Celebration! Selected as One of Five Startups making an Impact in the U.S. and Japanese Markets, Providing an Opportunity for Expansion of U.S. Offices [Japan-US Innovation Award Symposium 2022]
The Japan-US Innovation Award Symposium 2022 was held at Stanford University on July 14, 2022. The symposium, co-hosted by the Japan Society of Northern California and the US-Asia Technology Management Center (US-ATMC) at Stanford University, recognizes startups that have made an impact in both the U.S. and Japanese markets.
At the symposium, WARPSPACE was selected for the “Innovation Showcase”, which recognizes up-and-coming startups from Japan that are aiming to enter the U.S. market.
Overview of Japan-US Innovation Award Symposium 2022
The Japan Society of Northern California, the organizer of this symposium, is a private non-profit organization (NPO) based in Silicon Valley, U.S., founded in 1905. The Japan-US Innovation Award Symposium, held every summer at Stanford University, is a major event in Silicon Valley that helps to build connections between the U.S. and Japan to deepen mutual understanding between the two countries.
The Japan-US Innovation Award Symposium 2022 awards Emerging Leaders (one EL from each country) and Innovation Showcase (five IS from Japan) that have made a significant impact on the U.S. and Japanese markets, and are seeking to enter the U.S. market. Past winners include LINE (2014, EL), Spiber (2016, IS), and ZOOM (2019, EL). Astroscale (2021, EL) and ispace (2018, IS) also received awards as space startups. As you can see, the Japan-US Innovation Award Symposium 2022 is truly a stepping gate for companies that will be active on the global stage in the future.
What does it mean to win the award?
What does winning a Japan-US Innovation Award Symposium 2022 mean to WARPSPACE?
Mori, who attended the symposium and gave the award-winning speech, considers the following.
First, the award committee is comprised of venture capital managing directors, entrepreneurs, and other experienced professionals with successful business and investment careers. These “Silicon Valley connoisseurs” will select the Japan-US Innovation Award winners after a six-month vetting process. In other words, this award is an endorsement that WARPSPACE is “a company with a very promising future in the business world”.
As is evident from past awardees, the award is not limited to space-related startups but is open to a wide range of companies in a wide variety of fields. The reason WARPSPACE was selected as a winner of the Japan-US Innovation Award is due in large part to the selection committee members’ understanding of the current status and issues of the communications business in space, which WARPSPACE is working to revitalize and solve in the Earth observation business. However, considering the characteristics of this award, it can be said that the award was given not only because of the novelty of the business idea of solving problems in space but also because of the profitability and business potential of WARPSPACE. In this sense, this award is very significant.
(Note: On July 22, 2022, WARPSPACE was also selected as one of the four best companies in the 9th MUFG Business Support Program “Rise Up Festa”. WARPSPACE’s business is highly acclaimed.)
At the WARPSPACE PR booth, Mori and Takahashi were able to talk and network with venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and trading company-based business investors who gathered at the symposium. When we explained the issues of Earth observation satellites and our business to people outside of the space industry, I felt that “We could share our vision with them for the business, perhaps in addition to their expectations for deep tech and space exploration”, said Mori. We have made another strong connection with passionate investors in Silicon Valley.
Stepping to the future, including the U.S. office
Operating income is one of the easier indicators for investors to understand in evaluating the value of a company, but it is not the only one. In recent years, there has been an increasing emphasis on the social impact of its business, as represented by the SDGs and ESG. The concept of the Japan-US Innovation Award Symposium 2022 refers to this very perspective.
However, even if a business has the potential to have a large impact on society, global expansion is an important point.
The fact that the company has established a U.S. office and is steadily promoting its business was highly regarded by the Japan-US Innovation Award selection committee members.
“ I think we are on the right track”, said Mori.
This award is a stepping stone for the future expansion of WARPSPACE’s U.S. office.
They had lunch at Sotto Mare, where the Cioppino (seafood and pasta stewed in tomato sauce) was highly recommended. In addition to the award-winning topic, we also heard in detail about how delicious Cioppino is, but there is not enough space to write here.
Written by Junichiro Nakazawa