Japan’s biggest business idea and hackathon contest has launched. The project centers on 6 categories with the aim of “creating trillion-yen business opportunities” where everyone can contribute building the future of japan.
VISITS Technologies Inc. (Location: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, CEO: Masaru Matsumoto, hereinafter referred to as “VISITS”), together with Microsoft Japan, Softbank, Facebook subsidiary Meta and IoT Business Co-cration Lab, have established the “IDEACTIVE JAPAN PROJECT Executive Committee” commencing today (8 September 2022). In addition, Japan’s biggest idea and hackathon contest, “IDEACTIVE JAPAN PROJECT”, will commence.
■ IDEACTIVEJAPANN PROJECT Background
In the past, many Japanese companies were at the top of the world market capitalization rankings, with these companies playing a central role in the global economy. However, in today’s rapidly changing world, with advances in technology and globalization, the market capitalization of several overseas companies now exceeds the combined market capitalization of all listed Japanese companies. To improve Japan’s economic situation for the better, the IDEACTIVE JAPAN PROJECT aims to provide everyone with the opportunity to contribute to “making an impact on Japanese society and the World, by empowering each and every individual in Japan.” With the combined and cumulative power of everyone’s individual voice and action, the IDEACTIVE JAPAN PROJECT aims to transform Japan in the next 10 years.
In line with the mission of “building an ecosystem where everyone in the world can contribute to social value creation through the science of creativity”, VISITS will provide project participants with access to the “Design Thinking Test” and “VISITS forms”, services which incorporates proprietary technology that quantifies skills such as creativity and evaluative skills.
By using technology, the project will work to discover and nurture talents who can generate innovative and implementable ideas. By connecting these talents with the technology and developers who have the skills to realize those ideas, the project aims create a new ecosystem that seamlessly supports the creation of services that will revolutionize the world.
■ IDEACTIVE JAPAN PROJECT Overview
The project consists of 3 phases: Season 1 for creating ideas, Season 2 for developing those ideas, and Season 3 for supporting social implementation and commercialization.
Starting today, as Season 1 will commence, with the following programs being offered with the aim of creating 100,000 new business ideas.
The Idea Contest
As the first step towards turning ideas into businesses, participants are invited to ideate solutions to social issues in 6 categories: space, SDGs, entertainment, XR (metaverse), IoT and AI.
At this phase, the AI-powered online tool VISITS forms will be used. With more than 10,000 people simultaneously submitting ideas and engaging in mutual evaluation, this will be the largest scale idea co-creation performed in Japan to date. Teams that pass the first round of screening will receive free mentoring to develop their ideas into a business plan. In addition, the top teams in each category will receive various sponsorship prizes, including a cash prize of 10 million yen for the grand prize-winning team.
Idea Contest Overview
Application period: Thursday 8 September 2022 – Wednesday 25 January 2023
Application eligibility: open application for individuals as well as groups.
How to apply: online application via the project website.
Project Description: The project seeks idea submissions for services and solutions that solve social issues in 6 categories: SDGs, Entertainment, Space, AI, XR (metaverse), and IoT. Submissions will be judged from 4 evaluation perspectives: originality, future potential, marketability, and feasibility. The top 3 teams in each category will be selected.
Final judging date: Saturday 18 March 2023
• ¥10million Yen
• Invitation to Microsoft and Meta headquarters in the USA as part of a ‘business brush-up tour’.
• Priority entry to the Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub.
• Priority entry to the Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub. *Additional conditions and eligibility screenings apply.
• Up to 5 Surface Laptop Studio.
The top teams/participants in each category will also receive prizes.
• Lenovo Japan’s latest powerful PC & monitor
• Meta Quest 2
• Free Red Bull drinks
• Anker discount coupons
• SMBC Nikko Securities Finance Advice
• Free global communication and LinkedIn coaching by JAC
• ICC IBP Program and study abroad grants from overseas assistants.
In Season 2, “IDEACTIVE Hackathon” and “IDEACTIVE Activate Contest” will be held for 10,000 participants to further develop their ideas. To create prototypes for business ideas, Japanese version of Microsoft/Avanade’s hackathon know-how will be held nationwide.
Throughout the project, business and technical mentors will provide support throughout project and ideas will be judged from various aspects such as originality, marketability, and future potential.
Details for Season 2 will be announced in January 2023.
【About IDEACTIVE JAPAN PROJECT】
The IDEACTIVE JAPAN Project brings together major companies and students from Japan’s public, private and academic sectors. The project aims to foster an ecosystem where individuals’ ideas can lead to the development of new Japanese business that can be shared and loved worldwide.
Organizers: Microsoft Japan Co., Ltd.; SoftBank Corp.; Meta Japan Corporation Facebook Japan Co., Ltd.; VISITS Technologies Inc.; IoT Business Co-Creation Lab.
Supported by: Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry; Japan Deep Learning Association; Japan Student Services Organization.
Special Sponsors: Tokyo Electron Device Ltd., Avanade Japan Co., Ltd.
Student team ambassador: More than 100 student ambassadors.
*The IoT Business Co-Creation Lab is a community where experts in the IoT / Big Data field gather to share know-how through joint verification of IoT projects using Microsoft Azure as a platform. The Lab helps entrepreneurs, developers, and other companies IoT companies ideate solutions regarding IoT / Big Data, to leverage a source of competitiveness.
■About VISITS Technologies
VISITS developed Consensus Intelligence technology, the world’s first consensus-building algorithm that quantifies ‘creativity’ and ‘knowledge’. (Patented in the US and Japan)
In June 2018, VISITS was selected in the J-Startup program, a start-up support program run by the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry for the creation of next-generation unicorn companies.
VISITS Forms： https://visitsforms.com/
Design Thinking Test：https://design-thinking-test.com/
Establishment : June 2014
Location : Yusen Building 2F, 2-3-2 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo