APT WomenAcceleration Program in Tokyo for Women

Program Participants

5th Program Participants

Life Style

  • Shiori Abe
    el-majesta Co.,Ltd.
    Shiori Abe
    Office LocationMinato-ku, Tokyo

    Delivering the power of music and the allure of live performance to expand opportunities for women musicians.

    Our company, el-majesta Co.,Ltd., is developing PokeOke (“Pocket Orchestra”), a service that makes it easy to request live performances from musicians. We have more than 100 registered artists and have conducted more than 200 performances every year to date. We have helped deliver live performances to approximately 20,000 people.

    We are unique in that we offer a platform through our “Woman Orchestra” for women musicians to build and empower communities. I have seen and come to know many female musicians who graduated from music colleges with impressive technical skills, but who nevertheless felt they had to stop performing due to life events, such as marriage and childbirth. Therefore, we are creating a model that allows women to continue their musical activities by fostering both an environment in which such women may choose a style of work that suits their needs and an infrastructure for entertainment planning, management, and administration, which are not taught in universities or colleges.

    Currently, many musicians are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and are reluctant to perform live in public. To protect access to live performance, we seek to create services such as “PokeOke for Online,” which delivers live music on the internet. We are also considering opening daycare centers that specialize in music, the model of which we can use to expand overseas.

  • Kanako Ishikawa
    grigry Inc.
    Kanako Ishikawa
    Office LocationShibuya-ku, Tokyo

    Small, portable robots protecting women from crime and stress.

    We at grigry Inc. are developing “cocoron,” a cute self-defense robot that protects women from crime and stress, thereby supporting their wellbeing.
    I have helped design this project with a cute pet robot in mind. It actually grows as a pet by reflecting and reacting to the user's walking distance, the degree of contact the user has with the pet robot, and the user's stress level.
    Furthermore, if a situation arises where the user feels she may suddenly be attacked or is unable to speak, cocoron will contact the police to protect the user from danger. It also has the ability to relieve stress through the use of aromatic oils.
    By holding cocoron, users can: (1) be soothed by its cute appearance and movements; (2) relieve stress with its aromatic scent; and (3) protect themselves from dangerous situations.

    According to data, more than 50% of women are concerned about becoming a victim of crime in their daily lives and more than 30% of women have actually been victims of crime. And yet, the lack of innovation in self-protection and crime prevention products for women is now a common topic.

    Therefore, we aim to provide mainly young women with the means to protect themselves effectively in times of need, thereby helping to create a world in which women may more freely enjoy their lives in a manner that is true to themselves.

  • Yurie Ishine
    Yurie Ishine
    Office LocationShinjuku-ku, Tokyo

    Developing a tsukemono (Japanese pickled vegetables) DtoC service and a food brand that satisfies both body and soul.

    Our company, SEAM, Inc., sells a direct-to-consumer (DtoC) brand of tsukemono (Japanese pickled vegetables) called “wa-mon” mainly through digital channels.
    Organic vegetables are pickled in a vinegar and dashi base in which no chemical seasonings are used.
    After the vegetables are eaten, the remaining brine can be used as a seasoning agent, thereby helping to reduce food waste. We also develop new products seasonally and provide them to customers regularly through a subscription service.

    The human body is made up of the food we eat. However, when we are busy with work and household chores, we tend to neglect the proper preparation of our meals. It is my hope that by incorporating “wa-mon” into our lives and enjoying the food experiences proposed by “wa-mon,” we can help people turn their attention to creating a rich dietary life.
    Moving forward, we will develop a food brand that meets the needs of today's consumers by providing services that enable them to eat healthy meals even when they are busy.

  • Mineko Enomoto
    Tabi no Shiori Institute
    Mineko Enomoto
    Office LocationAwa-shi, Tokushima

    Realizing a society in which no one is left behind, where people who need nursing care as well as those who care for them are supported in their travels.

    Our company, Tabi no Shiori Institute, runs “Tabi no Tochu” (“Middle of the Journey”), a welfare exchange-style guest house in Tokushima Prefecture. We started it as a service to connect travelling people who need caregiving and assistance with people who can provide that care for them in a mutually beneficial manner.

    The challenge is that many elderly and disabled people who need care often give up traveling because they feel uneasy about the facilities and unfamiliar environment of the destination, or because they are afraid of inconveniencing their families. In addition, it is not uncommon for nursing and welfare staff to become mentally and physically exhausted as they deal with the overwhelming number of tasks they face on a daily basis. That is why our company, Tabi no Shiori Institute, provides support for people who need nursing care; so they may enjoy their trip with peace of mind by providing for the exchange of information and collaboration among the nursing and welfare staff who stop by the inn.

    In the future, we will continue to increase our occupancy rate by disseminating information on our website and building a reservation system. We also seek to expand the business and absorb industry know-how with the ultimate aim of opening a universal design inn called “Tabiji” (“Journey's Road”), which will specialize in caring for the elderly and disabled.

  • Arisa Sakanashi
    MEDERI Inc.
    Arisa Sakanashi
    Office LocationShibuya-ku, Tokyo

    Disseminating fact-based knowledge about fertility and aiming for a society where pregnancy, childbirth, and childcare can all be compatible with a career.

    At MEDERI Inc. we are developing “Ubu,” a women's wellness brand that sells fertility-checking kits, fertility-boosting supplements, and also provides counseling related to pregnancy and careers, among other services.

    “Fertility” refers to a woman's ability to conceive and it declines with age, so if women prioritize their career, they may be less likely to have a child when they are financially ready to have one. It is said that only one in 5.5 couples in Japan try fertility testing and treatment. While there are many people who are worried about pregnancy and childbirth, the reality is that it is difficult to balance treatment and one's career.

