Past Events

8th Annual JP-US Innovation Awards Symposium

Combining the best of Japanese creativity and American entrepreneurial skill to create unimagined 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 2018 symposium was held Friday, July 13, 2018 at the Stanford University Arrillaga Alumni Center from 1:30 – 6:30 p.m. 

Keynote Speaker: Nest Chief Technology Officer and famed robotics whiz Yoky Matsuoka. Her impressive resume includes working as CEO of health-data startup Quanttus, helping Apple work on its health initiatives in 2016, a professorial role at Carnegie Mellon, and was a founding member of Google X in 2009.

Emerging Leader Awards were presented to a Japanese and a U.S. company demonstrating very rapid growth and a unique, disruptive innovation and/or business model.

And the Innovation Showcase recognized up to five exciting Japanese start-up companies. An invitation-only workshop will be curated for these companies connecting them with Silicon Valley resources and mentoring.


12:30 – 1:30 Registration

1:30 – 1:35 Welcome Remarks by Consul General of Japan in San Francisco Tomochika Uyama

1:35 – 1:45 Innovation Awards Opening Remarks by Symposium Moderator Richard Dasher, PhD; Director of Stanford University’s US-Asia Technology Management Center

1:45 – 2:15 Keynote Speech by Dr. Yoky Matsuoka, NEST Chief Technology Officer; moderated by Richard Dasher, PhD; Director of Stanford University’s US-Asia Technology Management Center

2:15 – 3:15 Emerging Leader Awards Presentation

  • Moderator: Allen Miner, Founder & CEO, SunBridge Corporation

  • Japan Award Winner:

    • MUJIN, Inc., Issei Takino, CEO & Rosen Diankov, Co-Founder

  • US Award Winner:

    • FogHorn Systems, David King, CEO

    • WeWork, Elton Kwok, General Manager, Northern California

3:15 – 3:30 BREAK

3:30 – 4:30 Innovation Showcase Recognition & Panel Discussion

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

  • Participants:

    • ABEJA Inc., Takanori Ogata, Co-Founder & Chief Research Officer

    • Astroscale, Chris Blackerby, COO

    • LPixel, Yuki Shimahara, CEO

    • Infostellar, David Vaccaro, Global Strategy and Business Initiatives

    • ispace

      , Takashi Hakamada, Founder and CEO

4:30 – 5:15 Special Panel Discussion: “Exit Patterns for Japanese Startups”

  • Moderator: Michi Kaifu, CEO, Enotech Consulting

  • Participants:

    • Michael Tso, CEO, Cloudian

    • Kenta


      , CTO, Soracom, Inc.

    • Dr. Koji Osawa, Managing Principal & Co-Founder,Global Catalyst Partners

5:15 – 5:25 Wrap Up by Allen Miner, Founder and CEO of SunBridge Corporation 

5:25 – 5:30 Closing Remarks by C. Lawrence Greenwood, President of Japan Society of Northern California

5:30 – 6:30 Networking Reception

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