JETRO Global Connection -Accelerate Innovation with Japan-

CEATEC 2020 was held online with no less outcomes than realistic; many startups gathered from around the world

October 28, 2020

CEATEC ONLINE 2020External site: a new window will open , a next-generation exhibition, which creates new markets through innovation, was held online from October 20 to 23.

A new style of exhibition, capitalizing on online features

The theme of this event, which entered its 21st year, was "CEATEC 2020 -Toward Society 5.0 with the New Normal." A wide range of solutions and technologies for the New Normal Society was showcased. According to the CEATEC Executive Board, 85,650 visitors were registered, and a total of more than 130,000 visitors attended during the four-day period. The event was entirely held online due to the COVID-19, but numerous ingenuities were deployed to make it no less exciting and fruitful than the previous real-world exhibitions. To name one, a new feature “CEATEC GO” was added, enabling online visitors to walk through the booths. The banners of exhibitors were randomly displayed, and a click on one allowed the visitors to learn more. The visitor could also chat with exhibitors. An AI-aided simultaneous interpretation system allowed English subtitles to appear on the screen. More than 70 conferences were held during the exhibition period. They are available on demand until December 31.

Japanese startups came up strong

During the two days of the exhibition period, CEATEC’s official partner Plug and Play (a US incubator) organized a pitch event named Co-Creation Park Startup StageAround 60 startups from many countries appeared on stage, including many of the non-Japanese startups participatingPDF file(69KB) in the JETRO Global Connection (see Note) that JETRO put up.

The viewers of the event were invited to cast their votes. The winning startups were awarded the right to put up own startup booths at the CEATEC 2021 next year. The winners of CEATEC 2020 ONLINE were Empath, WeWalk, EMOL, and Mindify (in order of the award announcement).

EmpathExternal site: a new window will open (Japan): Winner for two years in a row. The company has developed an AI that analyzes human emotions from voice. It is used in call centers, robotics, mobility, and other business scenes. Empath is a member of the Japanese government program “J-Startup,” which supports the development of startup companies. Empath product is already used by more than 2,400 companies in 50 countries worldwide.

WeWalk (Turkey): The company has developed a smart white cane for the visually impaired. It assists low-vision people to move around by detecting obstacles with sensors and navigating with a smartphone. Many awards, including the Time Magazine Best Innovation 2019External site: a new window will open , have been awarded to WeWalk.

EMOLExternal site: a new window will open (Japan): This startup has developed an app to enable the user to record his/her emotions and talk to the AI robot. Developed in cooperation with a clinical psychotherapist, the app analyzes the worries, physical conditions, and other mental care-related conversations of the user to help him/her regain healthy mental conditions.

MindifyExternal site: a new window will open (Brazil): A startup that uses AI-powered webforms to provide a system to simplify and streamline electronic medical records (EMR). Mindify provides real-time feedback to patients and healthcare teams while suggesting more accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Note: JETRO Global Connection is a framework to support collaboration between Japanese companies engaged in open innovation and overseas companies. JETRO has been a CEATEC exhibitor since 2017. Although CEATEC 2020 ONLINE has ended, JETRO Global Connection is still available for online interview with 45 international startups, including the two Co-Creation Park Startup Stage winners (WeWalk and Mindify). For further information, please contact Innovation Promotion Division (

Reported by
IOKI Tomoko, International Economy Division of Overseas Research Department, JETRO

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