2019 Schedule




Opening Remarks

Richard Dasher, PhD; Director of Stanford University’s US-Asia Technology Management Center and Moderator of the Symposium
Tomochika Uyama, Consul General of Japan in San Francisco



Innovations Driving the Interactive Entertainment Industry: A US-Japan Perspective

Introduction by:

Austin Noronha is Managing Director of the Sony Innovation Fund and heads up the Growth Ventures & Innovation group at Sony Corporation of America. In this role, he and his team are dedicated to investing in and engaging with promising early-stage companies.

Austin joined Sony in 2001 as Director of Strategic Investments. Prior to joining Sony, Austin was founder and CEO of TrueScope Technologies, an immersive video product and services start-up. He has spent over 25 years in Silicon Valley at both, large multinational corporations and start-ups.

Austin holds a master’s degree from Michigan Tech, and a bachelor’s degree from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, India.



Shawn Layden is Chairman of Worldwide Studios for PlayStation, where he oversees all first-party game strategy and development. Layden has extensive experience in the consumer electronics and digital entertainment industries, including more than 20 years at PlayStation.

Previously, Layden was President & CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment America, leading the PlayStation business in the United States, Canada and Latin America. Prior to that, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Sony Network Entertainment International, responsible for global marketing, sales, and network retail operations for PlayStation Network. He also served as President of Sony Computer Entertainment Japan and was Vice President, International Software Development, at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.

Layden graduated from the University of Notre Dame.


SunBridge Emerging Leader Awards

Eric was corporate vice president of engineering at Cisco, where he was responsible for Cisco’s collaboration software development. Eric was one of the founding engineers and vice president of engineering at Webex. Between 1997 and 2011, he grew his team from 10 engineers to more than 800 worldwide, and contributed to revenue growth from $0 to more than $800M.

In 2017, Eric was added to the Business Insider list of the 52 Most Powerful People in Enterprise Tech. In 2018, he was named the #1 CEO of a large US company by Glassdoor and EY Entrepreneur of the Year in Northern California (software category). Eric is a named inventor on 11 issued and 20 pending patents in real time collaboration.

Eric earned a certification from the Stanford University Executive Program.

WHILL (Japan)

Sugie began his career with NISSAN’s Technical Center. Exploring the world, he taught Japanese in several countries, including China, Lao and Papua New Guinea. Upon return to Japan, he founded Smile Park, an engineering startup and focused on new product development, co-founding the WHILL project in 2011.

Sugie moved to San Francisco, California in 2012, to become the company’s CEO. He has been named 40 Under 40 by the Silicon Valley Business Journal for 2017.

Panel Discussion:

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.




Japan’s Surprising Source of Innovation


Tim Romero is a Tokyo-based entrepreneur, podcaster and author who has started four companies and led Japan market entry for others since coming to Japan more than 25 years ago.Tim hosts the Disrupting Japan podcast, Tim is CTO of TEPCO Ventures and teaches corporate innovation and entrepreneurship at the NYU Tokyo campus. Tim is deeply involved in Japan’s startup community as an investor, founder and mentor.

Allison is an investor at Trinity Ventures where she focuses on technology that shapes the future of work. Previously, Allison was co-founder and managing partner of Fresco Capital, a global seed fund with offices in Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Menlo Park. During her time at Fresco, Allison raised and deployed a total of US $40 million across 70 early stage education technology, enterprise software, and digital healthcare companies. In 2016, she was named by Forbes as one of the Top 30 Under 30 in Finance in Asia.

Allison started her career on Wall Street trading Equity Derivatives at Goldman Sachs in New York. She joined General Assembly as an early product manager and then launched their Asia business while based in Hong Kong (General Assembly sold to Adecco for $413 million in 2018). Allison has an A.B. in Economics with Honors, a minor in Film Studies, and a language citation in French from Harvard University. She is a regular news commentator on BloombergTV, Recode, VentureBeat, and Quartz, aswell as an active member of the World Economic Forum Global Shaper’s Community


Innovation Showcase

Atonarp has developed the industry’s smartest and most discerning molecular cameras designed to conveniently perform molecular analysis, revealing powerful insights with actionable data. Engineered in Tokyo and Silicon Valley, Atonarp’s inventions are revolutionizing the way the world senses, collects, processes and interprets molecular data.

Cinnamon AI is working to make a world where human creativity and potential can flourish by using its AI technology to replace all the repetitive, mind-numbing tasks that take place today. Cinnamon AI’s main product is an AI Document Reader to automate the data extraction from unstructured documents.

Four years ago, Kyulux was established to develop next generation materials for OLED displays and lighting. Based on exclusively-licensed technology from Kyushu University, Kyulux develops Hyperfluorescence™ TADF emitters that will enable cost-effective, durable and efficient OLEDs that do not rely on rare metals. TADF emitters are believed to be the future of OLEDS, and Kyulux is a driving force for this change.

Triple W, an innovator of connected health devices, empowers people with incontinence to live without worries. Triple W is the developer of DFree®, the world’s first connected health wearable device for people who suffer from incontinence. DFree tracks the progression of bladder size using a non-invasive and non-harmful ultrasound sensor. DFree will help seniors, children and disabled people who need to manage incontinence by predicting when their bladder is full and notifying them when it’s the right time to go to the bathroom.

As a pioneer in AI and predictive analytics, VALUENEX is an innovator and industry leader in the unstructured data analytics realm, providing the most dynamically visualized and precise Big Data analytics software solutions, along with the highest-quality consulting expertise and in-house analyst training.

Q&A by Ken Yasunaga, Managing Director, Value Creation Investment Group, Innovation Network Corporation of Japan

5:15 – 5:20PM

Closing Remarks

C. Lawrence Greenwood, President of Japan Society of Northern California


Innovation Awards Symposium Reception

Sponsored by MUFG Union Bank

Prior Events Agenda