Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc.

Business Acceleration Program 2019 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 2019 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 15, 2019

    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

Competition requirements

Eligible participants

Individuals and venture companies having about less than 1 billion yen or 10 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 , MVP(minimum viable product)stage. It is desirable that initial customers have already been acquired.

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 2019, Japan’s largest exhibition of the latest technology
  • The Member Award

    • Corporate Members A may give an award.
  • Cash award

    • The Best Award (prize: 1 million yen) and the MRI Award(prize: 300,000 yen), other awards

Advisory Board

We welcome domestic and foreign experts and experts who have agreed to the activities of INCF as advisors.
They will be in charge of screening this program.

(In alphabetical order; honorifics omitted)

  • Joichi Ito

    Joichi Ito

    Director / Professor, MIT Media Lab

  • Masa Inakage

    Masa Inakage

    Dean and Professor, Keio University Graduate School of Media Design

  • Shigeo Kagami

    Shigeo Kagami

    Professor, Division of University Corporate Relations, University of Tokyo

  • Tomy Kamada

    Tomy Kamada

    CEO and Founder of TomyK Ltd.

  • Sachiko Kuno

    Sachiko Kuno

    President and CEO, S&R Foundation / Founder and Chair, Halcyon

  • Hiroshi Komiyama

    Hiroshi Komiyama

    Chairman, Mitsubishi Research Institute

  • Ulrike Schaede

    Ulrike Schaede

    Professor of Japanese Business, UC San Diego

  • Radhika Shah

    Radhika Shah

    Co-President, Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs / Advisor, SDG Philanthropy Platform

  • Yasuo Sugiyama

    Yasuo Sugiyama

    Professor, Graduate School of Management, Kyoto University

  • Richard Dasher

    Richard Dasher

    Director, US-Asia Technology Management Center, Stanford University

  • Hiro Nishiguchi

    Hiro Nishiguchi

    Executive Managing Director, Japan Innovation Network

  • Haruo Miyagi

    Haruo Miyagi

    Founder and CEO, ETIC.

  • Hiroshi Menjo

    Hiroshi Menjo

    Managing Partner, Net Service Ventures Group

Screening process and Schedule

Competition procedures and criteria for participants

April 2 The application guidelines are announced, and acceptance of applications for primary screening commences.

May 31 12:00 (Japan time) Deadline for applications for primary screening.

Primary screening(document review)

Early June - Late June.
Notification of the results of primary screening.
End of June

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*)

July 3 and July 8
at Mitsubishi Research Institute
Notification of the results of secondary screening.
Mid July-Late July

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 is provided

Late July - Early September

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“Business Acceleration Program Award”)

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.

* If you can‘t come to the venue, you can use skype or send us a presentation video.

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 teams will be selected through the screenings?

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