When you pursuit a dream, both ideas and technology will follow
Winner of 1st Bio Science Grand Prix, 2015
Yoshinori Mizuguchi work is director of Metagen, Inc., a company that analyzes the intestinal environment from feces to dig out valuable health information. At the same time, he also is a postgraduate student in the Program for Leading Graduate Schools at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Graduate School of Biological Science. An idea that he conceived with a friend in University lead to meeting people and finally to incorporate a company. Now, he is learning and struggling to run his company for growth while, enjoying the excitement of living his dream life.
Taking up a chance
At graduate school, he is conducting research on proteins that are required as a footing when cells differentiate and multiply to reproduce organs and tissue. Since his high school days, he was always interested in the field of medicine; and, his desire was to create a world without sickness. Mr. Mizuguchi had an unexpected encounter in the summer of his first year at graduate school that would alter his future. It was the person in charge of the “Tech Plan Grand Prix,” a manufacture-specialist start up and training event. This event is unique in that the one’s passion to change the world is considered equally valuable to technology itself. He decided to join the competition after passionate invitation from the person. At that time he had no business idea. From there he put his expertise to good use and came up with the idea of a “next-generation toilet.” The idea behind this was to analyze the intestinal environment from feces using a DNA inspection apparatus fitted onto a toilet seat to give health feedback to the toilet user. This, however, had little potential of being brought to reality and was not selected.
Never give up mentality brought us award and friends
Never give up mentality brought us award and friends In the beginning joining the competition was just another gig. However, joining the event ignited his passion. He kept polishing up his idea over and over again to enter the Tech Plan Grand Prix, for the second time but failed yet again. Nevertheless, another chance came by. One of the Leave a Nest member, who was mentoring the entry teams, introduced him to Shinji Fukuda of Keio University and Takuji Yamada of the Tokyo Institute of Technology who were conducting research on intestinal environment of humans using the analysis of metabolomes and metagenomes of intestinal flora. The technology they possessed and Mr. Mizuguchi’s enthusiasm clicked, which resulted in Team Metagen whose aim is to create a world without sickness utilizing human waste. Testing their lack for the last time, they applied to the Bioscience Grand Prix that specialized in healthcare. They won the competiton. In March 2015, about two months after the competition, they established Metagen Inc., and, later on in August, they opened a research center in Tsuruoka City, Yamagata Prefecture.
With a frank smile Mr. Mizuguchi says, “Metagen has nothing to offer right now. All it has is vision. I would really want to work with people who can share our dreams.” He will, surely, continue to relate his dreams and grasp every chance to turn them into reality.