JETRO Global Connection -Accelerate Innovation with Japan-

Three Startups Nominated by JETRO Win Asian Entrepreneurship Award 2019

(Japan, Singapore, and Thailand)
Innovation Promotion Division
November 28, 2019

The Asian Entrepreneurship Award (AEA) 2019 was held from October 30 to November 1 in the Kashiwa-no-ha area in Kashiwa, Chiba, Japan. In the annual pitch competition, startups in 14 countries/regions in Asia are evaluated against the criteria of innovations, commercial viability and social impacts, business capability, and the potential for collaboration with Japanese companies. It is one of a few pitch competitions in Japan where overseas startups are eligible to participate.

Celebrating its eighth year, the event was participated by 27 startups selectedA new window will open. from 14 countries/regions (Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Australia, New Zealand, and Russia). A total of six startups, three in the field of Artificial Intelligence/Internet of Things and another three in the Medical and Healthcare fields, went through to the final session. Three of the six were the startups that JETRO had nominated.

A pitch session (Photo by JETRO)

The Kashiwa-no-ha area, where the event is held, is a model area for solving issues facing Japan through collaboration among the public, private, and academic sectors that include Kashiwa City, Mitsui Fudosan, Urban Design Center Kashiwa-no-ha, the University of Tokyo, and Chiba University. It aims to build a new urban environment where social experiments can be carried out. Characterized by its compact cityscape lined with houses, commercial facilities, offices, hotels, hospitals, universities, and parks in a radius of about 3 km, the area has been a site for numerous real-world experiments. Taking advantage of such features of the Kashiwa-no-ha area, the AEA provides prize-winning startups with an opportunity to use the area as a Demonstration experiment field for their products and services in addition to prizes and benefits from sponsor companies.

At this year’s AEA, two medical startups from Singapore, Acumen Research Labs and BioCheetah, both nominated by JETRO, won the first prize and runner-up prize, respectively. The Microsoft Award and the Audience Award that is determined by audience vote went to a startup from Thailand, System Stone Company, also nominated by JETRO.

The first-prize winner Acumen Research Labs has developed a test method, AcuSeptTM, that will lead to early detection of sepsis. The company emphasized that the method could detect sepsis accurately in just 4 to 5 hours, quicker than existing methods. The runner-up BioCheetah was recognized for its technologies used in urine test kits and associated application tool to detect bladder cancer. The Microsoft and Audience Awards winner System Stone Company from Thailand gave a presentation on the development and provision of its app and monitoring device for maintaining and managing manufacturing machinery.

Acumen Research Labs receives the first prize (Photo by JETRO)

Collaboration between Japanese companies and startups will be promoted in the Kashiwa-no-ha area through real-world experiments to be conducted by these award winners, leading to the development of solutions to tackle social issues not only in Japan but also in other Asian countries.

(OTA Toshimasa)

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