    Our products and services address the unique concerns of women, and through these products we provide “fact-based knowledge” and “time for self-reflection” regarding pregnancy and childbirth. Our goal is to contribute to the development of life plans and to help create a society where women can balance their careers with their desired timing of pregnancy, childbirth, and childcare.

  • Amina Sugimoto
    fermata inc
    Amina Sugimoto
    Office LocationShinagawa-ku, Tokyo

    Creating a Femtech market in the Asia-Pacific region with the aim of realizing a community and startup ecosystem that fosters social diversity.

    Starting with the motto “until the day your taboos become exciting,” I helped establish fermata inc. in October 2019 to create and expand the Asia-Pacific market for Femtech (Femtech: Female + Technology) and to address the often taboo topic of sexual wellness.
    Currently, we have a network of over 100 local and international Femtech companies, including the world's first dedicated Femtech e-commerce site and Japan's first store. We also have a branch in Singapore and is in the process of establishing an Australian branch. Additionally, in January 2020, we also established an affiliate company, Fermata Fund LLC, to invest exclusively in Femtech companies.

    Investment in the Femtech market is expected to increase from ¥6 billion in 2012 to ¥75 billion in 2019, with the market size reaching ¥5 trillion by 2025. Moving forward as an industry leader, we aim to create a community and startup ecosystem that fosters social diversity by increasing the number of options and opportunities for individuals and society to confront themselves and their potential taboos.

  • Maki Suto
    The offices of registered architects nenlin
    Maki Suto
    Office LocationMeguro-ku, Tokyo

    Enriching the lives of the elderly and those involved in medical and nursing care through the power of design and space.

    Our company, nenlin, plans and designs nursing care products that are both visually inconspicuous and easy to use for patients and their families. We also design the interior spaces of nursing facilities. In the future, we will add product sales representation and semi-customization to our services. We also intend to operate a direct-to-consumer (DtoC) platform for a variety of products along with a system to deliver necessary information to users.

    Until recently, the nursing care industry has been seeking products that are durable and inexpensive resulting in the heavy use of plastic products, which has in turn had a negative impact on the environment and on physical and mental health. On the other hand, manufacturers of high-quality nursing care products have developed sales channels for specific enterprises, making it difficult for information and products to reach individual users who need them.

    Therefore, we aim to build a system to deliver relevant information and products to users—lodging facilities, restaurants, and individuals—by providing sales representation and coordination of plastic-free nursing care products on behalf of manufacturers. We also seek to respond to the needs of people who want nursing care products designed to be inconspicuous or who want to give gifts other than luxury items to their elderly parents or grandparents. In this way, I believe we can contribute to enriching the lives of people involved in medical and nursing care as well as the elderly themselves.

  • Yukari Tsunoda
    vivola Co.,Ltd.
    Yukari Tsunoda
    Office LocationShibuya-ku, Tokyo

    Helping individuals choose the fertility treatment method that is right for them in a timely and cost-efficient manner.

    We at vivola Co.,Ltd. provide a service called “cocoromi,” a fertility treatment support service that utilizes statistical data collected from people who have experienced fertility and other treatments. By inputting information on a couple's age, hormone levels, diseases, and other information, one can view relevant data on the successes of people in similar situations. (Supervised by doctors from the Japan Society for Ova Research and the Japan Society of Fertilization and Implantation)

    In most cases, each medical institution has its own unique fertility treatment plan which is typically rather expensive. Furthermore, because each medical institution has its own data, it is difficult for patients to comprehensively understand their treatment by referring to objective data across multiple institutions.

    Therefore, our company, vivola Co., Ltd., supports fertility treatment planning based on data and provides opportunities for patients to learn practical knowledge about fertility. Infertility treatment patients are often reluctant to open up about their symptoms and treatment, so we also focus on fostering a community where people can consult with others who share their concerns. In the future, we plan to utilize AI to accumulate data and start services that promote fertility even before more aggressive treatment begins.

  • Takakuwa Ranka
    Menhera Technology Inc.
    Takakuwa Ranka
    Office LocationShibuya-ku, Tokyo

    A chat service for individuals to resolve their concerns and issues through the words and wisdom of a “senpai” (senior colleague).

    Our company, Menhera Technology Inc., is engaged in operating “Menhera-Senpai,” a chat service that allows you to consult with someone immediately through an app when you are having a difficult time. The service is unique in that it can be used casually as if you were talking to a “senpai” (“a close senior colleague” in Japanese). Reservations are not required during business hours. The “senpai” who are the recipients of clients' consultations are limited to women who have passed our screening process.

    The word “menhera” is a neologism derived from “mental health” and was originally used as internet slang to refer to a person who has some kind of mental problem. Recently the word has become more common among people in their teens and early 20s.
    A challenge many people with mental health issues frequently face is feeling anxious because they do not have anyone around them to talk to on short notice during hard times, when they are feeling lonely, or when they simply feel like talking to someone else. On the other hand, it is difficult to pay for counseling on a consistent basis, and free counseling services offered by public organizations are often crowded and difficult to connect with.
    That is why we have developed this low-cost chat service that allows people to consult with others on a continuous basis. In the future, we aim to be of help to as many people as possible, with an eye to producing products and services targeted at millennial women.

  • Maiko Takata
    Maiko Takata
    Office LocationShibuya-ku, Tokyo

    Realizing a society in which each individual can live his or her life to the fullest by providing a work environment that allows children to grow up and be close to their parents.

