Sponsor Companies

  • Ajinomoto Co., Inc.

    Ajinomoto Co., Inc.

  • Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd

    Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd

  • Komatsu Ltd.

    Komatsu Ltd.

  • NGK Spark Plugs Co., Ltd.

    NGK Spark Plugs Co., Ltd.



  • Panasonic (ECO Solutions) Corporation

    Panasonic (ECO Solutions) Corporation

  • Ricoh Co., Ltd

    Ricoh Co., Ltd

  • Sekisui Chemical Co., Ltd.

    Sekisui Chemical Co., Ltd.

  • Suntory Beverage & Food Limited

    Suntory Beverage & Food Limited




Startups that have the spirit to bring revolution to the world are welcome to join us!

Revolutionary technologies such as AI (Artificial Intelligence), IoT (Internet of Things), AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) are bringing new capabilities to people’s lives. They are not only changing industry structure and business style, but also consumer lifestyle. It is hard to predict what new market will be created with such revolutionary technologies, but people are already seeing startups that are disrupting today’s market. For established companies, it is crucial to identify and partner with the startups that will have significant impact on the future.

Solving existing and potential social issues is just as important as creating new businesses. An example of such is the energy issue caused by the growing aging society. To resolve such issues, not only creating new technology but also leveraging existing technologies is required. To pursue the goal, collaborative efforts between the startups and the established companies are essential.

Disruptive Innovation Pitch event is an opportunity for the startups with emerging technology, such as AI or IoT to meet up with Japanese established companies from various industry sectors. Those startups that pass the screening process will gain the chance to pitch their project to the key stakeholders from the established companies and to pursue business opportunity.

Unlike those pitch events that rather push from the startups to a wider audience, our target is to bring established companies to the right startups and vice versa. This way both parts can efficiently build the connections and pursue future opportunities.

Opportunity for startups

  • Startups will have opportunity to pitch themselves to key stakeholders at Japanese established companies that are looking for new business ideas or solutions to society challenges, and to pursue future collaboration.
  • The startups can pitch themselves to multiple established companies from various industry sectors all at once, i.e., an efficient and effective match making opportunity.


  • Working on disruptive idea or technology.
  • Willing to partner with established companies.

Evaluation criteria

Possess an idea or startup for disruptive technology

  • Does it offer big change to today’s expectation or perspective?
  • Does it create a new business model and market?
  • Does it widen the customer base by resolving cost or production challenges?

    The maturity level, the idea or the technology does not matter.

Besides the points above, we also consider if it matches the sponsor`s corporate strategy and timeline.

Topics of interest & Call for Participation


Application to pitch event (Deadline: January 26th, 2018)

Click the call for participation on the topic of your interest and apply to this event. Provide a summary presentation covering your key features, unique selling points, target applications, track records, etc. for the sponsor companies.

Online pitch event(early to mid-March)

Approximately 10 qualifies per topic will proceed to the on-line pitch presentation. The sponsor companies will come and listen to and interact with the presenters.

  • ・Date: early-mid March
    (NineSigma will inform you once the date is fixed.)
  • ・Each presenter will have twenty minutes including Q&A.

One on one meetings/interviews (April onwards)

Selected startups will proceed to the meeting/interview with the sponsor companies to look into partnership or collaborative development possibilities.
NineSigma will not join the meeting/interview between the startup and the sponsor company.

Pitch presenter selection (late January to mid-February)

NineSigma and sponsor companies will screen the applicants and select startups proceeding to the online pitch. The qualifiers will have the schedule by the end of February.

Match making exploration (mid-March)

Sponsor companies select startups of their interest through the online pitch event.
NineSigma will inform the selected startup companies once they receive a meeting or interview request by any sponsoring company.


Once your application is submitted, you are agreeing with the terms stated below.

  • ・The application shall not include any confidential information not only of the applicant but also of any third parties
  • ・Licensing or transfer of any intellectual property would be a matter of discussion and negotiation between the parties after the pitch event.



  • Q. Are there any restrictions on originating countries of the startups?
  • A. No. Startups from all around the world are welcome.
  • Q. Can universities or research institutes apply?
  • A. Yes, if they are in the process of setting up a startup company.
  • Q. What documents can I attach with the application?
  • A. You can attach any appendix material, e.g., technical papers, product brochure, video clips or any relevant media.
  • Q. Can I select a sponsor company to present to?
  • A. We can share your intent with the sponsor company of your interest, but your submitted application including the appendix materials are to be shared with all the sponsors to the corresponding topics.
  • Q. Am I guaranteed to gain funding or any other collaboration opportunities?
  • A. Yes, Funding or collaboration opportunity from sponsor companies is guaranteed. This event is meant to provide an opportunity to meet up established companies with which you would directly discuss collaboration opportunities.


  • Q. If several sponsor companies are interested in the same startup, do all participate in the same meeting?
  • A. No. Each startup that gains interest from any sponsor company will have a separate meeting/interview.

Online Pitch

  • Q. Will my application and the online pitch become public?
  • A. Only the sponsor companies to each topic will see your application and online pitch We will not make them public or show to other companies than the sponsors without your prior consent. Please never send your applications through your SNS.
  • Q. If I pass the screening stage of the application, can I see which companies are interested in my application?
  • A. Not which particular companies, but how many companies and which industry sectors that are interested in you.
  • Q. Do I need any special setup for the online pitch?
  • A. Please connect your computer to the internet to access the web-meeting setup and make sure the microphones and speakers on your computer are working properly.
  • Q. How will the sponsor companies participate in the pitch event?
  • A. All the sponsor companies will get together into a single premise in Japan and listen to and interact with presenters.
  • Q. If I pass the screening stage and proceed to the online pitch, do I need to pay to NineSigma?
  • A. No. Applicants and presenters will not be charged.
  • Q. When will or shall the Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) be executed?
  • A. The application and the online pitch shall not include any confidential information of the applicants themselves or any third parties. The NDA based discussion shall be planned, if necessary, after proceeding to the one-on-one meeting/interview with sponsor companies.
  • Q. Is there any translator present during online pitch and Q&A session?
  • A. No. you may use English or Japanese.
  • Is it possible to send technology samples or prototypes to Japan for use during the pitch event?
  • A.No, We can not accept samples or prototypes at the pitch event.