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TECH PLANTER Asia Final 2023 – Announcement of Global Partners & Honourable Judges

TECH PLANTER Asia Final 2023 – Announcement of Global Partners & Honourable Judges

On 26th August 2023 at Aerodyne Campus, Cyberjaya, Malaysia, Leave a Nest Malaysia will host the momentous TECH PLANTER ASIA Finals 2023. Twelve exceptional teams from this year's 241 applicants, the Leave a Nest Award and Grand winners from all six distinguished Southeast Asian nations, shall unleash their cutting-edge technologies, visionary ideas and unwavering passion upon the world.

This year, we're excited to introduce the seven TECH PLANTER ASEAN Global Partners for the year 2023. Collaborating with these partners, we aim to establish innovative enterprises that address challenges both within Southeast Asia and on a global scale.

Global Partners

Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc.

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation

Mitsui Chemicals Singapore R&D Centre Pte. Ltd.

Real Tech Holdings Co., Ltd.

Euglena Co., Ltd.

Ricoh Co., Ltd.


In this extraordinary event, startups and research teams will showcase their brilliance and seamless integration within this ecosystem alongside esteemed corporations and government sectors. Furthermore, it shall serve as a gateway for Japanese companies to explore the boundless potential of deep tech startups emanating from Southeast Asia. With a stellar panel of judges from Japan, sparking creativity through an electrifying exchange of ideas, TECH PLANTER ASIA Finals 2023 shall redefine the very fabric of innovation. Here we announce the panel of 7 judges from mainly from Japan and would be able to bounce off ideas during the session.

Panel of Judges

Head Judge
Dr. Yuko Ueno, Leave a Nest Co., Ltd. Group Creation Department, General Manager

Dr. Yuko Ueno received her Ph.D in Ocean microbiology and joined Leave a Nest in 2013. She has experience in creating new projects by encouraging collaboration between academia and industry as a Science Bridge Communicator. With the experience of a tech-startup accelerator, she is bridging Japanese tech startups to global tech-startup platforms to interconnect the technology and social issues. Dr. Yuko also holds the position of Director at Leave a Nest Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.

Mr. Shoki Oyabu, Vice President at Tokyo Stock Exchange

Mr. Oyabu is Vice President of the New Listings team at the Tokyo Stock Exchange and is responsible for promoting IPO from overseas companies. Tokyo Stock Exchange is one of the largest stock exchanges in the world and attracts investment flow globally. Therefore, listing on the Tokyo Stock Exchange will allow startups in Asia to raise funds from investors all over the world. Prior to this role, Mr. Oyabu led projects to develop and launch new exchange-traded derivatives products. Mr. Oyabu graduated from Kyoto University and received an MBA from Columbia Business School in New York.

Mr. Kenji Minefuji, Manager at Business Innovation Group & ME Innovation Fund, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation

Kenji Minefuji has led various open innovation activities with his business strategy and venture finance expertise. Since 2016, he has provided hands-on support for many startups in over 10 countries as a mentor. During his communication with startups, he developed novel collaboration schemes/concepts between startups and multinational corporations. He started his career as a research scientist of optical communication technology at the Information Technology R&D Center. In his mid-career, he planned the R & D strategy of the R&D centre, and was in charge of resource allocation and project management, too. His deep understanding and experience of both cutting-edge science & technology and business strategy made him launch unique open innovation activities with startups at the Center for Future Innovation. He plays a key role in running the “ME Innovation Fund” established as a CVC fund in 2022.

Mr. Hiromu Kaneyoshi, Managing Director, Mitsui Chemicals Singapore R&D Centre Pte. Ltd.

Mitsui Chemicals Inc. is one of the diversified companies in Japan and provides a wide variety of chemicals and polymers globally. It will help build a better future society across four business sectors, Life & Healthcare, Mobility, ICT and Basic & Green Materials. Singapore R&D Centre plays an important role in exploring both cutting-edge technologies and seeds of new business from the Asia Pacific. Mr Kaneyoshi is looking for opportunities to make the best use of open innovation in connection with Mitsui Chemicals’ proprietary technologies.

Mr. Akihiko Nagata, Chairman Real Tech Holdings Co., Ltd.
Director, Representative Executive Officer, CEO Euglena Co., Ltd

As CEO of Euglena, Akihiko is involved in all avenues of Euglena's business execution, including decarbonisation of society with biofuels, rebranding of the company towards the vision of a longer and healthier life, and creating the next-generation business management system such as the recruitment of teenagers as Euglena's CFO (Chief Future Officer). Previously, he was Director, leading Euglena's business strategy, M&A, funding, and PR before the company's listing on the stock exchange. He founded Real Tech Fund in 2015, motivated by his personal struggles with sourcing funding for Euglena before its public listing. Through Real Tech Fund, he hopes to pioneer an environment in Japan where investments in technology-based startups are encouraged.

Dr. Kengo Suzuki, Co-Founder and CTO, Euglena Co., Ltd.

Kengo Suzuki is the Co-Founder and CTO of Euglena Co., Ltd., a Japanese biotechnology company that focuses on microalgae-based products. Dr. Suzuki holds a Ph.D. in Medical Science from Kitasato University and a PhD in Agriculture from the University of Tokyo. His expertise lies in the fields of phycology, food science, molecular biology, and immunology. Suzuki has over 15 years of experience in research and development, including his current position as a specially appointed professor at Tohoku University and visiting professor at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. As his main affiliation, Euglena is involved in various businesses like healthcare and energy & environment among others. Additionally, he has experience in the mass cultivation of euglena and the establishment of microalgae production technology laboratories.

Mr. Satoshi Yamamoto, Section Manager, Ricoh Innovation Center in Asia (RICA), Ricoh Co., Ltd.

Mr. Satoshi Yamamoto has been working with Ricoh for about 20 years and was recently responsible for launching the Ricoh Innovation Center in Asia (RICA) in July 2023 to facilitate collaboration between Ricoh R&D and research institutes and startups in Southeast Asia. Mr. Yamamoto has a background in advanced materials and has been a technical leader and manager of advanced materials application development and AI-based materials development acceleration. In 2020, Mr. Yamamoto spent two years at the Bureau for Science and Technology Innovation, Cabinet Office, Government of Japan, and has been involved in policy-making for the innovation ecosystem for Japanese universities. In addition, he has three years of experience in technology planning at Ricoh, specialising in technology strategy development, and plays an important role in Ricoh’s role as a driver of open innovation.

We hold a genuine aspiration for the innovative technologies emerging in Asia to swiftly address worldwide challenges.

To discover the teams presenting in the TECH PLANTER ASIA Finals 2023, kindly click HERE.

For further insights into TECH PLANTER, please visit: https://en.techplanter.com.