    We at AUXY.Inc. operate “Maffice,” a shared office in conjunction with a childcare facility. It is primarily used by people who would like to work anywhere and at any time while raising children so they make use of their skills and abilities freelancing or starting their own businesses. Recently, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, telework has been spreading among corporate employees as well, with teleworking fathers particularly on the rise.
    Although measures to combat the declining birthrate and promote women's activities have long been promoted, many families, mainly in urban areas, are unable to enter their preferred nursery schools and are thus forced to choose between work and childcare.
    In response to this situation, we have established a shared office with an attached nursery school so that parents can work in their own way while also supporting their children's growth without added difficulty. We also provide support for entrepreneurship so that parents can expand their business while raising their children. Currently, we are also managing a shared office with a private daycare facility in a train station to help parents balance work and child-rearing after elementary school.

    In the future, we plan to expand Maffice to other areas as well as to collaborate with companies and organizations that already have facilities and businesses that operate daycare centers.

  • Midori Hoshino
    SAKELOGY CO., Ltd.
    Midori Hoshino
    Office LocationYodogawa-ku, Osaka

    Bringing Japanese Sake fans old and new all over the world! Developing a service that provides information about Japanese sake in English.

    We want people all over the world to get to know Japan's beloved sake.
    We want people to drink and enjoy delicious sake.
    As a sake warehouse and distributor who wants to spread the joys of sake around the world, we are now operating SAKELOGY, a service for those who want to transmit information about Japanese sake in English to breweries and shops that will sell it.
    Through SAKELOGY we are able to provide detailed information on each product online in both English and Japanese, which is easier, cheaper, and faster than building a website from scratch, even when holding an onsite event or when there are more than 100 kinds of sake to promote. Furthermore, the site's popular “pairing function” allows users to select their favorite sake from “Favorite Dishes.”
    In addition to providing information on sake, we are also developing a service called “SAKELOGY Shoten,” which provides users the new experience of being able to look up and purchase sake they discover at events or restaurants that they thought were delicious.

    The COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected the sake industry. However, we will continue to focus on supporting sake promotion and online sales through a combination of online tools.

  • Shoko Mizuno
    Shoko Mizuno
    Office LocationSuginami-ku, Tokyo

    Using digital platforms to create the next generation of classical music.

    We at SHALONE,Inc. are developing a classical musician dispatch service using digital platforms. We have been involved in the planning and organization of numerous, high-quality musical performances for individuals and companies with a deep appreciation for culture and the arts.

    The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has severely limited opportunities for musicians to perform in large concerts and other live performances. At the same time, however, the demand for safe and secure music and entertainment continues to grow, and the Japanese classical music industry is undergoing a major transformation.

    This is why we are using our digital platform to organize small-scale concerts and online events. We will support the classical music industry in Japan by setting up a matching platform to meet the needs of various people and developing support services for musicians in cooperation with companies.

  • Mitsuhashi Rika
    Sustainability Asia Ltd.
    Mitsuhashi Rika
    Office LocationChuo-ku, Tokyo

    Promoting sustainable livelihoods by manufacturing and selling “cascara,” a coffee pulp that is discarded in the coffee production process, as tea.

    Sustainability Asia Ltd. produces and sells tea made from “cascara,” the rind of the coffee plant. Cascara has high nutritional value, antioxidant properties, and contains high levels of polyphenols and other nutrients, all of which lead to relaxing effects. We are also very particular about the process from production to sale and take care to make sure the ongoing trade of cascara tea is conducted at fair prices for everyone involved.

    Normally, cascara is disposed of in bulk during the coffee production process, but because of its high acidity, cascara has a negative impact on the environment if it is disposed of in this manner. In addition, about 90% of the world's coffee farmers are located in developing countries, with the inequitable distribution of profits putting pressure on farmers' businesses.

    By processing cascara into a variety of products and selling it so that it is not simply discarded, we are generating additional income for farmers and helping to prevent environmental pollution. By incorporating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into our management, we aim to help solve social issues through our business.

Fashion and Design

  • Motoko Uchimaru
    colourloop Co.,Ltd.
    Motoko Uchimaru
    Office LocationUkyo-ku, Tokyo

    Up-cycling waste fiber by color and proposing a new form of recycling that leads to a circular economy.

    We at colourloop Co.,Ltd. develop, design, and sell materials and products made by upcycling waste fibers. In many cases, textile products are made from a variety of materials that are blended or woven together, making it difficult to separate the materials. We are creating new value from such discarded blended fibers by using the “Colour Recycle System,” a new separation method that focuses on color. This new recycling method allows us to develop products and original materials that can meet the needs of various industries.

    In Japan, about two million tons of fabrics are discarded, with only about a quarter of them recycled. In addition, most of the current recycling is for used clothing and industrial materials, which are considered inexpensive and have little added value.

    We are expanding our up-cycling efforts to provide attractive materials and products through a new recycling method that fuses design and engineering and which will lead to a circular economy. We will consult and collaborate with companies facing the challenges of in-plant waste and deadstock as well as explore the potential for creating new materials to realize a circular economy in which textile materials and products do not go to waste.

  • Yoshimi Omori
    AI Co.,Ltd
    Yoshimi Omori
    Office LocationOta-ku, Tokyo

    Developing human- and eco-friendly nail products through the use of intellectual property and IT to enhance benefits for both manicurists and users.

    We at AI Co.,Ltd. are developing nail-related products and services that are less harmful to the human body and the environment than conventional products.
    We have developed a biodegradable nail tip that is 98% plant-derived and biodegradable, using materials designed by our company and skilled craftsmen in Ota Ward, the home of manufacturing in Tokyo.
    In addition to a thickness of 0.3 mm, it is flexible at specific temperatures (e.g. 80 degrees Celsius), so it can fit any person's nail curvature. It also features a gas permeable system for high biocompatibility.

