JETRO Global Connection -Accelerate Innovation with Japan-

Startups contributing to solving social issues in Japan participated in CEATEC 2021

(Japan, France, Canada and USA)
December 23, 2021

*This article was originally published in Japanese. All information in this article is as of October 28, 2021.

CEATEC 2021 ONLINEExternal site: a new window will open. , the next-generation exhibition, which creates new markets through innovation, was held from October 19 to 22. The exhibition held entirely online this year attracted more than 150 thousand visitors. With the theme "Connecting Society, Co-Creating the Future," the exhibition focused on the four key challenge fields: Carbon Neutral, Smart City, 5G (Fifth-generation mobile communication system) and Mobility.

CEATEC’s official partner Plug and Play Japan (Japanese branch office of a US accelerator Plug and Play) held a pitch event for two days. Around 60 companies appeared on stage, including 41 startups exhibiting at the JETRO Global Connection*1 booth that JETRO put up.

Regarding the exhibitions at the booth by the foreign startups, Yugo Yoshida, Director of Innovation Promotion Division of JETRO, told in the talk session, "Abroad startups highly fitting in Japanese society have exhibited, considering that the exhibition will help Japanese companies find business opportunities for solving social issues. I hope that small and medium-sized enterprises and startups, as well as major companies, will collaborate with the foreign startups."

In the session at the pitch stage, technologies and services that will contribute to solving social issues in Japan were introduced under the themes of "5G/Mobility" "Carbon Neutral/Energy/Sustainability" and "Smart City/Society 5.0" 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 2022 next year. The following four companies were the winners of CEATEC 2021 ONLINE (in order of the award announcement).

FLYING WHALESExternal site: a new window will open.(France)
FLYING WHALES provides solutions that enables air freight of outsized heavy cargos while minimizing environmental impacts. The solutions are expected to contribute to regional revitalization as they enable transportation of heavy cargos to remote areas without constructing infrastructures, such as roads and railroads.
Upbrella International External site: a new window will open.(Canada)
Upbrella International has developed a shelter-type construction system that enables construction work floor by floor from lower floors to upper floors in a shelter attached to the mobile roof. The system helps improve working environment, mitigate environmental impacts and reduce costs.
Ad-diceExternal site: a new window will open.(Japan)
Ad-dice has developed Solomon, an autonomous artificial intelligence (AI) platform that can be operated at workplaces in various fields, including manufacturing, logistics and medicine, to make evaluations by creating AI models based on the visual inspection expertise of experienced workers.
Ridecell, Inc. External site: a new window will open.(USA)
Ridecell, Inc. develops a fleet management platform that optimize automotive traffic and transport vehicles (fleets) so that fleets can be operated and safety and security can be ensured in an automated manner.
Pitches offered by selected companies (photos by JETRO)

Pitches offered by selected companies (photos by JETRO)

*1: JETRO set up the JETRO Global Connection Zone, where foreign startups run their booth, in CEATEC to promote collaboration between promising foreign startups and Japanese companies. For further information, please contact Innovation Promotion Division (

Report by:
IOKI Tomoko, International Economy Division, Overseas Research Department, JETRO

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