​​One of the largest startup events in Asia opens in Tokyo

The SusHi Tech Tokyo Global Startup Program brought together over 400 startups from Japan and abroad. The two-day event sought to leverage new technology to realize a sustainable society.

May 24, 2024
BY TOSHIMASA HIJIKURO
​​One of the largest startup events in Asia opens in Tokyo
Share this article
J-STORIES - The SusHi Tech Tokyo Global Startup Program was held at the Tokyo Big Sight exhibition center on May 15 and 16, 2024. 
A session at the event featuring a panel of young entrepreneurs.     Source: Toshimasa Hijikuro
A session at the event featuring a panel of young entrepreneurs.     Source: Toshimasa Hijikuro
According to the organizers, the number of startups with stands at the event was 430, over 100 more than at the inaugural event last year. The number of business meetings also more than doubled, while the number of sessions and visitors increased. SusHi Tech Tokyo is Asia’s largest international startup event.
SusHi Tech Tokyo [Sustainable + High Tech]     Source: Tokyo Metropolitan Government
The event sought to create “sustainable new values” and leverage diverse ideas, digital know-how, and cutting-edge technologies to address problems faced by the world’s cities. Such challenges include demographic change, environmental and energy concerns, aging infrastructure and the preservation of traditional culture.
Source: Toshimasa Hijikuro
Source: Toshimasa Hijikuro
 This year, more than 60% of participants were from overseas, with many companies focusing on healthcare, biotechnology and significant scientific and engineering breakthroughs known as “deep tech.” Notably, there were 84 AI-related companies compared to 58 last year.
Source: Toshimasa Hijikuro
Source: Toshimasa Hijikuro
Naotaka Nishiyama, CEO of Tech Japan, a startup that provides a recruitment platform for highly skilled Indian engineers who want to work in Japan, praised the event.
“It is a great chance for entrepreneurs from around the world to get together," Nishiyama said. "And it’s a chance to make all sorts of connections, so we want to make the most of it.”
CEO of Tech Japan Naotaka Nishiyama (left) at his company’s stand.     Source: Toshimasa Hijikuro
CEO of Tech Japan Naotaka Nishiyama (left) at his company’s stand.     Source: Toshimasa Hijikuro
Another exhibitor, Atsuhiro Soda, was representing Prodrone, an industrial-use drone company. He said that the event was an opportunity to connect with possible overseas partners that might help his company reach other markets.
Prodrone’s small laser surveying drone.       Source: Toshimasa Hijikuro
Prodrone’s small laser surveying drone.       Source: Toshimasa Hijikuro
On the other hand, Takamitsu Ikoma, CEO of ICOMA, a startup that has developed a foldable motorcycle, said he had no immediate plans for overseas expansion. Instead, he had come to the event to raise funds and find partners for sales and production of his motorcycles.
“This event doesn’t just attract people from industry, but all kinds of people from around the world,” he said. “We hope venture capitalists and potential partners from big companies and startups will see what we have.”
Icoma’s “Tatamel Bike” folding motorcycle.     Source: Toshimasa Hijikuro
Icoma’s “Tatamel Bike” folding motorcycle.     Source: Toshimasa Hijikuro
The event also featured a pitch contest. Twenty startups chosen from among 507 applicants covering 43 countries and regions presented their technologies and ideas for solving global challenges. 
Fermenstation CEO Lina Sakai receiving the Grand Prize from Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike.     Source: SusHi Tech Tokyo 2024
Fermenstation CEO Lina Sakai receiving the Grand Prize from Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike.     Source: SusHi Tech Tokyo 2024
The Grand Prize and 10 million yen went to Fermenstation, which has developed a method of producing ethanol and other materials by fermenting and distilling unused rice and other food production waste. 
Translated by Tony McNicol
Top photo by Toshimasa Hijikuro
For inquiries about this article, please contact jstories@pacificbridge.jp

***

Click here for the Japanese version of the article
Comments
No comments
Post

Tags

Share this article