    When people go to nail salons for nail care, the high fees and long treatment times make it difficult for users and manicurists to improve productivity and attract new customers.

    In response to this, we have applied for a PCT international patent, obtained a trademark, and are now utilizing intellectual property and information technology to develop products and services that use new sustainable, thin, high-performance materials.
    While increasing the benefits to both manicurists and users, we aim to create a company and, ultimately, a society that values the too often unheard voices concerned about environmental issues, children, gender, and other areas that have been overlooked in the past. Our sights are particularly set on Sustainable Development Goals in each of these areas.

  • Shiho Kariu
    Lecture inc
    Shiho Kariu
    Office LocationOita-shi, Oita

    Developing a scissor-free hair salon and creating a new shampooing culture at salons.

    Our company, Lecture inc., runs a beauty salon that specializes in shampooing, blow-drying, and hairdressing. Under the supervision of a neurosurgeon, we have developed three unique washing techniques that incorporate elements of neuroscience and head massage. Our shampoo combines the functions of relaxation and hair care by using one of the 15 types of shampoos suitable for each hair and scalp type.

    Society has changed dramatically in recent years, with an increase in working women and more households where both parents are working. Increasingly, less time has meant women are finding it cumbersome to shampoo their hair after returning home, or having it styled for social occasions.
    People who wish to wash their hair at home but cannot due to injury or recovery from surgery also face a lack of support.

    That is why we are proposing a new custom in which women of all ages can get their hair ready in a short amount of time and feel refreshed. In the future, we are considering expanding overseas and entering the medical field. We aim to develop new markets through services for the elderly who are unable to shampoo on their own or for postoperative patients as well as through joint development of new products with other companies.

  • Mai Sakaue
    Maico Enterprise Inc.
    Mai Sakaue
    Office LocationChuo-ku, Tokyo

    Aiming to expand business in Kenya by communicating the appeal of Japanese companies abroad.

    We at Maico Enterprise Inc. provide overseas expansion and PR branding support for Japanese companies. We are currently focusing on a project in Kenya, which has a well-developed ICT (Information and Communication Technology) market along with a rapidly growing economy and population.

    There are many hurdles to overcome when conducting local market research for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) looking to develop sales channels abroad. In addition, while local partners and representatives are often key to the development of projects overseas, there have been many cases where it has been difficult for companies to make sufficient resources available to them on their own.

    We aim to scale up businesses by lowering the barriers to entry into the market by leveraging the benefits of having a local representative and people who have experience working in Kenya. We will start by selling Japanese sake in Kenya, and through creating success stories, we will be able to communicate the appeal of many Japanese companies to the Kenyan market.

  • Seina Takasaki
    XY Inc.
    Seina Takasaki
    Office LocationShibuya-ku, Tokyo

    Aiming to be Japan's leading lingerie brand and creating opportunities to update people's and society's view on lingerie.

    Our company, XY Inc., designs and manufactures lingerie under the concept of a “DtoC brand that promotes Japanese people's sexual independence through lingerie.” We design lingerie based on design techniques learned in France and patterns that suit Japanese tastes. We have our own online site, “MAISON XY,” and we sell our products in select shops in Tokyo and at events in department stores throughout Japan. We offer a number of items with cool designs that can be seen as outerwear and can be styled with clothing.
    In Japan, there are many products and advertisements that accentuate certain body shapes and appearance complexes with few brands focusing more on designs that are in line with the feelings of the people who wear them.

    Moving forward, we plan to advocate “new sexual education” that encourages women's independence through lingerie, with an eye to expanding our brand overseas. Through a wide range of lingerie products, we will create opportunities to positively influence the minds of women and empower them to make their own choices.

Deep Technology

  • Masayo Tanae
    Tabetech Co.,Ltd.
    Masayo Tanae
    Office LocationKasuga-shi, Fukuoka

    Utilizing plasma sterilization equipment to provide human- and environmentally friendly solutions for keeping produce fresh.

    Our company is developing a plasma sterilization device that prevents the growth of mold on harvested citrus fruits by utilizing special seeds developed at Kyushu University. This plasma device is capable of sterilizing the surface of citrus fruits at room temperature without using chemicals. Experiments demonstrated that the number of citrus fruits that had to be discarded due to mold generated during storage in a warehouse at room temperature was reduced by a third compared to conventional sterilization methods.

    Due to the effects of global warming and other factors, it is becoming increasingly difficult to adapt to the traditional distribution method of harvesting citrus fruits in the winter and storing them at room temperature until early spring. In recent years, cooling systems for lowering the temperature in storage warehouses have become available, but the cost of installing these systems is high at around 3 million yen, not to mention the additional costs of utilities and maintenance.

    This fall, however, we will be providing, for free, plasma sterilization equipment that can keep citrus fruits fresh and will begin full-scale development of a business that will receive a fixed amount of money for each citrus fruit that did not develop mold thanks to the effects of this equipment. Moving forward, since the equipment can be operated in sunlight, we are looking at expanding overseas, starting with developing countries. Finally, we also plan to reconsider supply chains for agricultural products in order to help solve the problem of food waste, which is occurring all over the world.

  • Yukiko Nakagawa
    RT Corporation
    Yukiko Nakagawa
    Office LocationChiyoda-ku, Tokyo

    Contributing to improved productivity in food factories through practical applications of robots that work together with people.

