2018 Symposium

8th Annual Japan - U.S. Innovation Awards Symposium

Friday, July 13, 2018

Keynote Speaker – Yoky Matsuoka

Keynote Speaker was Nest Chief Technology Officer and famed robotics whiz Yoky Matsuoka. Her impressive resume includes working as CEO of health-data startup Quanttus, helping Apple work on its health initiatives in 2016, a professorial role at Carnegie Mellon, and was a founding member of Google X in 2009.

2018 Emerging Leader Awardee (Japan) – Mujin, Inc.

We were pleased to award Japanese company Mujin, Inc. for their innovative industrial robot software systems. The company’s mission is to further industrial automation and has created a proprietary platform with a wide range of product application.

2018 Emerging Leader Awardee (US) – WeWork and FogHorn Systems

WeWork is a platform for creators, providing over 250,000 members around the world with space, community, and services through both physical and virtual offerings. WeWork currently has 250 physical locations in 73 cities and 22 countries around the world.

And FogHorn Systems provides a technology platform for the rapidly growing domain of IOT systems with “intelligence at the edge,” a new cloud computing architecture that will enable real-time applications such as self-driving cars and networked robotics.

Innovation Showcase

2018 Innovation Showcase Companies and their representative speakers at the Japan-U.S. Innovation Awards Symposium.  

Click here for the complete 2018 Showcase Press Release

ABEJA, Inc. 
Takanori Ogata, Co-Founder & Chief Research Officer

Abeja enables firms to carry out sophisticated analyses with accumulated  data using a platform that integrates state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence technologies including IoT and deep learning.

Astroscale  PTE. Ltd
Chris Blackerby, COO

Astroscale, the first private company to develop solutions to mitigate the hazardous build-up of debris in space, has a mission to secure long-term spaceflight safety and orbital environmental sustainability for the benefit of future generations.

Infostellar Inc.
David Vaccaro, Global Strategy and Business Initiatives 

Infostellar develops and maintains a ground services solution for satellite antennas that connects ground stations around the world in a shared network, while managing the various processes required to match satellites with appropriate antennas and deliver data securely.

ispace, inc
Takeshi Hakamada, Founder & CEO

ispace is a private lunar exploration company centered on micro-robotics whose vision is to expand our living sphere and create a sustainable world where the Earth and Moon are one ecosystem.

LPixel Inc.
Yuki Shimahara, Founder & CEO

LPixel is a leader in advanced image analysis and processing technology encompassing the life science field, and is dedicated to offering research facilities and medical institutions top-tier image analysis and medical diagnosis technologies, both of which are powered by AI.

Moments from the 2018 Innovation Awards


12:30 – 1:30 Registration

1:30 – 1:35 Welcome Remarks by Consul General of Japan in San Francisco Tomochika Uyama

1:35 – 1:45 Innovation Awards Opening Remarks by Symposium Moderator Richard Dasher, PhD; Director of Stanford University’s US-Asia Technology Management Center

1:45 – 2:15 Keynote Speech by Dr. Yoky Matsuoka, NEST Chief Technology Officer; moderated by Richard Dasher, PhD; Director of Stanford University’s US-Asia Technology Management Center

2:15 – 3:15 Emerging Leader Awards Presentation

  • Japan Award Winner:
    • MUJIN, Inc., Issei Takino, CEO & Rosen Diankov, Co-Founder
  • US Award Winner:
    • FogHorn Systems, David King, CEO
    • WeWork, Elton Kwok, General Manager, Northern California

Moderator: Allen Miner, Founder and CEO, SunBridge Corporation

3:15 – 3:30 BREAK

3:30 – 4:30 Innovation Showcase Recognition & Panel Discussion

  • Moderator: Ken Yasunaga, Managing Director, Value Creation Investment Group, Innovation Network Corporation of Japan 
  • Participants:
  • ABEJA, Inc., Takanori Ogata, Co-founder and Chief Research Officer
  • Astroscale PTE Ltd., Chris Blackerby, COO
  • LPixel, Yuki Shimahara, Founder and CEO
  • Infostellar, David Vaccaro, Global Strategy and Business Initiatives
  • ispace, Takashi Hakamada, Founder and CEO

Click here for the 2018 Showcase Press Release

4:30 – 5:15 Special Panel Discussion: “Exit Patterns for Japanese Startups”

  • Michael Tso, CEO, Cloudian
  • Kenta Yasukawa, CTO, Soracom, Inc.
  • Dr. Koji Osawa, Managing Principal & Co-Founder, Global Catalyst Partners

Moderator: Michi Kaifu, CEO, Enotech Consulting

5:15 – 5:25 Wrap Up by Allen Miner, Founder and CEO of SunBridge Corporation 

5:25 – 5:30 Closing Remarks by C. Lawrence Greenwood, President of Japan Society of Northern California

5:30 – 6:30 Networking Reception

2018 Japan – US Innovation Awards

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