Day 3 started off with an optimistic speech by CEO of the asset management firm, Ken Shibusawa, descendant of Eiichi Shibusawa (1840-1931) who is often remembered as the “father of Japanese capitalism.” There is an important connection between Ken’s participation at the Caucus and Eiichi Shibusawa himself in that Eiichi believed in the mantra of “moral conduct and business.” This is still an important concept today as we continue our search for business models that not only focus on economics but also social impact.
Ken used a quote from American author, Mark Twain, to illustrate that history doesn’t just repeat itself but also seems to have a pattern to it. Ken elaborated by noting that economic cycles seem to include 30 years of destruction followed by 30 years of prosperity and that Japan was preparing to start its next 30 years of prosperity from 2020 despite the COVID pandemic’s global destruction. He concluded that despite Japan’s aging population, young leaders have an opportunity to provide leadership to the many emerging markets around the world that are looking for the sustainable growth that One Young World is focused on achieving.
in partnership with
Next up was the SDG Olympics which was jointly produced between one of our partners, NTT Docomo and our One Young World Ambassador team. The concept was simple; gather young entrepreneurs from around the world to pitch their businesses to experienced Japanese venture capitalists. Karthik and fellow OYWJ Ambassador Masaki Kawai filtered through dozens of pitches to identify the final 6 contenders that would pitch their ideas to 4 Japanese venture capitalists.
Takayuki from NTT Docomo Ventures led the session with a short speech that highlighted the importance of ESG investing in the age of socially oriented businesses. He also included a message of support for all entrepreneurs to continue their paths to success, wished all of the SDG Olympic contenders good luck, and we were off to the races!
NTT Docomo Ventures
Commons Asset Mgmt.
Operations & Strategy, Florence Energy
Florence Energy, an award winning Australian SME advances human security by tackling the twin challenges of energy scarcity and environmental sustainability by design, build and operation of modular state of the art plastic to fuel plants using EMKAL Polymer Energy Technology. They have produced 15 million litres of petroleum from over 18,000 tons of waste, equivalent to a reduction of 21,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
COO & Co-Founder, Tespack
Tespack has made it its mission to become the biggest energy supplier outside people’s homes, making everyone energy independent. Working with state of the art technology and focusing on reducing carbon footprint.
Co-founder & CEO, Shuttle
Shuttle is a mass-transit startup that provides safe transportation at an affordable price by moving more people with fewer vehicles with the help of technology and primarily focuses on solving the transportation problem for women in Bangladesh.
Moja is a Dutch startup with the mission of making good hygiene normal. Moja underwear is made ethically in Portugal and part of the profits fund entrepreneurship, education, and hygiene products in Tanzania.
Founder, Tailored Food
Tailored is a lean social enterprise consultancy dedicated to building holistic food systems in countries like Liberia, China, the US, and the Congo. From smallholder farmer capacity building to guerilla marketing campaigns, Tailored is on a mission to end hunger by 2030.
After some considering Q&A and a short break for the judges to deliberate, we had our winner! Caritta and TESPACK were the clear choice for the judges and the cash prize from NTT Docomo Ventures. But, it was made clear to all of the participants that their businesses were now on the radar of several Japanese VCs looking for new ESG investment opportunities. So, OYWJ considered the entire session a great success for all of the contenders and we look forward to hearing more good news from these amazing, young entrepreneurs in the months and years to come!
After an organic, sustainable lunch, OYW Coordinating Ambassadors, Tsuyoshi Domoto and Yosuke Tamura conducted a short session on how young leaders in Japan can apply for the OYW Munich Summit next July. For those who did not catch the session, more information can be found at https://oywj.org/apply/.