    We are involved in the development, sales, and training of products related to service robots and artificial intelligence (AI). “Foodly,” a humanoid robot that can work alongside people on the assembly line in prepared food and bento factories, uses AI-based image recognition technology to recognize and pick up irregularly shaped foods and place them in bento boxes.

    While there is a chronic shortage of human resources in food factories, the need for detailed judgment in placing food into lunch boxes has been a hurdle in the automation of this process. In recent years, attention has also focused on improving hygiene management and food safety throughout the food chain.

    Therefore, we contribute to improving productivity in the next generation of food factories through the development of robots that can solve onsite problems. Since the introduction of robots is expected to further be used to control the growth of bacteria, we will continue to promote the automation of the finishing touches on the production line normally undertaken by humans.

  • Haruna Morikawa
    Haruna Morikawa
    Office LocationHakata-ku, Fukuoka

    Creating a system that supports the maintenance of social infrastructure without the need for specialized knowledge by using technology to inspect bridges and tunnels.

    Our company, ON GRIT ENGINEERING,Inc., provides survey services for infrastructure, such as bridges and tunnels. We are currently developing a robot specialized for streetlight inspections that can automatically climb up streetlights to check for loose bolts and other problems using artificial intelligence (AI) image processing and vibration sensors. It can diagnose damage four times faster than conventional robots, cutting inspection costs by half.

    Aging infrastructure, including streetlights, is a serious problem common throughout Japan. Until recently, inspections of streetlights required the use of work trucks at high elevations, traffic restrictions, and the installation of roadside guards, all of which places a heavy burden on workers. However, accidents have been caused by aging streetlights, which are in part a result of the aging of the technicians performing the inspections and the lack of manpower in general.

    In response, our company is working to prevent human error by utilizing technology to provide highly accurate diagnoses. Furthermore, new jobs can be created because people with no specialist knowledge can perform these inspections and create reports by utilizing the AI and image processing technology. Our work will also contribute to solving the problem of human resource shortages.

Communication and Network

  • Masako Ikehara
    MANABICIA. Co.,Ltd
    Masako Ikehara
    Office LocationMinato-ku, Tokyo

    Sharing the knowledge of external mentors with the next generation of female leaders and creating a system to increase the number of diverse female leaders in society.

    We at MANABICIA Co., Ltd. are engaged in matching external mentors who specialize in female leaders and in building mentor systems. The “Mentor For” enterprise matches women with external mentors who have experience balancing career advancement and life events with companies that want to increase the number of women in management positions. In this way, we have provided support for increasing the number of women in management positions, building women's self-confidence, and reforming internal organizational culture.

    In recent years, the number of women working in Japan has continued to rise. At the same time, however, the number of women in decision-making positions remains low, as does the percentage of women in management positions, meaning Japan is still lagging far behind other developed countries in terms of women's advancement.

    We have and will continue to develop services to help women face challenges and shape their careers in a positive manner. We aim to realize a society in which each woman can play an active role by finding her own leadership style.

  • Hikari Iwahashi
    Hikari Iwahashi
    Office LocationChuo-ku, Tokyo

    An online education program that supports women's diverse life careers and their ability to make the most of their strengths.

    We at MY COMPASS Inc. offer a two-month online educational program for women in their 20s and 30s who are reconsidering their careers around life events, such as marriage and childbirth.
    Our program is a community-based online school where students can interact with each other and offer unique career consulting services. Since the program is online, students can take the course at any time and in any region. Over the past three years, approximately 300 students have taken the course with a satisfaction rate of 94%.

    With the gender gap index ranking Japan 121st in the world, which is the lowest Japan has ever ranked, the goal of having 30% of managerial positions filled by women has been set back 10 years. Japan still has a long way to go before it can call itself a society in which women can play an active role in the workplace. As it stands, there are few opportunities for ambitious women to learn about specific examples of other women who have successfully been active in their careers.

    Therefore, in addition to supporting the development of individual careers, we will contribute to the creation of a gender-equal society by collaborating with other companies that support women's careers and with large corporations that want to increase the number of women in management positions.

  • Junko Ota
    Third Way Inc.
    Junko Ota
    Office LocationChuo-ku, Tokyo

    Contributing to the development of medical fields by creating positive treatment environments for patients.

    We at Third Way Inc. are developing “Patient Illness History (PIH),” a cloud-based service for medical records that allows patients to record their own medical examinations and symptoms through voice and text. The content of one's medical record can be stored on a smartphone or computer, allowing patients to record the progress of their treatment so they may easily share the information with their families and other health care professionals. It makes efficient use of short consultation times.
    In addition to helping patients understand their situation and take a proactive approach to their treatment, the records themselves can be aggregated and used to help treat everyone with the same illness. The full-scale service is scheduled to be launched in the fall of 2020 following verification tests with the cooperation of medical professionals and patients.
    Through this service, our company will contribute to the efficiency and development of medical care in Japan, which faces many challenges, including a shortage of doctors, tight financial resources, and the overworking of medical professionals.

  • Ayako Omomo
    Dialogue for Everyone Inc.
    Ayako Omomo
    Office LocationMeguro-ku, Tokyo

    Encouraging middle-aged adults to take on new challenges through the “Furusato Mitsukejyuku” second career implementation program.

    Our company, Dialogue for Everyone Inc., plans and operates a human resources development program centered on the “Furusato Mitsukejyuku” program, which targets middle-aged citizens working at major corporations in urban centers with career training and internship opportunities. Our goal is to increase the number of new career options available to them.

