2021 Schedule
Day 1: SunBridge Emerging Leader Awards & Panel Discussion

July 8, 2021 (Pacific Time) & July 9, 2021 (Japan Time)

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


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

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

Opening Remarks

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

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

Prior Winner Report + Q&A 2015 Innovation Showcase Awardee | Cloudian

Michael holds 36 patents and has been a technology trailblazer for over 25 years. Prior to Cloudian, Michael co-founded Gemini Mobile Technologies, a leader in telcomessaging systems. At Inktomi, he developed an e-commerce search engine and the world’s first wireless data congestion control protocol. At Intel, Michael invented Narrowband Sockets, starting the ringtone download industry. Michael’s data synchronization patents propelled IntelliSync into a multi-billion dollar enterprise. At Xerox PARC, he developed the first wireless, location aware, wearable touch tablet. Michael graduated from MIT with MS and BS degrees in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, and a minor in Economics.

5:10-5:15 PM (PDT)
9:10-9:15 AM (Japan)

Sponsor Presentation

Series A Investor | Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

  • Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP |  Nancy Yamaguchi, Partner

5:15-5:25 PM (PDT)
9:15-9:25 AM (Japan)

Break | Exhibitor Presentations

    • Digital Garage
    • fabbit
    • JETRO
    • Kozo Keikaku Engineering, Inc.
    • Rakuten USA, Inc.

5:25-5:55 PM (PDT)
9:25-9:55 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, 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.

Othman Laraki | Chief Executive Officer & Co-founder

Othman Laraki is Color’s co-founder and CEO. He spent several years at Google, where he worked on performance infrastructure and client-side software, including the Google Chrome browser. After leaving Google, he co-founded MixerLabs, which was acquired by Twitter in 2009. At Twitter, Othman was the Vice President of Product, helping create the company’s first revenue products and grow the user base from 50 to200 million users. Othman holds degrees in computer science and management from Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a long-time investor and advisor to leading companies such as Pinterest, AngelList, Slack, Instacart and others.

Chris Blackerby | Group COO of Astroscale 

As Group COO of Astroscale, Chris leads the global strategic development for the company. Prior to Astroscale, Chris held several key positions at NASA, including Executive Director of the NASA Advisory Council and the NASA Attaché for Asia. In that capacity he identified multiple opportunities for cooperation in the region; served as strategic space advisor to the US Ambassador to Japan and senior US Government officials; and acted as an official intermediary between NASA and its partners in Asia in negotiating agreements and resolving disputes. Chris holds an MBA from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.

5:55-6:25 PM (PDT)
9:55-10:25 AM (Japan)

SunBridge Emerging Leader Awards Panel Discussion

Moderated by: Richard Dasher


  • Chris Blackerby | Group COO, Astroscale
  • Othman Laraki | CEO & Co-foudner, Color
  • Allen Miner | Founder + Chairman, SunBridge

6:25-6:30 PM (PDT)
10:25-10:30 AM (Japan)

Sponsor Presentation

Seed Investor | NTT Group (NTT Research)

  • Kazuhiro Gomi, President and CEO

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

Closing Remarks

Takahide Akiyama, President of the Japan Society of Northern California

Day 2: Innovation Showcase Awards, Keynote Speech & Networking Reception

July 15, 2021 (Pacific Time) & July 16, 2021 (Japan Time)

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


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

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

Commentary by Jason Gettleman | Partner, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

4:40-5:00 PM (PDT)
8:40-9:00 AM (Japan)

Keynote Speaker Fireside Chat

Tomoko Namba founded DeNA Co. Ltd. in Tokyo in 1999 and, as CEO, built the firm into one of Japan’s most prominent technology conglomerates. She stepped down from the position in 2011 while remaining an active board member and a key executive leader at the company. Namba became DeNA’sChair in June 2015. She also recently co-founded Delight Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm, and serves as one of the Managing Partners. Namba has been part of the Growth Strategy Conference, an advisory body to the Japanese Cabinet, and promotes entrepreneurship in the country. This year, Namba again made history when she became the first-ever woman named to be a Vice-Chair of the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) in the 75-year history of the nation’s most influential business association.

