Networking Breakout Rooms

Innovation Showcase Company Rooms

Couldn’t get enough during their presentations today? Join the representatives from any of our five Innovation Showcase companies to speak to them directly about their companies’ exciting innovations and more!

Tadashi Kubo Photo

About Tadashi

Tadashi has 12-years of work experience at Sojitz Corp. on business development and project finance in industries such as batteries, machinery, infrastructure, and renewable energy, mainly in Africa and Latin America. Having worked in Asia, Angola, and Brazil, Tadashi holds an MBA from the Judge Business School at University of Cambridge. He is also a former Bronze Medalist in the Featherweight Class of Japan’s National Boxing.

About AC Biode

AC Biode is developing the world’s first standalone AC (Alternating Current) battery instead of DC (Direct Current), as well as special electric circuits for e-mobility and the storage of renewable energy.

Sun Xiaojun Photo

About Sun

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

About BionicM

BionicM Inc. was founded in 2018 and aims to provide a high-functioning robotic prosthesis, based on the humanoid robotics technology developed by Dr. Sun Xiaojun.

Hazumu Yamazaki Photo

About Hazumu

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

About Empath

Empath is developing Emotion AI, which can identify emotion from voices in real-time and regardless of the language.

Masa Ando photo

About Masa

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.


Insect technology firm, MUSCA, has selectively bred houseflies for almost 50 years and over 1,200 generations to solve essential problems in today’s agriculture.

Mitsuru Sugawara Photonic

About QD Laser

QD Laser, Inc. was the first in the world to successfully realize mass production of a quantum dot laser, and delivers new semiconductor laser-based solutions to customers in a broad range of fields.

Additional Rooms & Topics

Kurt Kelty's Breakout Room Description

As Electric Vehicles (EVs) become more common and popular in the global automotive market, what is the future of EVs and how can the technology be further expanded for long-distance/industrial applications?

Join this year’s 2020 Prior Winner Report presenter Kurt Kelty, VP of Automotive at Sila Nano and former Senior Director of Battery Technology at Tesla (2011 Emerging Leader Award Winner), in a casual session to discuss the future of EVs and battery technology in the journey towards electrification on the road.

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

Allen Miner's Breakout Room Description

What are the key strategies for U.S. companies attempting to enter Japan? Join expert Allen Miner of the SunBridge corporation to ask your questions and network with fellow professionals interested in how to successfully navigate operating in Japan.

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 Macromill, ITMedia and G-Mode, and have been instrumental in the Japan market success of Salesforce Japan, Concur, Marketo and others. Allen 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.

Pegasus Tech Ventures Networking Breakout Room

*Language in Japanese (日本語)

What are some of the secrets behind Pegasus Tech Ventures and their Venture Capital as a Service (VCaaS) model, which pairs venture funding with corporate collaboration? How does this model benefit Japanese firms starting new ventures in tech innovation in Silicon Valley? Join Ryosuke Kojima to casually discuss this and other topics. 

MUFG Union Bank's Breakout Room Description

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and MUFG Union Bank are actively involved in digital transformation by adopting and investing in the latest technologies and solutions especially in FinTech. Join this casual and open forum where you can speak with MUFG Union Bank experts about this exciting technology.  MUFG is a leading global financial group backed by 2,700 locations in over 50 countries and regions and offers comprehensive and tailored financial solutions to our clients worldwide.

Nancy Yamaguchi's Breakout Room Description

*Language in Japanese (日本語)

シリコンバレーでは、IT やバイオテクノロジーをはじめ、様々な分野における世界最先端のテクノロジーやサービスが次々と発生しています。シリコンバレーでの共同開発、知的財産権やベンチャー投資の法的分野について、モルガン・ルイスパートナー、ナンシー山口弁護士護士とディスカッションしませんか?

Outside of the technology involved, managing the legal side of R&D and innovation projects in Silicon Valley, especially if you are based outside the U.S., is extremely complex. Join this networking session with Partner at Morgan Lewis and Japan Society board member Nancy Yamaguchi to discuss best practices for running or investing in and working on Silicon Valley innovation initiatives.