    While it is said that we are living in a time when people live to 100 years old, about 40% of middle-aged and senior citizens are unprepared for post retirement. Approximately 50% of men in their 50s living in the Tokyo metropolitan area are interested in moving to a regional area, but have not yet made the move due to concerns about work, lifestyle, and personal relationships. Simultaneously, there is a serious shortage of manpower in rural areas, especially in terms of people who can give form to ideas and content.
    This is why we are providing opportunities for adult students with talent to gather at Necchu Elementary School (a regional school for adults) to reorient themselves through a program that explores second career options and arranges internships at regional companies where people can make the most of their skill sets.
    We are aiming to conduct a six-month pilot program with Necchu Gakuen in October 2020, with full-scale implementation beginning in the spring of 2021. By realizing this project, we aim to unleash the power of Japan's 16 million middle-aged and senior citizens so they may contribute to empowering the 100-year life period and the creation of healthier local communities.

  • Nanami Kamata
    anohi G.K.
    Nanami Kamata
    Office LocationMeguro-ku, Tokyo

    Supporting mental health care for inpatients and helping to resolve mental health issues.

    We at anohi G.K. plan to roll out “anone,” an online art workshop platform that seeks to help resolve inpatient mental health issues starting in the fall of 2020.
    Many inpatients spend their days with intense stress due to illness or anxiety and depression about the future, but mental support is often inadequate with the limited resources of hospitals.
    Through our therapeutic art program, we have developed a service that can provide ongoing mental care for hospitalized patients without placing a burden on medical professionals. We would like art kits to be installed in partner hospitals with workshops conducted online by appointed facilitators.
    During the workshops, inpatients from all over Japan will be able to connect with each other and interact with others who are in similar situations.
    Moving forward, we are considering launching an online art portal site for inpatients, with the goal of expanding the site to hospitals across Japan.

  • Yukari Kawai
    Enbirth Co.,Ltd.
    Yukari Kawai
    Office LocationKoto-ku, Tokyo

    Promoting a society in which all people can play an active role by visualizing individuals' anxieties/frustrations and corporate culture through a “health checkup of work styles.”

    We at Enbirth Co.,Ltd. are developing a web service that visualizes an individual's working style and corporate culture. “Workex,” our working style health checkup, is where users answer simple questions at the end of the workday to analyze their current situation and to display objective data. By combining the results of individual users with data from the companies they work for, it is possible to visualize a corporate culture that is otherwise difficult to see.

    Japanese workers' productivity and work engagement are among the lowest in the world. We believe that behind this low productivity and engagement is anxiety and dissatisfaction that workers themselves cannot verbalize along with the reality that many industries have failed to keep up with the diversifying changes within the workforce itself.

    By visualizing workers' status regarding work style and corporate culture, we can help people find the most suitable companies for them and support them taking that next step. In addition, because of the drastic way working is changing nowadays due to the impact of reforms and the COVID-19 pandemic, by making corporate culture as visible as possible from a contemporary perspective, we can contribute to society through promotion of like-minded organizations that attract motivated workers. We also aim to realize a society where all individuals can play a vital role.

  • Wakana Kitamura
    fruor Inc.
    Wakana Kitamura
    Office LocationMinato-ku, Tokyo

    Helping people to persist in their careers after life events.

    We at fruor Inc. are developing an online career counseling service called “meetcareer.” Career counselors with a high level of expertise in balancing work with life events help employees choose and adjust to work styles that match the stage they are at in life and provide advice on career development. For corporate clients, we help employees who have returned to work after childcare leave to become more positive about their careers from a third-party perspective.

    In this day and age, the way we work is greatly influenced by life events, regardless of gender, but there are only a limited number of places where people can discuss their careers in conjunction with their personal lives. While progress is being made in improving work environments and systems within companies, the difficulty in promoting employees to management positions, including those working shorter hours, has been cited as a common issue.

    In response, we seek to contribute to the long-term success of human resources in companies by providing career support services that enable employees to work in a way that suits their current stage in life. By presenting a variety of role models, we aim to stop people giving up on their careers due to life events and to help them realize a way of working that is ideal for them.

  • Kaori Sakai
    SHANRI Inc.
    Kaori Sakai
    Office LocationShibuya-ku, Tokyo

    Connecting the medical environment and users with a new terminology database specifically for medical fields.

    At SHANRI Inc. we are developing what we call our “Medical Kotoba DB,” a terminology database that connects the medical jargon used by doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals with more general language familiar to patients, their families, and the general public when describing diseases and health.
    By applying search engines and AI to Medical Kotoba DB, we are developing voice memo applications that can be used during house calls, when collaborating with electronic medical record companies, hospitals and clinics. Such applications can also be used for expanding into educational projects for medical institutions that include foreign nationals. Our ultimate goal is to facilitate more effective communication in medical fields.
    In particular, we believe that smooth information sharing or, in other words, multidisciplinary collaboration, is a social challenge that needs to be solved as a priority in the medical field for our super-aging society. We will contribute to addressing this challenge by exploring and resolving pathways for live information sharing among medical facilities and patients.

    We are developing our business with the aim of making Medical Kotoba DB available to everyone who cares about health, healthcare professionals, and the businesses and organizations that support them.

  • Yuko Takato
    Probity Global Search Ltd.
    Yuko Takato
    Office LocationMinato-ku, Tokyo

    Contributing to growth through talent matching services that focus on matching the worldview of companies and individuals.

    We at Probity Global Search Ltd. operate a recruitment service that matches companies and individuals with similar worldviews in addition to pertinent skills, experience, and aspirations.
    In today's job market, there are many cases of people being hired on the basis of matching skills and vision, but who then leave shortly after joining because they felt that the company's culture was not a good fit for them. On the other hand, people whose worldview matches well with a given company are more likely to fit in with the organization and communication style there, which increases the speed of decision-making and action in the company overall.

