IMAGR Ltd. of New Zealand Wins First Prize at Asian Entrepreneurship Award

20 Asian startups showcase innovative AI, IoT, healthcare and medical-related technologies at Japan’s Kashiwa-no-ha Smart City

IMAGR, Ltd. of New Zealand, the winner of AEA 2018 (Photo: Business Wire)

CHIBA, Japan--()--The Asian Entrepreneurship Award Steering Committee announced today that IMAGR Ltd. of New Zealand won first prize at the Asian Entrepreneurship Awards 2018 (“AEA 2018”), a three-day business pitch contest for Asian startups held from October 31st to November 2nd at Kashiwa-no-ha campus city in Chiba prefecture, Japan. This year, 20 technology startups from 13 countries and regions across Asia specializing in the AI & IoT and medical & healthcare fields showcased their innovations, the commercial viability and social impact of their products and services, as well as the future potential of their solutions and the potential for collaboration with major Japanese corporations.

Initiated in 2012, the AEA program aims to create an ecosystem of entrepreneurship across Asia and has brought together 154 companies from over 16 countries and regions to date. It constitutes a collaborative effort across industry, government and academia and is co-hosted by Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd., the University of Tokyo’s Corporate Relations Division, TX Entrepreneur Partners General Incorporated Association, and The Japan Academic Society for Ventures and Entrepreneurs.

This year, the AEA focused on AI and IoT and on the medical and healthcare sectors—key business fields Kashiwa-no-ha campus city is focusing on in its quest to spur the creation of new industries that will help address a variety of social issues in Japan and Asia, such as declining birthrates and aging societies. This year’s winner, IMAGR Ltd, a New Zealand-based startup that developed the innovative AI/computer vision shopping cart SMARTCART, was evaluated highly in terms of their business scalability, with a number of Japanese companies already showing interest in potential collaboration. The company also won the Audience Award, attracting the most votes by the audience at the final session.

Last year, the AEA newly established the “Kashiwa-no-ha Award”, designed to recognize a technology, product or service that will enhance the development of the Kashiwa-no-ha campus, the host city of AEA – a “smart city” initiative aiming to develop a next-generation urban environment through collaboration between the public, private and academic sectors. Located about 40 minutes from Tokyo by train, Kashiwa-no-ha campus city aims to establish an open platform that will accelerate the creation of new industries. This year, the award was presented to Girasol Energy Inc., a spin-off from the University of Tokyo that leverages its patented power line communication technology to develop IoT platforms for solar power plants. The company also won third prize in the overall competition, being rated highly on their practical application of IoT and their potential to reach diverse customer sectors.

To further accelerate collaboration between Asian startups and major Japanese corporations, the AEA added a new judging criterion evaluating the startups’ potential to collaborate with Japanese companies on business deployment in Japan. To illustrate such potential, Singapore-based startup ViSenze, runner-up at last year’s AEA, shared details of their recent collaboration with Mitsui Fudosan, one of the co-hosts of the AEA. Following AEA 2017, Mitsui Fudosan adopted ViSenze’s intelligent image recognition solution and deployed it at their e-commerce shopping mall “&mall”.
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About AEA

The Asian Entrepreneurship Award (AEA) is an annual international business pitch event for startups across Asia, aiming at forming an “ecosystem” that generates innovation through collaboration among industry, government and academia. Since 2012, young entrepreneurs from over 16 countries and regions in Asia have gathered in Japan to present their innovative ideas to leverage knowledge and technology to tackle challenges in the fast-growing Asia region. AEA is hosted at Kashiwa-no-ha Campus in Japan’s Chiba prefecture, a rapidly globalizing smart city that attracts people from around the world to pursue the creation of a new industrial culture.


• AEA 2018 Winners

First Prize   IMAGR Ltd. (New Zealand) / Founder & CEO: William Chomley
Second Prize Brain Beat, Ltd (Russia) / CEO: Edward Kryzhanovskii
Third Prize Girasol Energy Inc. (Japan) / CEO: Li Min
Kashiwa-no-ha Award Girasol Energy Inc. (Japan) / CEO: Li Min
The Japan Academic Society for Ventures and Entrepreneurs Award Value and Trust Co., Ltd. (Korea) / CEO: Paul Roe
IP Bridge Award PLIMES Inc. (Japan) / CEO & Co-founder: Kenji Suzuki
Audience Award   IMAGR Ltd. (New Zealand) / CEO: William Chomley

For a list of startup entrants and their businesses, visit


Media Contact
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Rutsuko Nakajima, +81-80-7962-4457

Release Summary

IMAGR Ltd. of New Zealand won first prize at the Asian Entrepreneurship Awards 2018, a three-day business pitch contest for Asian startups.


Media Contact
Story Design house
Rutsuko Nakajima, +81-80-7962-4457