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Report
AEA 2020: Food Tech Startup From Thailand Wins First Prize

(Thailand, Malaysia, China)
November 10, 2020

EDEN AgritechExternal site: a new window will open from Thailand won the first prize at the Asian Entrepreneurship Award 2020 (AEA 2020)External site: a new window will open (October 27–29), a competition among Asian tech startups to present business plans that address social issues, for its proposal of new material for reducing food waste.

The AEA is an award co-hosted by Japanese public institutions, private companies, and educational organizations; and has been held since 2012 in the “Kashiwa-no-ha Smart City” (Kashiwa City, Chiba Prefecture), where various social experimental projects are underway. JETRO participated in AEA 2020 as a co-host for the first time. Judging was conducted based on the finalists’ pitches against the criteria, such as the innovativeness, commercial viability and social impact of their business plans, the business performance, and the possibility of collaboration with Japanese large corporations. The ninth annual event was held online with the participation of 30 companies chosen from 12 countries and regions (Australia, China, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam). They showcased solutions related to four important themes under the “New Normal” society (healthcare, communication, work style reform, and quality of life).

The judges are receiving a business plan explanation from EDEN Agritech on screen
(Photo by Asian Entrepreneurship Award Steering Committee)

The winner, EDEN Agritech, focused on the fact that approximately 40% of fresh food deteriorates in the distribution process and is then discarded. The company proposed a business that protects fruits and vegetables from deterioration by applying a colorless, transparent edible film material developed by them, so that waste and costs can be reduced simultaneously. The judges highly evaluated the scale of the company’s target market and the social impact of reducing waste. Nitium TechnologyExternal site: a new window will open (Malaysia) and Onesight TechnologyExternal site: a new window will open (China) came in second and third place. Each proposed a low-cost dental implant material made of a special alloy and a service for the real-time visualization of the situation at construction sites, respectively. From Japan, MantraExternal site: a new window will open won a special prize for its business proposal to provide an English version of cartoons rapidly using high-precision machine translation.

Reported by
YAMASHIRO Takenobu, Asia and Oceania Division of Overseas Research Department, JETRO
SATO Sayaka, Innovation Promotion Division of Innovation and Intellectual Property Department, JETRO

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