    Using our own indexes to assess and match the worldviews of individuals on the recruiting side and the job-seeking side, our system has been adopted by major food manufacturers and information service companies.
    In the future, as a platform for personnel matching, we will organize and systematize our algorithm to create a new commonsense approach in the job search market. In addition, with this job-seeking/recruiting platform as a pivot point, we aim to provide companies with hiring representation and consulting services and career coaching for individuals. We have an additional goal of expanding overseas with English support.

  • Akiyo Takamoto
    uni'que Inc.
    Akiyo Takamoto
    Office LocationShibuya-ku, Tokyo

    Helping couples overcome the physical and mental problems caused by menopause in women in their 40s and beyond.

    We at uni'que Inc. are developing a program to mediate communication between women going through menopause and their spouses to help them as a couple overcome the challenges it brings. Our app “wakarimi” allows couples to share information with each other about a woman's physical condition on a daily basis via the LINE app, to share information about how they would like their partner to treat them when they are not feeling well, and to provide information about the symptoms of menopause while helping to build a healthy relationship.

    It is estimated that 8.6 million women in Japan have some sort of challenge or distress during menopause. In fact, research shows that menopause is the time of life when women's wellbeing is at its lowest point as they struggle with their own physical and mental health issues while also managing responsibilities, such as working, raising children, and caring for others. Both women's wellbeing as well as that of their spouses tends to be dragged down by the challenges of menopause. However, because both men and women often lack correct knowledge about menopausal problems, it is difficult to determine when to seek medical attention. There are unfortunately many cases where women simply suffer alone.

    By mediating communication between married couples, we support each family's desire to find a way of being together that is comfortable for everyone while they overcome menopause. In the future, we aim to collaborate with businesses and local governments that are involved in health management and women's healthcare.

  • Akiko Nishiura
    Nokisaki Inc.
    Akiko Nishiura
    Office LocationChiyoda-ku, Tokyo

    Creating new value by connecting people who want to rent out vacant spaces with those who want to use them.

    We at Nokisaki Inc. operate a matching platform for vacant spaces. Since its inception, we have been developing “Nokisaki Business,” a platform that enables anyone to open a pop-up shop easily. Since 2012 we have developed a shared parking service called “Nokisaki Parking.” From 2018 we launched a restaurant sharing service that was renewed in April 2020 called “magari.” For property owners, this service can generate new revenue by utilizing unused spaces and time slots.

    In the past, it was often difficult to find parking spaces when going out by car, and it was often impossible to park in a convenient location. In addition, when opening a new business or restaurant, securing a location and paying for the associated initial expenses were a major burden.

    As a pioneer in space-sharing in Japan, we have created new value by utilizing unused space and unutilized hours in all types of real estate through the internet. Moving forward, we will continue to advocate for new ways to attract people to the city and realize new ways of working to support better lifestyles.

  • Eri Fukuda
    SHE, Inc.
    Eri Fukuda
    Office LocationMinato-ku, Tokyo

    Maximizing people's unique value and helping them achieve their ideal career and work style.

    We at SHE, Inc. offer practical career support services for millennial women. At our career school, SHElikes, we offer lessons and coaching opportunities involving digital creative skills. We select instructors who may serve as role models and who are only slightly older than the students. Our school's total number of students has exceeded 20,000. The program also introduces jobs to graduates who have acquired specialized knowledge and skills, and supports many women who want to work flexibly, regardless of location or time. The number of people using our services is increasing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Even though promotion of women's career development has been ongoing for a long time, the percentage of women who leave the workforce after giving birth to their first child has risen to 47%. Furthermore, we need to be aware of the fact that there is a large disparity between men and women in Japan in political and economic terms. There are still many barriers for women to overcome when building a career while also dealing with housework and childcare.

    That's why we provide support for women to improve their skills and find work that allows them to balance their career and personal life. In the future, we will expand our services by creating new businesses in the fields of finance and lifestyle and by drawing from the community we have cultivated through career support.

  • Asami Matsumoto
    Active Connector Inc.
    Asami Matsumoto
    Office LocationBunkyo-ku, Tokyo

    Supporting the formation of creative teams through hiring international IT engineers.

    We at Active Connector Inc. are developing a recruitment service specializing in international IT engineers. We have supported more than 400 companies to date by matching international IT engineers with Japanese companies that are looking to expand overseas and companies that want to hire highly skilled, work-ready engineers.

    Since Japan's IT industry is facing a serious shortage of human resources, it is estimated that the number of engineers in Japan could reach as many as 790,000 by 2030. At the same time, the need to consider language and culture when hiring international engineers has often been a cause of concern for companies.

    That's why we not only match international engineers with companies looking to hire, but also introduce each party to the most appropriate people in conjunction with extensive follow-up services, such as post-hiring management. In the future, we are considering launching a new business linking engineers living abroad with Japanese companies, all to support the formation of teams that accelerate innovation.

  • Kyoko Watanabe
    Kyoko Watanabe
    Office LocationIshimaki-shi, Miyagi

    Creating a new economy so communities and artists may support each other by utilizing vacant houses with low asset value.

    In June, we at Makigumi.LLC started a new project called “Creative Hub” to nurture artists by utilizing vacant houses with low asset value. The project gathers young urban creators in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, and provides an environment where they can utilize unused local resources to create artwork and businesses and support themselves.

    Japan is facing a nationwide problem of a declining population and the proliferation of vacant housing. In addition, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is worsening, with young artists in particular losing opportunities to showcase their work and performances; their livelihoods are becoming increasingly impoverished.