Tomoko Namba, Founder & Executive Chairman, DeNA Co., Ltd.

5:00-5:10 PM (PDT)
9:00-9:10 AM (Japan)

Seed Sponsor Presentations

Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas)

  • Nobuyuki Baba, Senior Vice President, General Manager of Silicon Valley Branch
Google for Startups
  • Tim Romero, Head of Google for Startups Japan

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

Break | Exhibitor Presentations

    • Digital Garage
    • fabbit
    • JETRO
    • Kozo Keikaku Engineering, Inc.
    • Rakuten USA, Inc.

5:20-6:30 PM (PDT)
9:20-10:30 AM (Japan)

Innovation Showcase Awards Presentation

Introduction by:

Ken Yasunaga, CFO, Floadia Corporation

Genki Kanaya | CEO

After graduation, played soccer in the Kansai League to become professional player, but gave up that dream in 2007 and founded akippa, Inc. in 2009. Launched C2C parking spaces marketplace app, “akippa” in 2014. In December 2016, led business partnership with Toyota Motor Corporation and underwriting of investment from its related fund. Since then, raised total of approximately 3.5 billion yen in funding from companies such as SOMPO Holdings, Japan Post Capital, JR East Group, Sumitomo Corporation etc. Selected for one of Nikkei Business Awards as well as Shohei Otani, MLB player, and Masayoshi Son, SoftBank Group Representative.

Akemi Tsunagawa | Founder & CEO

Akemi Tsunagawa is the Founder and CEO of Bespoke, Inc. – an AI startup founded in 2015 and located in Silicon Valley and Tokyo. Bespoke is known for its AI-Powered Customer Engagement Platform for the travel & hospitality industry to drive ancillary sales and to help with crisis management. Prior to Bespoke, Akemi worked with Fidelity International, Deloitte, and Macquarie Capital.

Kimihiko Sato | CEO

Kimihiko Sato started his career at Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company, in the product development department working on actuarial science. He then worked as a management consultant at Boston Consulting Group for seven years, specific to the healthcare industry. Managing a team as a Project Leader, he developed and implemented a broad range of strategies such as mid/long-term corporate growth, new product launch, sales, and manufacturing for global and Japanese pharmaceutical companies. He joined bitBiome Inc. in February 2020 and took on his current role in March 2021.


Koichi Nakamura | Founder & CEO

Koichi Nakamura researched optimizing compiler technology for high-performance computing at the University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Information Science andTechnology, Department of Computer Science. And later founded Idein Inc. with the mission of “Enabling software to handle all kinds of real-world information” The first Japanese to be selected as an Arm Innovator by Arm UK in 2018.

Rick C. Tsai | CEO

Dr. Rick C. Tsai joined LUCA Science as Chief Executive Officer in July 2020. Before joining LUCA Science, he served as Executive Officer and head of Medical Affairs department for MSD K.K./ Merck & Co. During his tenure at MSD, he has also led the Regulatory Affairs and Clinical Development team in multiple therapeutic areas in Japan. Prior to joining the pharmaceutical industry Rick was an Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon and research scientist at New York Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University. Rick holds a DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) degree from Harvard University and MD (Doctor ofMedicine) from Columbia University.

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

Seed Sponsors Presentation

  • Ed Hayward, Director of Staffing, Pasona N A, Inc

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

Closing Remarks

Takahide Akiyama, President of the Japan Society of Northern California

6:40-7:25 PM (PDT)
10:40-11:25 AM (Japan)

Networking Session

akippa Inc. – Genki Kanaya, CEO
Bespoke Inc. – Akemi Tsunagawa, Founder + CEO
bitBiome Inc. – Kimihiko Sato, CEO
Idein Inc. – Koichi Nakamura, Founder + CEO
LUCA Science Inc. – Rick C. Tsai, CEO
Additional Breakout Room Options:
  • Cloudian (Prior Awardee) – Michael Tso
  • Delight Ventures – Dai Watanabe

7:25-7:30 PM (PDT)
11:25-11:30 AM (Japan)

Brief Plenary

  • Allen Miner, Founder + Chairman, SunBridge Group
Prior Events Agenda
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