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[Japan-U.S. Innovation Awards Tokyo Event] Making the Pivot: Japanese start-ups are more nimble than you may think

June 12 @ 8:00 am - 10:00 am

*In-person Option Fully Booked
Japan-U.S. Innovation Awards
Tokyo Event:
Breakfast Session (Hybrid – Webex)

北カリフォルニア・ジャパンソサエティ + 在日米国商工会議所 コラボレーション プロジェクト
サンフランシスコ・ベイエリアの夏の恒例イベント、スタンフォード大学米国アジア技術経営研究センター共催によるJapan-U.S. Innovation Awardsは、今年13回目を迎えます。東京イベントでは、Emerging Leader (新興リーダー賞) などの過去の受賞者をスピーカーに迎え、東京アメリカンクラブでセミナーを開催いたします。(豪華朝食付き)

This event is part of a long running series on innovation produced by the Japan Society of Northern California (JSNC) and the American Chamber of Commerce, Japan (ACCJ) Alternative Investment Committee.

Dynamism in the face of adversity has long been part of Silicon Valley, and now we are seeing the same in Japan. Come learn how three well-known Japanese tech ventures are boldly responding to broad range of challenges.

For the past 13 years the JSNC and the Stanford Asia-US Technology Management Center have hosted the US-Japan Innovation Awards Symposium. Top executives from each company who received past awards – Euglena, ispace, and Mujin – will describe how they are making mid-course corrections or wholesale changes to their business plans.

Euglena started out with the goal of building a venture to produce algae-based nutrition and food products; later it found a viable business in producing SAF – Sustainable Aviation Fuel.

ispace started designing and building lunar landers and rovers to provide commercial transportation services to the Moon, contributing to NASA’s Artemis program–which aims to send humans back to the Moon–and beyond. Earlier this year, in the world’s first fully commercial lunar landing attempt, it achieved 8 of 10 milestones set by the company, but resulted in a hard landing, ending the mission. How will the young company respond to this challenge?

Mujin, a robotic software company, enjoyed impressive success in the Japanese market, but decided to move out of its comfort zone and go global, moving much of its leadership to the US. What were the factors that drove this decision?

▼Event Details
Date & Time:
June 12, 2023 from 8:00-10:00 AM (Japan Time)
June 11, 2023 from 4:00-6:00 PM (Pacific Time)

Tokyo American Club, B2 Brooklyn Rooms

2 Chome-1-2 Azabudai, Minato City, Tokyo 106-8649

(Virtual) Member fee: ¥1,100
(Virtual) Guest fee: ¥2,300
(In-Person) Member fee: ¥5,000
(In-Person) Guest fee: ¥8,400
*In-person tickets include Breakfast


Mitsuru Izumo | Founder and President, Euglena Co., Ltd.

Mitsuru Izumo is a graduate of the University of Tokyo, having specialised in agricultural structural management. In 2005, he established Euglena Co., Ltd. to harness the properties of microalgae Euglena. Euglena Co., Ltd. became the world’s first biotechnology company that succeeded in the outdoor mass cultivation of Euglena. Currently, Euglena Co., Ltd. upholds “Sustainability First” as their philosophy and has developed the manufacture and sale of foods and cosmetics as the healthcare domain, the biofuel business, the bioinformatics business, and the social business in Bangladesh by leveraging Euglena and other advanced technologies.


Jumpei Nozaki | Director & CFO, ispace, inc.

After graduating from the University of Tokyo with a B.A. in Social Psychology, Jumpei worked for over ten years at a securities firm, focusing mainly on the automotive and oil sectors, where he advised clients on fundraising, IPOs, and M&A. Through the course of working alongside individuals in top management, he sensed a major change in the times, which led him to join ispace and take part in such a major transformation that occurs only once in a century. As Director and CFO at ispace, he is mainly responsible for financial and capital management. He has also been involved extensively in laying down the foundation of the company’s internal management, including finance and accounting, human resources, and general affairs, and in 2017, raised 10.35 billion yen ($97.6MM USD), one of the largest Series A financing rounds ever raised in the space sector. Reflecting back on his childhood dream of becoming an astronaut, he feels a peculiar connection to his path in life.


Issei Takino | Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Mujin Inc.

Issei Takino is the Founder and the Chief Executive Officer at Mujin Inc, and is responsible for leveraging Mujin’s automation technology to fundamentally change the landscape of manufacturing and logistics.

Before founding Mujin, he served as an Award-Winning Sales Manager at the Japanese branch of Iscar, one of the most profitable precision tool makers in the world.


Tim Romero

Tim Romero is Head of Google for Startups Japan and host of the Disrupting Japan podcast. Tim is deeply involved in Japan’s startup community as an investor, founder, author and educator, and he has founded several startups in Japan over the past 25 years. Tim has also taught entrepreneurship and corporate innovation at New York University’s Tokyo campus and worked with TEPCO and other Japanese enterprises on startup engagement and innovation strategy.


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*In-person Option Fully Booked

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June 12
8:00 am - 10:00 am


Tokyo American Club
2-1-2 Azubudai, Minato-ku
Tokyo, Tokyo 106-8649 Japan
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