January 22, 2020
As part of the Project Creating a Bridge of Innovation between Silicon Valley and Japan, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) selected 20 people from applicants from all across Japan, including entrepreneurs and personnel in charge of new business ventures in large enterprises, and will dispatch the selected participants to Silicon Valley, the United States, aiming to foster next-generation leaders who will play key roles in creating innovations and to encourage them to create a bridge between Japan and Silicon Valley.
1. Outline of the Start Next Innovator 2019 program
METI has been conducting the Start Next Innovator program as part of the Project Creating a Bridge of Innovation between Silicon Valley and Japan, which was announced by Prime Minister Abe during a trip to Silicon Valley, the United States, on April 30, 2015. It is a human-resource development program, in which METI calls for venture business entrepreneurs and personnel from large companies in charge of new projects to apply, and successful applicants will be dispatched to companies in Silicon Valley to provide them with opportunities to engage with local investors and entrepreneurs, and finally foster them as key persons in creating next-generation innovations.
2. Process for determining people to be dispatched to Silicon Valley
Over 327 people applied for the Start Next Innovator 2019 program from across Japan. Out of the applicants, 100 people who had passed the primary screening, including entrepreneurs and personnel in charge of new projects in large enterprises, participated in a five-month domestic program. In the program, they attended practical lectures and training sessions and learned the behaviors and the mindset that are essential for innovators. In addition, they refined their own business plans with the help of experts.
Following this, METI officials and the examination committee of instructors, mentors and members of the secretariats involved in the domestic program held the secondary screening of these participants and strictly examined the potential social impact and innovativeness of their business plans. Based on the results of the screening, METI finally selected 20 participants to be dispatched to Silicon Valley.
3. Outline of the program
For ten days from January 22 (Wed.) to 31 (Fri.), 2020, the participants will be dispatched to Silicon Valley where they will aim to assimilate the mindset and master the skills necessary to be next-generation leaders who will play key roles in creating innovations, through experiencing the practices in use at the most advanced sites, e.g., by pitching their ideas to investors, entrepreneurs and other outstanding people in Silicon Valley.
4. List of the selected participants to be dispatched to Silicon Valley
Division in Charge
Startup and New Business Promotion Office, Economic and Industrial Policy Bureau