Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc.

Business Acceleration Program 2018 to address societal issues

Mitsubishi Research Institute (MRI) has launched the Innovation Network for Co-Creating the Future (INCF) with the aim of achieving a more sustainable society through solutions to societal issues based on groundbreaking technologies and innovation. INCF acts as a platform to achieve those aims by facilitating the collaboration of, gathering of wisdom from around the world by, optimal teamwork among industry, government, academia, and citizens.
MRI is running the Business Acceleration Program 2018 to address societal issues centered around the six focus areas, such as "Education/Human Resources", "Wellness", "Water and Food", "Disaster Prevention", "Mobility", and "Energy and Environment". We look forward to receiving applications from persons and startups who are passionate about addressing these societal issues, both in Japan and around the world.

Announcements

  • April 27, 2018

    This website was launched.

Program

Business proposals may also be submitted for multifaceted social issues that involve several focus areas.

Note: business proposals focusing only on infrastructure technologies (e.g. AI and blockchains) will not be accepted.

Application Details

Benefits for Competition participants

  • Mentoring

    • Our team of mentors, consisting of experts in fields such as "Education / Human Resources", "Wellness", "Water and Food", "Disaster Prevention", "Mobility", "Energy and Environment", and business strategy, will provide support such as enhancing business ideas and improving presentation skills.
  • Assistance in transforming business ideas into commercial projects

    • Assistance in matching with INCF member companies, etc.
    • Assistance in building relationships with governments, business partners, investors, etc., via the MRI network
    • Assistance by MRI in conducting demonstration experiments and validation toward commercialization
  • Proactive dissemination of information

    • Providing opportunities to demonstrate the appeals of one’s work to INCF member companies, etc. (e.g. final review meeting, Business Acceleration Program Award)
    • Providing opportunity for presentation in a pitch event at CEATEC JAPAN 2018, Japan’s largest exhibition of the latest technology
  • Cash award

    • The Best Award (prize: 1 million yen) and other awards such as the MRI Award

Screening process

Competition procedures and criteria for participants

Primary screening(document review)

The business plans, participants' strong points, and other information in each application form will be comprehensively evaluated, including the extent to which it addresses societal issues, the level of impact, benefits to users, business potential, and feasibility.

Secondary screening(presentations)

In addition to perspectives from the primary screening, presentations will be comprehensively evaluated, including the passion demonstrated by participants for addressing societal issues and pursuing their business plan.

Mentoring(one month)

Mentoring sessions will be held by MRI scientists. Our team of mentors, consisting of experts in fields of six priority social issues and business strategy, will provide support for enhancing business models and improving presentation skills.

Final screening(pitch Competition)

Participants who pass the secondary screening will give presentations in the form of a pitch Competition “Business Acceleration Program Award” before a panel that will include experts and business development officers of companies.

Advisors

Advisory Board

We welcome domestic and foreign experts and experts who have agreed to the activities of INCF as advisors. Please check from here for details.

Schedule

  • April 18

    The application guidelines are announced, and acceptance of applications for primary screening commences.

  • June 17

    Deadline for applications for primary screening.

  • Late June-July

    Primary screening (document review).

  • Mid July

    Notification of the results of primary screening.

  • Late July

    Secondary screening (presentations).

  • Early August

    Notification of the results of secondary screening.

  • August-Early September

    Mentoring is provided.

  • September 18

    Final screening (pitch Competition“Business Acceleration Program Award”) is held.

Competition requirements

Eligible participants

Individuals and venture companies having about less than 100 million yen or 1 million USD in capital, etc. (capital, capital reserves, and capital surplus), and having a goal of addressing societal problems within the scope defined by Mitsubishi Research Institute through business means.

Eligible business models

Business models on the use of business to address societal problems within the scope of this program.

Solutions using services that have already been launched or products in the prototype stage.

FAQ

Eligible areas of business for the program

Are nonprofit organizations included?

No, the program does not include nonprofit organizations.

Can we apply if our service has already been launched (open for business)?

Yes. You can also apply if you have an existing business and you want to use the technology on which your business is based to expand into the area of ”Mobility”, "Disaster Prevention" or "Education/Human Resources" for the first time.

Can we apply for multiple business plans?

Yes. However, only one business plan per company will be selected.

Intellectual property rights

Who will own the intellectual property rights?

Intellectual property rights for business plans and products developed during the business plan Competition period will belong to the participants.

Other

How many companies will be selected through the screenings?

We expect that five to seven companies will participate in the final screening (pitch Competition).

Will you pay any travel expenses or development costs, etc. during the Competition period?

Management will pay travel expenses for persons who travel from distant locations to participate in the final screening (pitch Competition).

Can individuals apply?

Yes.