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EMIJ stands for the Entrepreneur Mentoring Initiative in Japan.

EMI was started in 2010 as an effort offer support to a growing number of motivated individuals who are attracted to the idea of starting their own businesses. It is also in response to the huge need for innovation and increased productivity in this market. By offering a support network EMI hopes to reduce some of the risk for entrepreneurs and also create synergy between them by creating a collaborative community. We hope to see more entrepreneurial men and women entering the market successfully and making a difference in their respective industries.

 

In brief, 2013/2014 awards winners of the EMI were:

US Embassy's Award - Japanese entrepreneur who best represents the risk-embracing spirit of Silicon Valley: Mr. Yosuke Tsuji.
Company: Money Forward, Inc.
Business: Japan’s largest online financial management service for individuals and small to medium size businesses.
Award Description: The winner will meet with the senior US Embassy and is to attend various entrepreneurship-related programs and events organized by the Embassy throughout 2013/14.
Additional Notes: The retail version currently has 1,800,000 users and won a prestigious Google App award for usability.

Venture Generation Award - Entrepreneur with an early-stage venture:Dr. Yuji Yamamoto.
Company: MinaCare Co., Ltd.
Business: A data analytics service for health insurance companies that uses patient claims, health, and medical treatment data to identify customer segments that have the highest-risk of developing lifestyle-related diseases due of a lack of preventative-care practices.
Award Description: Will focus on helping the winner build a scalable business intended to have a positive impact on society.
Additional Notes: Dr. Yamamoto received his MD degree from the University of Tokyo and became a cardiologist, after which he received his MBA degree from Harvard’s Business School in 2005.

ACCJ Director’s Award - Entrepreneur whose business has at least some international content or aspiration: Ms. Takako Endo
Company: TWHY TWHY, Co., Ltd.
Business: A retail and wholesale business that produces traditional Japanese “senbei” (rice crackers) with non-traditional, innovative flavors (think camembert cheese or strawberry-chocolate) and colors to higher-end retail and wholesale markets in Japan and overseas.
Award Description: The winner will work with the Chamber’s Executive Director to develop a 1 year plan to leverage the Chamber’s network of businesses, committees and events to gain insight and advice on how best to build her/his business.
Additional Notes: Takako Endo has taken limited on-line sales to retail sales at their Tokyo brick & mortar store which have doubled and then tripled annually since it was founded in 2008. Current wholesale contracts include distribution through Isetan department stores, Ritz Carleton and other five-star hotels, and JAL airlines, to name a few.

Groundbreakers Award - Female entrepreneur based in Japan: Ms. Akiko Nishiura.
Company: Shinshu KornuKopia
Business: The first and only company in Japan to introduce applesauce and apple butter to the Japanese market.
Award Description: The winner is invited to attend the DELL Women's Entrepreneur Network (DWEN), which spotlights entrepreneurial success and women to connect, share best practices, build business opportunities and recognize female influence in business and technology.
Additional Notes: KornuKopia uses all-natural ingredients, without preservatives, and is successfully penetrating the higher-end, dessert and fresh fruit markets, targeting 20 – 60 year old, health-conscious women and mothers.



In brief, 2012 awards winners of the EMI were:

Ambassador's Award Ambassador's Award - Japanese entrepreneur who best represents the risk-embracing spirit of Silicon Valley: Ms. Akiko Nishiura
Company: HomeRent
Business: Online social home/apartment rental marketplace tailored to the Japanese market.
Award Description: The winner will meet with the Ambassador and to attend various entrepreneurship-related programs and events organized by the Embassy throughout 2013.
Additional Notes: Ms. Tajima-san is a film-maker. She tested her idea by buying an apartment in Roppongi and advertising it online. It has been booked for 391 consecutive nights, covering her mortgage.

Venture Generation Award - Entrepreneur with an early-stage venture: Mr. Takashi Fujimoto.
Company: In the Street
Business: Online social market place for offline teaching services. For example, a participant would offer to teach a short course in how to make a film using iMovie.
Award Description: Will focus on helping the winner build a scalable business intended to have a positive impact on society.
Additional Notes: Mr. Fujimoto, raised and educated in the United States, is a Stanford MBA who previously worked for the Carlysle Group, FedEx, and Universal Studios.

ACCJ Director’s Award - Entrepreneur whose business has at least some international content or aspiration: Mr. John Martyn
Company: Language Cloud
Business: Cloud-based language learning-management platform. Enables students and teachers to better manage educational resources (lists, tests, flashcards, etc.).
Award Description: The winner will work with the Chamber’s Executive Director to develop a 6-month plan to leverage the Chamber’s network of businesses, committees and events to gain insight and advice on how best to build her/his business.
Additional Notes: John and Billy Martyn are Co-Founders. They have 50 schools signed up.

Groundbreakers Award - Female entrepreneur based in Japan: Ms. Akiko Nishiura.
Company: Nokisaki
Business: Online service to broker offering and reserving/renting unused parking spaces in downtown Tokyo.
Award Description: She will be invited to attend the DELL Women's Entrepreneur Network (DWEN), which spotlights entrepreneurial success and women to connect, share best practices, build business opportunities and recognize female influence in business and technology.
Additional Notes: Ms. Nishiura is a former Sony Corp. executive. She launched the business while pregnant and raising her child.



In brief, 2011 awards winners of the EMI were:

The Ambassador's Award: : Chikahiro Terada, Founder of Sansan, Inc. There are said to be 100 billion business cards exchanged a year worldwide for business networking. The problem of how to manage business cards has been around for a while, and has not gone away. This is the problem that Sansan is aiming to solve. To this end, Sansan provides two services: “Link Knowledge“(corporate) and “Eight” (individual). With presently more than 600 corporate clients and counting Sansan haze garnished the attention of venture capital.

TEAJ Global Entrepreneurship Award: Nhat Vuong, Founder of i-Kifu aims to revolutionize philanthropy. His on-line platform, inspired by GlobalGiving channels donations to non-profits and various CSR efforts.

ACCJ Special Award: Tsuneyuki Fujioka, Founder of FUNFAM. Using bamboo as an eco-friendly material, FUNFAM manufactures and sells eating utensils “uniquely Japanese.” As sustainability grows in importance on the crowded islands that make up Japan, Fujioka has identified a promising niche.

Groundbreakers Award: Mie Kajikawa, CEO of Sports for Smile and Cheer Blossom, a consulting service to sports organizations. The company’s motto is “everyone is the best.” It wants to encourage corporations to embrace it. Focused on channeling CSR to sports activities, Kajikawa wants to change the world.

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