Beyond Meat and Spiber Honored with SunBridge Emerging Leader Awards at 10th Annual Japan – US Innovation Awards Symposium

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San Francisco, CA – The Japan – US Innovation Awards Program proudly announces Beyond Meat and Spiber as the winners of the 2020 SunBridge Emerging Leader Awards.  This award recognizes later-stage dynamically growing companies that have begun to transform an entire industry or value chain.  The Japan – US Innovation Awards Program is produced by the Japan Society of Northern California in cooperation with the Stanford University US-Asia Technology Management Center

Awarded every year since 2011 to one U.S. and one Japanese firm, prior U.S. winners include Tesla Motors (2011), Square (2012), and Zoom Video Communications (2019).  Prior Japan winners include SanBio (2011), which later had Japan’s largest IPO, Line Corporation (2014), and Preferred Networks (2017), which is Japan’s first unicorn.

Top executives of Spiber and Beyond Meat will accept the awards and participate in a panel discussion at the Innovation Awards Symposium on July 14, which this year will be held online on July 14 from 4:30 – 6:30 pm, Pacific Time ( = July 15 from 8:30 am in Japan). In celebration of the Tenth Anniversary of the Awards, the Symposium on July 14 will also include a presentation and discussion with Kurt Kelty, former Director of Battery Technologies at Tesla Motors, which received the first Emerging Leader Award a decade ago. Registration for the Symposium is open here. Registration also includes admission to the second week of this year’s Symposium on July 21, at which five exceptional Japanese startup companies will be featured in the Innovation Showcase.

Spiber, the winner of the SunBridge Emerging Leader – Japan Award for 2020, was previously recognized in the Innovation Showcase of the Awards Program in 2016.  The firm uses engineered biology to design and manufacture bioderived sustainable materials.  It leads the world in the commercial production of spider-silk proteins through microbial fermentation at an economically viable cost, which can be applied across a wide array of industries such as apparel, automotive, food, and medical. 

Beyond Meat, the SunBridge Emerging Leader – US Award winner for 2020, is a leading public company in the plant-based protein food industry. The company develops and manufactures plant-based burgers, sausage and more made from simple, plant-based ingredients without GMOs. By shifting the protein at the center of the plate to plant-based meat, Beyond Meat seeks to positively impact human health, climate change, constraints on natural resources and animal welfare. 

The Emerging Leader Award is supported by SunBridge Group, the premier partner for leading enterprise IT companies to enter the Japan market. SunBridge Founder and Chairman Allen Miner, who helped create the Japan – US Innovation Awards Program ten years ago, will participate in the Symposium panel discussion with this year’s Emerging Leader winners on July 14.

Awards Program Steering Committee Chair Dr. Richard Dasher, Director of the US-Asia Technology Management Center at Stanford, will host the Symposium on July 14.  He expressed his excitement at the selection of Beyond Meat and Spiber as this year’s Emerging Leader Award winners, noting that,  “Like winners in previous years, this year we are delighted to feature two highly entrepreneurial firms that have already achieved remarkable success in highly competitive industries, and that have every potential for solidifying their status as world leaders in their respective sectors.”   The Japan – US Innovation Awards Program is the longest running annual program in the Bay Area that highlights the links between Silicon Valley and Japan innovation. 

Japan Society of Northern California – Since its founding in 1905, the Japan Society of Northern California has advanced US-Japan mutual understanding in a global context.  The Society offers an array of programs and networking opportunities for people and organizations in the Bay Area with a strong interest in Japan. It is the go-to place for US-Japan insights, opportunities, collaboration and networking.  The Japan Society is a dynamic link connecting the world-renowned innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem of San Francisco/Silicon Valley to a resurgent Japan.

Stanford University US-Asia Technology Management Center  The US-Asia Technology Management Center (US-ATMC), is an industry-funded center at Stanford University under the Center for East Asian Studies.  Established in 1992, the US-ATMC conducts education and research into innovation and emerging business trends in technology-intensive industries that provide Stanford students and the Silicon Valley community at large, with knowledge and analytical capabilities that will be important to global success in high-tech fields in the 21st century.

For more information on the Symposium, click here.
To register, click here
Media Contact: Jamila Hawkins  jamila@usajapan.org

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