JETRO, University of Tokyo and Sumitomo Life to Host Online Symposium: “How to Nurture Global-minded Japanese University Startups”

JETRO partners with the University of Tokyo and SUMITOMO LIFE to host symposium on university spinoff startups (Graphic: Business Wire)

SAN FRANCISCO--()--The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is collaborating with the University of Tokyo, Sumitomo Life Insurance Company and U.S. ecosystem players such as Berkeley SkyDeck and ATI (Austin Technology Incubator) to hold an online symposium on Nov. 10th at 4PM PST. The discussion will focus on how to create and nurture university spinout startups and how to strengthen that ecosystem in Japan.

Through panel discussions between university-launched startup training institutions and Japanese and American startups active around the world, we will discuss the factors necessary for creating university-launched global startups. In addition, there will be pitches by startups from U.S. universities aiming to enter the Japanese market and startups from Japanese universities aiming to enter the U.S. market. We look forward to the participation of companies, investors, and all those involved in university-launched startups who are interested in collaborating and investing. If you would like to attend, please register through this link.

The detailed schedule is as follows, and the latest schedule is also available here. <Flyer>

Opening Remarks 4:00-4:10PM (PST)
Nobuhiko Sasaki, President, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)
Yukinori Takada, President & CEO, Sumitomo Life Insurance Company

Keynote 4:10-4:30PM (PST)
“How the University of Tokyo strategically nurtures global university startups.”
Teruo Fujii, President, The University of Tokyo

Panel Discussion: “How to foster a university startup ecosystem and support global expansion” 4:30-5:00PM (PST)
Caroline Winnett, Executive Director, Berkeley SkyDeck
Richard Amato, Director, Strategic & Global Initiatives, Austin Technology Incubator
Tomotaka Goji, President, UTEC - The University of Tokyo Edge Capital Partners Co., Ltd.
Takaaki Umada, Director, FoundX, The University of Tokyo

Startup Panel Discussion
Part 1: Think global from day 1
5:00-5:30PM (PST)
Christian John, President, Tier IV North America Inc.
Sukemasa Kabayama, Co-founder and CEO, Uplift Labs
Tomohiro Takano, Co-Founder and CEO, Genomelink

Part 2: How can entrepreneurs leverage university resources? 5:30-6:00PM (PST)
Tania A. Coke, Co-founder and CEO, Tellus You Care Inc.
Waichiro Katsuda, Co-founder and CEO, ThinkCyte, Inc.
Yumi Kawahara, President, Space Bio-Laboratories Co.,Ltd.

US- Japan Startup Pitch Session 6:05-6:55PM (PST)
Michael Soule, VP, Business Development, Embr Labs
Sungwon Lim, CEO, ImpriMed
Adam Saltman, Chief Medical Officer, Eko Health
Taihei Ishii, CEO, Startbahn, Inc.
Koshin Sekimizu, Founder/CEO, Provigate, Inc.
Xiaojun Sun, CEO, BionicM Corporation
Mariko Tosu, Founder and Chairperson, Braizon Therapeutics

Closing Remarks 6:55-7:00PM (PST)
Toshiya Watanabe, Vice Director, Professor, Executive Director / Executive Vice President, The University of Tokyo Institute for Future Initiatives

For more information about the participating speakers and companies, please see: here.

This symposium is part of an ongoing research project comparing startups in Japan and the United States, which started with the comprehensive cooperation agreement between the University of Tokyo and JETRO announced in June this year. It is also supported by Sumitomo Life Insurance Company.

For up-to-date information on the event, please visit the event page.

About JETRO: Japan’s history of innovation has set industry standards. JETRO is the Japanese government agency responsible for promoting trade and investment between Japan and the rest of the world. JETRO provides support and assistance to American companies entering the Japanese market and to Japanese companies expanding overseas. JETRO has more than 70 offices around the world, including six in the US. JETRO provides a wide range of services, including market intelligence, business development support, and business seminars, all designed to encourage business partnerships between American companies and Japan. For more information, visit:

About the University of Tokyo: The University of Tokyo was established in 1877 as the first national university in Japan. As a leading research university, UTokyo offers courses in essentially all academic disciplines at both undergraduate and graduate levels and conducts research across the full spectrum of academic activity. The University aims to provide its students with a rich and varied academic environment that ensures opportunities for both intellectual development and the acquisition of professional knowledge and skills. For more information, visit

About Sumitomo Life: Sumitomo Life Insurance Company is a mutual life insurance company in Japan, founded in 1907 and headquartered in Osaka. Since its foundation, Sumitomo Life has served its role in supporting numerous customers and their families through its life insurance business. Sumitomo Life’s vision is to offer advanced products to enable customers to live vigorously. Sumitomo Life sees many issues surrounding the super-aging society as sources of innovation and supports enhancing environments for the international development of startup ecosystem in the “well-being” field. For more information, visit


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