Hack Osaka is held annually by Osaka City with the slogan of “Open Innovation City”. In the 6th Hack Osaka, participants bring ideas to make Osaka a place where innovations are produced one after another, with the theme of “Power to Connect and Get Connected Produces Serendipity, - Give Before You Get -“. We will consider how we establish an effective ecosystem through organic connections between various players including investors, entrepreneurs, and large companies, based on successful examples in the world,
Kentaro Suda was born in Kuala Lumpur in 1985 to a Japanese father and a Malaysian-Chinese mother. He spent his childhood in Malaysia and Jakarta, Indonesia until he moved to Osaka at the age of 10. Despite entering the college, a chain of his thoughts at the Coming of Age ceremony led him to envisage to achieve "something world-class" in his life and decide to drop out of the college. At the age of 22, he founded the company, FREEPLUS. In 2010, FREEPLUS started Japan's inbound travel business. In 2017, FREEPLUS started a hotel business mainly targeting foreign tourists.
Tiantian Zhang is the Co-founder of Vigo Technologies, a Silicon Valley-based hardware company behind Vue, the world's first pair of stylish smart glasses. Vue raised $2.2M on Kickstarter, making it the highest grossing eyewear campaign of all time. Prior to Vigo Technologies, she founded Three Fellows, a video media company that portrayed the lives of Chinese students in the US that garnered tens of millions of views online as well as partnerships with major Chinese TV stations including CCTV and Phoenix TV. In 2017, Tiantian was honored on the Forbes China 30 under 30 list for her work in hardware. She was invited to meet China’s Premier Li Keqiang as a young entrepreneur in honor of her achievements both in China and abroad. Tiantian holds a masters degree in Product Design from the University of Pennsylvania. In her spare time, Tiantian focuses on painting, fashion, and CrossFit. Tiantian is a strong believer in the power of education, her higher education experiences have changed her life. She hopes to strengthen and expand programs that offer the same opportunities to underprivileged girls within China.
Oko is an active founder and a community builder. He has cofounded and helps run several startups in Asia. Oko has received a bachelors degree in Finance from Portland State University before continuing onto a masters degree in Engineering Technology Management but decided to return home to Mongolia. He then received his MBA in Mongolia. When he is not working, he can be found on Squash courts or on long-haul Motorbike rides in Asia.
Rockstart Founder Oscar Kneppers is a successful serial entrepreneur and a celebrated internet publisher – launching several cross-media brands since 1998 focused on new media, innovation and technology. After selling his media businesses, Oscar founded Rockstart in 2011. Oscar started his career with publisher IDG in the Netherlands. In 1998 Oscar started his first business with Emerce. In 2005 he launched Bright, and in 2007 Bright. TV. Over the years Oscar’s companies won several awards. Oscar comes from a large family, is married, has two children and lives in Amsterdam.
Gidi Schmerling is the Director of Media Relations at the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality. He also heads the "Digitel" project, thanks to which Tel Aviv-Yafo was nominated the smartest city in the world at the Smart City EXPO World Congress held in Barcelona. Schmerling is in charge of Tel Aviv-Yafo's Media Arts field in UNESCO's Creative Cities Network. He is also a director at Tel Aviv Global and Tourism, which is an initiative that promotes Tel Aviv as an international center of innovation, leveraging its status as the city with the largest concentration of startups and technological accelerators in the world. Schmerling previously served as Head of the National Information Directorate of the Israeli government and Spokesman for the Prime Minister. He has a MBA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of Zurich and is also a Harvard University alumnus.
Mr. Yoshikawa is the head of the Osaka Innovation Hub (OIH), which the Osaka City Government launched as a Networking platform in the city for innovation; it has been holding more than 200 events, such as Hack-a-thons and pitch contests, with over 12,000 participants annually, for gathering and connecting all the relevant resources in the city. OIH is spreading such innovation throughout the city, working beyond all boundaries such as position, title, organization, and nationalities to build an Innovation Ecosystem. In order to build a stronger Innovation Ecosystem by giving more diversity to the city, OIH is strongly promoting to connect with innovative communities in the world with the slogan “Connect Osaka to the World.” He has been involved with new business development, including founding and managing several startups. Based on his experience, he believes that entrepreneurs are heroes or AND heroines who can help solve problems in society through business.
Tim Romero is a Tokyo-based entrepreneur, podcaster, author and teacher who has started four companies and led Japan market entry for others since coming to Japan more than 25 years ago. Tim hosts the Disrupting Japan podcast, teaches corporate innovation and entrepreneurship at New York University Shinagawa campus, and is deeply involved in Japan's startup community as an investor, founder and mentor.
Akinori Takahagi is representative of Moff. Born in Osaka and having worked at A.T. Kearney Tokyo and in the Product Planning Department of Mercedes-Benz Japan, he participated in Osaka City’s Mono App Hackathon and Silicon Valley Tour. As a result, he established Moff in October 2013. His company develops and sells the Moff Band, a wearable, sensor-equipped device for fun movement, which is top-ranked on Amazon both in Japan and the US. Moff also entered the nursing care industry with its Mofftre IoT independence support service in April 2017.
This year, we are going to hold a business contest where entrepreneurs will compete with their ideas and business models on the themes of digital health, travel tech and smart cities. We are currently accepting applications for participation.
Participant companies should be in their seed or early stage, and operate IT-related businesses dealing with products or services in any field of the Internet of Things, the Internet, mobile technologies, software, digital content, or consumer electronics (including PDA and robots). Apply now if you are making great efforts to offer new value to the world!
4:00pm-6:00pm, Tuesday, February 27, 2018
*This contest will be held as one of the part of “Global Innovation Conference Hack Osaka 2016”, therefore the timetable may change depending on the previous parts.
Digital Healthcare, Travel Tech, Smart City
The theme includes Internet of things, Internet, mobile technology, software, digital contents, consumer electronics products (including PDA and robot) and services, and we welcome companies developing overall Internet/IT-related businesses at seed/early-stage level.
Opportunities to meet individually with investors from Japan and overseas. Opportunities for business matching meetings with Japanese companies. Winners receive travel voucher to travel to Japan again.
Application, judgment, and transportation and accommodations are free of charge for one representative person.Transportation and accommodations for accompanying persons, and any other costs of participation in the event, are borne by each participant.
Primary review will be done upon reception of presentation documents. Application will be closed upon reaching the limit number of contestant companies.
*Business experts will examine submitted presentation documents and select top ten contestants.
*No inquiries and answers are available about review process.
One representative per company (i.e. the presenter on site) is to apply for the contest. To accompany non-presenter, include their information (name and title) in presentation document.
(From Monday to Friday, 10:00-18:00, except holidays and during New Year period)
Startups who want to raise funds and expand their sales channels
To be able to prepare a prototype for demonstration
One meeting table
(Pamphlets, panels, and demonstration devices should be prepared by exhibitors)
Investors and accelerators
(Please note that we will hold simple screening after application)