**English Language Event

Japan has long been one of the world’s leaders in mobility, pioneering industries ranging from its world-beating auto industry to high speed rail. Among the nearly 1,000 startups launched every year in Silicon Valley, many are aimed at enhancing mobility and addressing climate change, including self-driving technology, EVs, drones, flying cars, sharing services, in-vehicle information systems using 5G communication technology, and Mobility as a Service (MaaS). Please join us for program that will bring together Japanese mobility MNCs with Silicon Valley mobility tech start-ups. In this exciting reverse pitch session, large Japanese mobility manufacturers and others will take the stage to share what kinds of technologies and startup partners they are seeking, present collaborative use cases, discuss the challenges they are facing, and more!

毎年1,000社近くのスタートアップが設立されているベイエリアでは、多くの日本企業やベンチャーキャピタルが、これらのスタートアップに積極的な協業や投資を行っています。その中でも最近注目されているのは、「モビリティ」分野です。モビリティは、自動運転技術、EV、ドローン、空飛ぶ車、シェアリングサービス、5G通信技術による車載情報システム、MaaS (Mobility as a Service)等、多岐にわたる技術が必要とされます。また、カルフォルニア州では、2035年にはガソリン車の新車販売を禁止するなどの規制がかかり、今後も日本企業は、カーボンニュートラルへ積極的に取り組んでいく必要があります。本イベントでは、スタートアップとの協業に積極的な日本を代表するモビリティ企業が登壇し、大手企業の協業事例・道のり、成果、苦労話、注力領 域を大公開するスタートアップにむけてのピッチセッションを目指すとともに、日本企業とタッグを組むベイエリアのスタートアップも登壇予定です。

▼Event Details
Date and Time:
Tuesday, June 20, 2023 from 3:30 pm (PDT)

Hitachi Vantara
2535 Augustine Drive, Santa Clara

Coming by car? The parking structure is located on:
2595 Augustine Drive, Santa Clara, CA 95054
After parking, exit on Montgomery Drive. Hitachi is across the park.

• 2:45 – 3:30 pm Registration
• 3:30 – 3:35 pm Opening Remark, Hon. Yasushi Noguchi | Consul-General of Japan in San Francisco
• 3:35 – 3:43 pm      1. Honda Innovations, Strategic Investment and Open Innovation | Raymond Zheng, Sr. Managing Director
• 3:43 – 3:51 pm      2. Ample Inc | John de Souza, Co-founder & President
• 3:51 – 3:59 pm      3. Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America, Silicon Valley | Tomohiro Yamada, Senior Engineer
• 3:59 – 4:07 pm      4. BLUESPACE | Christine Moon, President & Co-Founder
• 4:07 – 4:20 pm Break | Networking and Refreshment
• 4:20 – 4:35 pm Entertainment– Kyle Abbott & Mike Penny | Tsugaru Shamisen
• 4:35 – 4:43 pm      5. Toyota Ventures | Jim Adler, Founder and General Partner
• 4:43 – 4:51 pm      6. Brelyon | Alok Mehta, PhD, Chief Operating Officer
4:51 – 4:59 pm        7. Yazaki Innovations, Inc |Hideaki “Hank” Akimoto, Vice President, Business Development Group
4:59 – 5:07 pm       8. Zipline | Dan Davies, Director of Customer Success, Asia 5:07 – 5:15 pm 9. Hitachi Solutions America, Ltd. | Koson Aoki, Business
5:15 – 5:20 pm Closing | Nobuyuki Baba, President of Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Northern California & Senior Vice president, Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas)
5:20 – 6:00 pm Networking Reception

Join us and network with these amazing companies and many more leaders in the industry!

*Light food and drink will be provided


Honda Innovations, Strategic Investment and Open Innovation | Raymond Zheng, Sr. Managing Director

Raymond Zheng is Honda Innovations Silicon Valley, Inc. Senior Managing Director and the Honda Xcelerator Ventures program leader. Overseeing corporate venture activity and open innovation with a focus on AI, energy and carbon neutrality, he identifies business opportunities in mobility, energy and climatech. Zheng helps shape Honda’s direction in autonomous driving, robotics, mobility services, 3D mobility, advanced manufacturing, new energy solutions and transformative technologies. He builds networks, fosters collaboration with venture capital firms and startups, and helped establish the Honda Xcelerator Ventures program. Previously, while at Cisco, Zheng integrated startup innovations with Cisco’s portfolio as a senior manager and served as CTO for Cisco Innovation Centers. His experience includes M&A assessments, technology strategies and influenced executives in security, unified communication, telepresence, IPTV and voice. Zheng’s expertise in venture capital, collaboration, technology strategy and leadership drives innovation and creates business opportunities.