Nancy Yamaguchi is a Partner at Morgan Lewis in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. She advises technology companies across the world on cross-border mergers and acquisitions, strategic and venture capital investments and joint ventures. Her clients include companies in the semiconductor, automotive, banking, IT, and software industries, among others. Nancy also has a focus on settlement of disputes, including litigation, and she has successfully settled complex disputes involving technology and intellectual property rights, key employees and equity compensation issues. She counsels clients on best practices on handling legal matters with a view to circumventing litigation or other legal disputes.

Mitsubishi's Breakout Room Description

Mitsubishi established M-Lab in 2016 to promote open innovation among Mitsubishi Corporation and M-Lab company members. Currently they have 11 corporate members and have branched off M-Lab Boston in 2019. M-Lab utilizes their group network as well as its members’ expertise across various industries to create new business opportunities in Silicon Valley innovation and the VC ecosystem. M-Lab engages members in a collaborative process that brings different industries together to enhance innovative R&D activities and share results. M-Lab also aims to grow the presence of Japanese companies in Silicon Valley and make sure that they become active contributors to new technologies that can be effectively commercialized in Japan and throughout the world. Please join Mitsubishi leadership for a casual conversation to learn more about their ongoing initiatives.

Tsunehiko Yanagihara is Executive Vice President at Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas), currently residing in Silicon Valley. He has extensive international business experience, having spent more than 25 years in business management positions within the company. Mr. Yanagihara began his career with Mitsubishi Corporation in 1984 in the Machinery Group. In 1993, he moved to the Chemicals Group and became Managing Director of European Precision Molding B.V. in the Netherlands. He return to Japan in 1999 and served as General Manager at the Life Sciences Business Unit and Bio-Fine Chemicals Unit. From 2010 to 2015, he worked in the Washington, D.C. office as Senior Vice President and General Manager. Most recently, he served as General Manager at the Chemicals Group CEO Office. Mr. Yanagihara holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a B.A. from Amherst College.

NTT's Networking Breakout Room

NTT Group and NTT Data are leading innovators in global telecommunications , IoT, and AI technologies. With the Innovative Optical and Wireless Network (IOWN), NTT aims to provide advanced capabilities of low-power consumption, ultra-wide bandwidth, large-scale simulations, and ultra-realistic UI/UX for future services by cutting-edge technologies such as next generation photonics-based technologies.. Through the Smart Cities initiative, NTT aims to leverage the most recent innovations to provide safe, reliable and efficient civic technology which are based on IoT and AI technologies using devices, high-definition video cameras, and sound sensors to monitor for first responders during public safety incidents . Finally, NTT’s Life Sciences division try to challenge truly personalized healthcare and advanced product discovery using Big Data analysis and cutting edge AI technologies. Join this casual session to learn more about these and more exciting initiatives by NTT, which will contribute to Japan’s “Society 5.0” vision.

Pasona Networking Breakout Room

Japanese HR Services provider Pasona has years of experience recruiting talent from Japan and the world to work in Japan, Silicon Valley, the greater United States, and other locations. Join this casual session to learn about how to recruit talent and/or get hired for positions in the competitive Silicon Valley tech and innovation sectors.


Ed Hayward spent 10 years working and living in Japan. He returned to the US in 1994 after working for Bridgestone Corporation and began working for a recruiting firm in Bloomington, Illinois. He moved to New Zealand in 1999 and worked for Heinz Japan. Then in 2001 he moved to Utah and founded an executive search firm, Xecutive Consulting, Inc. He also serves on the Board of Directors of a software company (CipherTooth, Inc.) which he co-founded in 2013. In 2019 he became the Director of Staffing at Pasona North America where he is helping the company expand it’s current recruiting capabilities as well as develop an Executive Search division. Ed is a public speaker, author, mentor and coach who is very active in working with entrepreneurs, startup companies and CEOs who are working in a hyper-growth environment.