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Call for Entrepreneur Applicants for the Start Next Innovator 2017 Initiative (Program for Fostering Global Entrepreneurs) Project for a Bridge of Innovation between Silicon Valley and Japan

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has started a call for applicants for the third round of the Start Next Innovation, a human-resource development program in which METI provides training courses in Japan for promising entrepreneurs and key players of new projects in large companies and businesses, and then provides them with experience-based programs in Silicon Valley, the United States. Through providing opportunities for dialogue between Japanese entrepreneurs and investors, other entrepreneurs, and cutting-edge innovators at such training courses in Japan and Silicon Valley, METI will aim to foster key players who will create new business while taking a proactive approach of embarking in global markets, solving social challenges, etc.

1. Outline of the Start Next Innovator 2017 program

As part of the Project for a Bridge of Innovation between Silicon Valley and Japan, which was announced by Prime Minister Abe in Silicon Valley, the United States, in April 2015, METI decided to start a human-resource development program, in which METI will broadly call for and select human resources who will take on the challenge of venture business and new projects in large companies as applicants, dispatch the selected applicants to companies in Silicon Valley to provide them with opportunities for exchange with local investors and entrepreneurs, and finally foster them to become key persons who will create next-generation innovations.

2. Results of the FY2016 program

Over 200 people applied for the Start Next Innovator 2016 throughout Japan. Out of the applicants, about 120 entrepreneurs or people in charge of new businesses in large enterprises who had passed the primary selection participated in a 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. Following the training, members were selected and dispatched to Silicon Valley as a result of strict screening for innovation in their business plans, social impact derived from their ideas, and other points in the second round of the selection process conducted by the screening committee of program instructors and other people involved.

In Silicon Valley, they assimilated the mindset and mastered the skills necessary for the next generation of leaders who will be responsible for innovation. They experienced and learned the practices in use at the most advanced sites, and gained experience and learned techniques for developing and pitching their ideas to investors. The participants also built ties with networks of investors and entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley.

Release date

April 27, 2017

Division in Charge

New Business Policy Office, Economic and Industrial Policy Bureau

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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