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Call for Entrepreneur Applicants for the “Start Next Innovator 2018“ 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 fourth 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 businesses while taking a proactive approach towards embarking in global markets, solving social challenges, etc.

1. Outline of the Start Next Innovator 2018 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. Outcomes of the previous rounds of the program

The program brought together 374 members selected from applicants for the program in the previous three rounds, and dispatched approximately 60 people who had passed the primary selection and participated in the program to Silicon Valley.

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.

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

May 7, 2018

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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