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Big in Japan series: Vinuth Rai, Director, Toyota InfoTechnology Center: “Leveraging Lean Startup to Create the Connected Car at Toyota”

December 11, 2014 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

$10 – $20

Part of our series featuring senior level executives with deep ties to Japan.
The Lean Startup movement has taken Silicon Valley by storm, transforming how companies create and refine new products.  It emphasizes better understanding of customer needs, creating a “minimum viable product” and then iterating based on real feedback that comes directly from customers.
The Lean Startup concept has its roots in the Toyota Production System, and our speaker Vinuth Rai of Toyota InfoTechnology Center brought things full circle when he and his team introduced Lean Startup techniques into Toyota to help develop the next generation of in-car information and entertainment systems.
After familiarizing us with the key elements of the Lean Startup approach, Vinuth will share his team’s journey to innovate within the Toyota system.  He’ll describe how they did their first Lean Startup experiment (crowdsourcing customers for a trial on Craigslist), and how they are working to mesh their efforts with the mainstream product development process within Toyota.  We’ll get an in-depth look at how intrapreneurs can work to create change, and some of the lessons that Vinuth and his team have learned from their work.
This talk is a must for anyone interested in the nuts and bolts of how new technologies are created, and in how Silicon Valley style methods can be implemented within large, conservative Japanese organizations.
Vinuth Rai
Vinuth Rai photo
Vinuth Rai is a Director at the Toyota InfoTechnology Center (ITC) in  Mountain View, CA. He works on developing platforms and services for the next generation of Toyota’s connected vehicles in an effort to define new business opportunities for Toyota. He spends a typical day working with members from various groups within ITC to define what the “connected vehicle experience” could be. This includes creating wireframes, launching pilot services or establishing partnerships with technology companies.  Vinuth has a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Santa Clara University. He enjoys spending time with his family and exploring the hills surrounding Silicon Valley on his bicycle.


  • $10 for Students (Please show ID at time of check-in)
  • $15 for Japan Society, Asia Society, and Keizai & TiE Members
  • $20 for Nonmembers
  • Online registration closes at 12:00 pm on Thursday, December 11
  • No refunds will be issued after Thursday, December 4


  • $25 per person for all tickets
  • Tickets will be dependent on space availability.


  • 6:00 PM – 6:45 PM       Networking/Registration
  • 6:45 PM – 8:00 PM       Presentation
  • 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM       Networking
  • Light appetizers and drinks provided.




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December 11, 2014
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
$10 – $20


Briana Burrows


Hacker Dojo
599 Fairchild Dr.
Mountain View, 94043 United States
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