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METI Selected the Members to Be Dispatched to Silicon Valley for “Start Next Innovator 2015” (a Program for Fostering Global Entrepreneurs)

As the first step in the “Project for a Bridge of Innovation between Silicon Valley and Japan” (in Japanese: “kakehashi”), the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) will dispatch 20 people selected from across the country, including entrepreneurs and businesspeople in charge of new business development from large enterprises, with the aims of fostering people who are to lead the next generation’s innovations and of linking Japan to Silicon Valley.

1. “Start Next Innovator 2015” (a program for fostering global entrepreneurs)

As the first step toward the “Project for a Bridge of Innovation between Silicon Valley and Japan” (in Japanese: “kakehashi”), announced by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Silicon Valley in the U.S. on April 30, 2015, METI is conducting a program where METI extensively invites and selects human resources, including persons who take on the challenge of starting a venture business and persons belonging to large enterprises who venture to start a new business, and dispatches them to Silicon Valley in order to train them as key persons in the next generation of innovation through their interactions with the local investors and entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley.

2. Process of selecting people to be dispatched to Silicon Valley

A total of 367 people applied for “Start Next Innovator 2015” (a program for fostering global entrepreneurs) throughout the country. 122 of those 367 people comprised of entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs in charge of new businesses in large enterprises who had passed the primary selection, participated in a 3-month program held in Japan. During the sessions in Japan, participants refined their own business plans through practical lectures and training sessions concerning the discovery of obstacles to progress, development of solutions, and involvement of organizations.
20 members have been selected to be the first dispatched to Silicon Valley as a result of strict examinations regarding the innovativeness of their business plans, the social impact of their ideas, and other points in the second round of the selection process conducted by the screening committee, composed of lecturers for the domestic programs, representatives of the program management office, and METI representatives.

3. Outline of the Silicon Valley program

The 20 participants dispatched to Silicon Valley are to stay there for 2 weeks from October 25 (Sun.) through November 8 (Sun.), 2015. They will attempt to assimilate the mindset and master the skills necessary for the next generation of leaders who will be responsible for innovation. They will experience and learn the practices in use at the most advanced sites and gain experience and learn techniques for developing and pitching their ideas to investors. It is also expected that the participants will build ties with the network of investors and entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley.

The participants to be dispatched to Silicon Valley are listed in the attachment(PDF:40KB) PDF File

Release date

October 19, 2015

Division in charge

New Business Policy Office, Economic and Industrial Policy Bureau

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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