    In response to this situation, our company aims to create new connections among people both young and old by attracting highly creative individuals who are capable of creating new economic trends in the region, which will lead to new opportunities for fostering a healthy, multi-generational community where the population is dwindling. In the future, we will continue to expand our business with an eye to overseas expansion of our work and our vacant housing revitalization model.

Childcare and Education

  • Kaori Iwata
    Mamaproject Japan Co., Ltd.
    Kaori Iwata
    Office LocationMinato-ku, Tokyo

    Linking companies, local governments and mothers to support social environments conducive to child rearing.

    Mamaproject Japan Co., Ltd. provides educational support tools and manages a community for mothers raising children. To date, we have provided courses on family education to more than 4,000 people at companies and local governments, featuring methods that foster children's independence. Many women have concerns about child-rearing, but we have found that consulting with experts and people with experience in child-rearing can alleviate those concerns.
    For some time now, there has been public promotion of women's activities that encourage a balance between work and child-rearing, but support for women who are raising children while working is still lacking. Therefore, in addition to educating children, we are considering dispatching our qualified personnel to after-school programs and other facilities to provide lectures and workshops for childcare workers and staff to teach them effective methods of supporting mothers.
    Through our support business for mothers concerned about child rearing, we hope to create a space where women who have experienced child rearing can provide value to each other and contribute to the creation of a society in which women can continue to work for as long as they would like.

  • kotomi kobayashi
    SEEDHOUSE Co., Ltd.
    kotomi kobayashi
    Office LocationFujisawa-shi, Kanagawa

    Establishing a new learning style through distance learning to ensure no one is left behind.

    SEEDHOUSE Co., Ltd. provides an environment with access to ICT equipment and operates a “commutable online tutoring school” that combines online and offline learning.
    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, online learning initiatives have been attracting a lot of attention. At the same time, however, a lack of equipment such as computers and other devices, a lack of literacy skills such as the inability to install and log into applications, an inability to maintain a stable environment at home, and a lack of know-how about online classes have all been cited as common challenges.

    To address these myriad issues, we are building and extending a system that allows children and students who do not have access to an online environment at home to take online classes at the tutoring school while maintaining a safe distance from other students. By providing digital devices such as computers and tablets free of charge as well as a space where students can engage in online learning with peace of mind, we aim to reduce the burden on families and educational institutions in these trying times.

  • Hiroko Koremura
    Hiroko Koremura
    Office LocationMinato-ku, Tokyo

    Improving the quality of time spent with parents and children by visualizing children's growth through educational crafts.

    In August 2020, STORY TIME Ltd. started a subscription-based monthly delivery of four sets of craft kits for preschoolers that are appropriate for their age and developmental status.
    The kits are customized according to the growth and developmental level of the child, they take only about 15 minutes each to complete, and are designed so that even small children can concentrate on them.
    Continuous use of the system enables you to monitor and feel the growth of your child.

    When a child spends time with his or her parents they can experience a sense of security, but increasingly parents are having trouble finding time between work and other responsibilities to spend time with their children.
    Many parents feel guilty about hearing from their child's caregivers about their child's progress or relying on digital tools to help them.

    By improving the quality of the often limited time parents and their children can spend together, we hope this service will contribute to relieving parents' guilt about their childrenrearing while also promoting their children's emotional care and development.
    In addition to public promotions aiming to reach more people, we would like to eventually expand the service itself to contribute to reducing the administrative workload on childcare workers and improving the content of childcare by linking data on children's growth with that of nursery schools and other facilities.

  • Eriko Ota
    Habirite Co., Ltd.
    Eriko Ota
    Office LocationTokushima-shi, Tokushima

    Supporting children with disabilities and their families, helping them find jobs and start their own businesses.

    Habirite Co., Ltd. operates an all-day child development support facility in Tokushima Prefecture. “Oyako Shienshitsu Yuzuriha”is a facility that helps children with developmental delays and preschoolers with disabilities to adapt to group life by learning the basic movements and knowledge of daily life. Targeting primarily children from 0 to 6 years of age, we can watch over children for up to 8 hours in a single day, which can be a huge help for working families. Half of the staff are parents of children with disabilities and three of them have children of their own in their care at our facility.

    Currently, there are few places for preschoolers with disabilities (especially 0 to 2 years old) and the number of therapists available to provide pediatric rehabilitation is very limited. In addition, it is said that only one in seven mothers of children with disabilities work full-time as compared to mothers of healthy children, so the lack of support for families has been an issue as well.

    Our company aims to realize a society where no one is left behind by providing support and rehabilitation for each child and care for their families. In the future, we plan to launch an after-school daycare service for children aged 6 to 18, as well as provide employment support for mothers and children with disabilities who would like to start a business.

  • Sayaka Tanaka
    Waffle Institute
    Sayaka Tanaka
    Office LocationShibuya-ku, Tokyo

    Developing coding courses for female students to bridge the gender gap in the technology and IT industries.

    We at the Waffle Institute run “Waffle Camp,” an online coding course specifically for middle and high school girls. Our programs are designed to provide practical skills through pre-assignments and half-day courses, and also include talks with female engineers working in IT fields. We support women in the design of their long-term career plans by providing skills and information.

    According to one survey, 66% of elementary school girls said they were interested in programming, but this percentage tends to decrease with age. In the IT industry, less than 20% of engineers are women, and only 15% of women in university major in information technology.

    Our goal is to reach out to female students who are at an early stage of deciding their career path and provide them with career education that allows them to use IT skills and thinking as a means to control their future and self-actualize.
    In the future, we will also focus on community building through the operation of international introductory programs and workshops to create a world in which more women can play an active role.