST)
10:30-10:35 AM (Japan)

Closing Remarks

Takahide Akiyama, President of Japan Society of Northern California

Richard Dasher

Day 2: Innovation Showcase Awards & Keynote Speech

July 21, 2020 (Pacific Time) & July 22, 2020 (Japan Time)

4:30-4:35 PM (PST)
8:30-8:35 AM (Japan)

Opening Remarks

Richard Dasher, PhD; Director of Stanford University’s US-Asia Technology Management Center and Moderator of the Symposium

4:35-4:45 PM (PST)
8:35-8:45 AM (Japan)

Two Seed Sponsors Presentation

4:45-5:25 PM (PST)
8:45-9:25 AM (Japan)

Keynote Speaker Presentation + Q&A

5:25-5:35 PM (PST)
9:25-9:35 AM (Japan)

 

Break

5:35-5:40 PM (PST)
9:35-9:40 AM (Japan)

One Seed Sponsor Presentation

5:40-6:35 PM (PST)
9:40-10:35 AM (Japan)

Innovation Showcase Awards Presentation

Introduction by:

Ken Yasunaga, Managing Director, Value Creation Investment Group, Innovation Network Corporation of Japan

Satoru Watanabe, President + CEO, Maximize, Inc.

Tadashi Kubo Photo

12-year work experience at Sojitz Corp on business development and project finance about battery, machinery, infrastructure, renewable energy, mainly in Africa and Latin America. Having worked in Asia, Angola, and Brazil, Tadashi holds an MBA from Judge Business School, the University of Cambridge. A former Bronze Medalist at the Feather Weight Class of Japan’s National Boxing.

Sun Xiaojun Photo

Sun had his right leg amputated at the age of 9, then spent 15 years on crutches until when he came to Japan as an exchange student and put on a prosthetic leg for the first time. Sun joined Sony as an engineer after graduating from the University of Tokyo. In his daily life, Sun realized the inconvenience caused by the lack of function of existing prosthetic legs. Aiming to improve the prosthetic leg, he retired from Sony, entered a doctoral program at the University of Tokyo, and engaged in research on robotic prostheses. In 2018, founded BionicM Inc.

Hazumu Yamazaki Photo

Hazumu is Co-founder and CSO of Empath, a Tokyo-based startup developing an emotion AI, which can identify emotion from the voice in real-time regardless of the language. He won multiple international pitch competitions such as IFA Next 2019 (Berlin) and Pitch Your Startup at ICT Spring 2018 (Luxembourg), which led him to be a pitch coach for J-Startup program supported by Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry and Slush Tokyo.

Masa Ando Photo

Masa brings extensive experience to MUSCA from a distinguished career at Mitsui & Co., Ltd. His leadership and management drove commercial, business and financial development, contributing to successful investment decisions in the energy sector. Following his appointment as Managing Director of Mozambique Finance at Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Masa served as Head of PMO, Fundraising and Planning for a public-private joint venture led by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

Masa holds an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management, and a BSocSc from Hitotsubashi University.

Mitsuru Sugawara Photo

Mitsuru SUGAWARA, Dr. Eng. is the founder, President & CEO of QD Laser, Inc. In 1984, he started his career at Fujitsu Laboratories, Ltd. as one of the pioneers of quantum dot semiconductor laser technology. He became research professor at The Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo in 2004, deputy director of Nanotechnology Research Center, Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. in 2005, and founded QD Laser in 2006.

He has received many awards including IEEE Photonic Society Aron Kressel Award in 2014, Photonic West PRISM AWARDS 2017 for laser precision processing, and 2019 for retinal laser projection technology.

6:35-6:40 PM (PST)
10:35-10:40 AM (Japan)

Commentary by Morgan Lewis

6:40-6:43 PM (PST)
10:40-10:43 AM (Japan)

Closing Remarks

Takahide Akiyama, President of Japan Society of Northern California

6:43-7:30 PM (PST)
10:43-11:30 AM (Japan)

Networking Reception