Invest Japan Symposium
for UK AI tech Startups

7th November 2023

Invest Japan


As one of the world's leading economies, Japan is boosting its efforts to foster its startup ecosystems and improve its business environment for foreign companies.

Why invest in Japan? There are several attractions, such as a fertile and trustworthy free market, as well as its established technology-intensive economy with world-leading R&D capabilities.

As with every other country, Japan faces some major socio-economic challenges; such as dealing with a super-ageing population, and all at the same time aiming to achieve a disaster-resilient, decarbonised society. AI will be a key technology in addressing these issues and we are open to working with the UK's world-leading AI start-ups. The Japan External Trade Organisation, JETRO, will bridge the gap between the UK and Japan and provide a wide range of support.

The relationship between the UK and Japan is becoming tighter than ever. In May 2023, the leaders of the two countries issued the Hiroshima Accord for an Enhanced UK-Japan Global Strategic Partnership (the UK-Japan Hiroshima Accord).

With all of this in mind, we are hosting the Invest Japan Symposium to provide information and insights on Japan's business environment, and bring a spotlight to attractive markets and industries for UK AI start-ups and investors.

Registration deadline: November 3, 2023 3:00 PM (GMT)

Basic Info

Date and time
7th November 2023
1:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Institute of Directors
116 Pall Mall, St. James's, London SW1Y 5ED
Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) / Embassy of Japan in the UK
Attendance fee
Target Industry
Target audience
UK AI start-ups, academia, investors, accelerators, government officials, etc.
150 people
Main topics
The following AI-related topics will be introduced.
  1. Areas that are attracting/will attract attention in the social implementation of AI in Japan.
  2. Potentials for collaborative research between UK start-ups and Japanese universities and research institutions
  3. Attractiveness of the Japanese market for UK start-ups, challenges, etc.
  4. Japanese government support and initiatives for AI R&D and social implementation
  5. Latest support programme for overseas startups


1:00 Venue Open

1:30-1:45 Session1: Japan’s current business situation and support programme for overseas startups

Speaker : Masahide Sakishige, Deputy Director General Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) London
Masahide leads investment and innovation operations at JETRO London, with responsibilities for promoting foreign direct investment into Japan by the UK and Nordic businesses, facilitating open innovation between Japanese corporates and European start-ups and supporting Japanese startups to expand their business in the UK. He joined JETRO in 2000 and mainly worked in industrial development cooperation to Asian countries and budget & planning in the first 10 years. After that, he served as Resident Representative at JETRO Colombo Office in Sri Lanka from 2009 to 2014. He holds a master’s degree in International Politics from Graduate School of Political Science of Waseda University.

Masahide Sakishige

1:45-2:20 Session2: Current and future AI R&D in Japan

Yoshihiro Kudo, Director, Robot and Articficial Intelligence Technology Department, New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)
He has been engaged in technology areas related to digital technologies such as AI and data platforms for nearly 10 years, currently, he is in charge of research and development projects aimed at promoting the social implementation of AI.  In addition, he is responsible for formulating research and development policies and planning new research and development projects for Next-generation AI. Before taking up the current position in April 2022, he served in several positions, including Director of Internet of Things Promotion Department, Representative at NEDO New Delhi Office. 

Yoshihiro Kudo

2:20-2:30 Break

2:30-3:30 Session3: Market and collaboration opportunities for UK AI start-ups in Japan

Moderator : Amelia Armour, Partner, Amadeus Capital Partners
Amelia joined Amadeus Capital Partners in 2009 and is a Partner in the Early Stage Fund. Her current investment focus is on AI & Cybersecurity, Photonics & Quantum, Digital Health & MedTech and Novel Materials.
She is a Director on several boards including Xampla, who have developed a plant-based material to replace single-use plastics; iPronics who are building the world’s first programmable photonic processor; Riverlane a developer of the operating system for error corrected quantum computers and SLAMcore, a spin-out from Imperial College, developing spatial intelligence for autonomous robotics and drones.
Amelia is also an active board observer at other companies including enterprise voice assistant company PolyAI and Graphcore, the developer of the Intelligence Processing Unit for next generation machine intelligence and Paragraf, the first company to mass produce graphene-based electronic devices.

Amelia Armour

Panelist : Naoki Kamimaeda, Partner and Europe Division Head,  Global Brain Corporation
Naoki is Partner and Europe Division Head at Global Brain, one of the largest Japanese VC funds, and is responsible for Europe investments. His primary focus of investments are AI, cloud, cyber security, fintech and insurtech. Prior to joining Global Brain, he worked for Sony as a software researcher/engineer specialized in AI/ML and Big Data technologies. For the last 2 years in his Sony career, he worked in San Francisco as a software engineering manager of PlayStation Network and a member of PlayStation 4 Launch Team. Naoki holds an MSc in Computer Science from Tokyo Institute of Technology and an MBA from University of Cambridge.

Naoki Kamimaeda

Panelist : Kuni Kawase, Managing Director, Presidio Ventures Europe
Education : Mechanical Engineering, Kuni started business carrier from the infrastructure development in Asian countries, then expanded into media and retail business. Started worling with startup in TV & E-Commerce, now based in London.

Kuni Kawase

Panelist : Brian Mullins, CEO, Mind Foundry
Brian is an entrepreneur and technical leader with over a decade of experience in high growth technology companies. Brian is passionate about the potential technology has to positively change the lives of people globally. He has been awarded over 100 U.S. patents, has been asked to testify as an expert before the U.S. Senate, received an Edison award for Industrial Design and was named one of Goldman Sachs “100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs”.
Throughout his career, Brian has founded and grown technology companies, raising over $360m in investment capital and scaling teams from just a few, to hundreds of employees across 4 countries. Brian also serves as the Associate Director of the Human Perception Lab at Stanford University. In 2019, he joined Mind Foundry, an Oxford University AI spinout. As CEO, Brian leads a team of some of the UK’s top scientists and engineers who build AI for high stakes applications, where the decisions affect peoples life, or are made at the scale of the population.

Brian Mullins

Panelist (Online) : Tsubasa Hotta, Head of APAC & General Manager, Tractable
In 2008, Tsubasa joined Boston Consulting Group (BCG) as a recent graduate, where he led projects for Japanese companies' global expansion and was honored with the "Best Consultant" award at the Tokyo office.
In 2017, after completing his MBA at Kellogg School of Management, Tsubasa joined iRobot as the first employee in Japan, playing a key role in growing the consumer robotics market in both Japan and China.
In 2019, Tsubasa joined Tractable as the first employee in the Asia-Pacific region, where he formed partnerships with all major Japanese P&C insurers, contributing to faster recovery from car accidents and natural disasters by estimating repair costs using computer vision technology.
Tsubasa is deeply passionate about creating new markets through AI technologies and building diverse teams.

Tsubasa Hotta

3:30-4:30 Networking



Capacity:150 people

Registration deadline: November 3, 2023 3:00 PM (GMT)


For more information, please contact:

JETRO London Investment and Innovation Div.