Ample Inc | John de Souza, Co-founder & President

Coming Soon

Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America, Silicon Valley | Tomohiro Yamada, Senior Engineer

In 2005, Tomohiro (Tak) Yamada joined Panasonic Automotive. As an electrical engineer, he was responsible for technical and product development of vehicle infotainment products. Some of his developed products include: Automotive-HDMI, Rear Seat Entertainment, Center Information Displays, and E-mirrors. In November 2019, he moved to Silicon Valley Office as an ex-pat. His mission was to open innovation with Car OEMs, and to propose new products and service concepts to Panasonic’s Japan team. Tomohiro is currently exploring new technologies and startups, and he often holds discussions about collaboration opportunities and many concepts. He also has developed demonstration and evaluation systems in Silicon Valley.

BLUESPACE | Christine Moon, President & Co-Founder

With well over 15 years at hypergrowth Silicon Valley companies: Google, Dropbox (Sequoia backed, IPOed), Color Genomics (General Catalyst backed), and drive.ai (NEA backed, acquired by Apple in 2019) under her belt, she drives the mission of enabling explainable and scalable autonomy at BlueSpace.ai. Enjoys living on the bleeding edge of frontier tech, otherwise, she’s a mom to three children, wife, and paw parent. Fulbright Scholar, Rotary Scholar, Yale Fellow. Resides on the beautiful rolling hills of East Bay in California.

Toyota Ventures | Jim Adler, Founder and General Partner

Jim Adler is the founder and general partner of Toyota Ventures, responsible for setting the strategic direction and leading the firm’s investment activities. In addition to serving on the board of directors for Toyota Ventures, he also serves as an executive advisor at Toyota Research Institute.

He is a member of the board of directors for several Toyota Ventures portfolio companies, including AutoBrains, Intuition Robotics, Moodify, Revel, and SLAMcore. He is also a board observer for Brilliant Planet, Burro, Joby Aviation, Near Space Labs, and Nori.

He received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering with high honors from the University of Florida, and a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of California, San Diego.

Brelyon | Alok Mehta, PhD, Chief Operating Officer

Dr. Alok Mehta: Co-Founder and COO of Brelyon. Dr. Mehta has over 15 years of R&D experience interleaving optical metamaterials and integrated photonic technologies together for applications in optical signal processing and computational displays. As a Principal Research Scientist, he has led the development of core photonic technology deployed in multiple DoD/DARPA, AFRL, ARO, and NIH-based systems. His research portfolio consists of over 30 publications that have been cited over 1,100 times over the course of his career.

Yazaki Innovations, Inc. | Hank Akimoto, Vice President of Business Development Group

Hank Akimoto is the Vice President of Business Development Group in Yazaki Innovations, Inc. Yazaki group is global top wiring harness supplier in automotive industry. He was dealing Yazaki business in Automotive Industry for 30 years in the area of sales, marketing and planning. His experiences was world-wide. He worked in Michigan, Bogota, Sao Paulo, London, Trine, Paris, Cologne and California for 12 years. He came to Silicon Valley in July 2021 to start open innovation activities bringing Yazaki new portfolio.

Zipline | Dan Davies, Director of Customer Success, Asia

Dan Davies is the Director of Customer Success for Asia at Zipline. He manages Zipline’s relationship with the company’s partner for operations in the Goto Islands of Japan, Toyota Tsusho, and supports flight operations, local business scaling, and business development for large-scale opportunities. He directs Zipline’s resources and expertise to overcome the unique business climate and regulatory challenges for drone delivery in Japan. Dan has 23 years of experience helping sales teams and clients scale and achieve their growth targets.

Hitachi Solutions America, Ltd. | Koson Aoki, Business Designer, Business Development and Alliance Group

Koson Aoki has more than 10 years of sales experience since joining Hitachi Solutions, Ltd. He was mainly engaged in selling their own products and those of startups from Silicon Valley. Understanding Japanese business customs, he not only resold products but also created a stock model of firewalls, which he has successfully installed for more than 150 customers. Hitachi Solutions, Ltd. has been developing partnerships with overseas startups in Japan for approximately 15 years since 2007. He has been working mainly in business development and alliance business since April 2022. His focus areas are ESG/Sustainability and Mobility.


Mike Penny & Kyle Abbott | Tsugaru Shamisen

Mike Penny is an award-winning Tsugaru Shamisen performer and composer from Los Angeles, CA. He has given hundreds of public performances and workshops throughout Japan and the US, both as a solo artist as well as a member of various ensembles. Through his many performances and viral video performances on YouTube, he has gained a following for his unprecedented style of shamisen playing which combines traditional and extended techniques in a variety of musical contexts including jazz, Balkan folk, Western classical, and popular music in a fusion of both east and west, past and future. Recently, Mike has been active as a studio musician, contributing his shamisen stylings to projects such as Sony PlayStation’s Ghost of Tsushima OST, Netflix’s Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles, and more.

Kyle Abbott is also an award-winning shamisen player and cultural ambassador, known for being the first person to make shamisen accessible to the international audience. In a determined effort to bring the shamisen and the rich history of Japanese music to the global stage, he founded Bachido, a worldwide community platform that nurtures the learning and appreciation of shamisen music. His work extends to building and repairing shamisen, producing instructional materials, and producing world fusion albums with shamisen, all to make shamisen culture more accessible to international enthusiasts.





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