Announcements from Pacific Bridge Media & Consulting.

2024.02.16Japan Global Innovators’ Forum (JGIF) connects Japan’s social innovators to VCs, media and NGOs across the world

Innovative Japanese start-ups with global aspirations will convene in Tokyo on March 15, presenting solutions for worldwide social and environmental challenges to an expert panel evaluating their overseas growth potential.

Atmosphericwater generator (AWG) Ai Heart
Earthquake resistance coating Aster
A “magic floor” that prevents injuries from falls Magic Shields

Representatives of innovative Japanese start-ups with global ambitions will be gathering in the heart of Tokyo this week on March 15. They will showcase the solutions they offer to help solve the world’s biggest social and environmental challenges. A panel of international experts will assess their growth potential overseas. Various industry experts, ranging from venture capitalists to media professionals and international NGOs, will provide the Japanese innovators with hands-on feedback and advice on their global expansion plans. The experts will be joining this event in person or online from overseas.

Register here →

Various industry experts, ranging from venture capitalists to media professionals and international NGOs, namely Médecins Sans Frontières, Mundi Ventures, J-BIG, and more, will provide the Japanese innovators with hands-on feedback and advice on their global expansion plans. The experts will be joining this event in person or online from overseas.

The event is supported by the government of Tokyo, the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper and the Office of Economy and Commerce at the Spanish Embassy in Japan. It will be co-hosted by Japan’s solutions-focused news service J-Stories and the Mainichi national daily’s start-up accelerator, Mainichi Future Creation Lab.

The event also aims to explore the latest trends in social initiatives and the possibility of “inclusive innovation” Japan-based start-ups could leverage.

The inaugural Japan Global Innovators’ Forum (JGIF) will invite promising Japanese start-ups from three specific categories: Age Tech, Disaster Tech, and Clean Energy. The main language of the event is English, with simultaneous interpretation provided via zoom available through participants’ own device (i.e., smartphone, earplugs) onsite. We look forward to having you at the venue for face-to-face networking after the panels.

Toshi Maeda, the founder and executive editor of J-Stories, says that while Japan has many startups with the potential to solve global social issues and excel internationally, they often focus primarily on domestic fundraising and business development.
He believes they are hampered by a lack of international exposure and that many domestic pitch events do not sufficiently serve to publicize these ventures abroad. 

“Driven by such awareness, we have organized this event to support the global outreach of promising Japanese startups,” said Maeda.

Yasuyuki Takatsuka, the president and CEO of Mainichi Future Creation Lab, discusses the growing interest in “zebra companies” that aim to create a better society through their business, rather than just rapid growth. 

“The theme of this event – Inclusive Innovation – is born from the idea of creating a more sustainable world where no one is left behind, aligning with the ethos of zebra companies,” Takatsuka said. “We are genuinely pleased to have J-STORIES as a strong partner to hold such an event. There are many excellent startups in Japan working on solving various challenges, and we hope our efforts can help them make an impact globally.” 

Register here →

[Event Overview]

“1st Japan Global Innovators’ Forum (JGIF)”

Friday, March 15, 2024
Time: 18:00 to 20:00 Tokyo time (doors open at 17:30)  / 10:00 a.m. to noon CET (Central European Time); 
Networking event from 20:00 to 21:00 for on-site participants only.
Where (Physical venue): Tokyo Innovation Base (TiB) in front of Yurakucho Station, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Format: Hybrid (150 on-site participants / 150 online participants)
Language: English (with simultaneous interpretation in Japanese via ZOOM *please use your own devices – smartphone and earplugs)
Organizers: J-Stories, Mainichi Future Creation Lab

Partners and Supporters: The Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TiB partner), The Mainichi Newspaper, The Embassy of Spain’s Office of  Economy and Commerce, Pacific Bridge Media & Consulting (PBMC)
Participating Startups: Startups focusing on Disaster Tech, Age (Silver) Tech and Clean Energy
    … AND MORE!
Participating Commentators’ Countries of Origin: Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, USA, Japan, among others.
Tickets: ¥1,500 for on-site participants (includes snacks and drinks for networking event); free for online participants. On-site participants are requested to bring two business cards.

Register here →


[ Program (Tentative; subject to change) ] 

Part 1: Case Study and Feedback (18:00-19:30 Tokyo time / 10:00-12:00 CET)

Group 1: Disaster Tech (30 minutes)

<Participating Startups>

Aster: Provider of earthquake resistance coating
Ai Heart Japan: Provider of atmospheric water generator/AWG


Johan Martens, Innovation Manager, Doctors Without Borders (Netherlands)
Matthew Romaine, Co-founder & Managing Director, Shizen Capital (Japan/USA)

Group 2: Age Tech  (30 minutes)

<Participating Startups>

Magic Shields: A “magic floor” that prevents injuries from falls
Assist Motion: “Wearable” robotic suit


Bjoern Eichstaedt, Publisher, J-BIG (Germany)
Yoko Kojima, Head of ESG, Mundi Ventures (Spain)

Group 3 : Clean Energy (30 minutes)

<Participating Startups>

Ability: Portable hydrogen cartridges for mobility
Challenergy: Wind power generation without blades


Jan Lozek, Founder & Managing Director, Future Energy Ventures (Germany/Spain)
Hirokazu Yamaguchi, Founder & CEO, Beyond Next Energy  (Japan)

Part 2: Roundtable Discussion (19:30-20:00 Tokyo time / 11:30-12:00 CET)

Topic: How Can Social Innovators in Japan Shine on a Global Stage? (tentative, subject to change)

– Exploring Japan as a Pioneer Nation in Global Challenges: Unveiling the Sectors Capturing Worldwide Interest
– Navigating the Future: Unpacking the Latest Trends in Impact and ESG Investing on the Global Stage
– Pioneering Change: Can Japan Lead the World in Nurturing “Zebra” Companies and “Inclusive Innovation”?
– Insights and Strategies: Leveraging Advice from International Venture Capitalists to Make a Global Impact


Jeff Char, Founder & CEO, SOGO Energy (Japan/USA)
Yoko Kojima, Head of ESG, Mundi Ventures, (Spain/Japan)
– Others/TBA


Toshi Maeda, Founder and Executive Editor, J-Stories
Sayuri Daimon, Former Editor-in-Chief and Editorial Writer at The Japan Times

Part 3: Networking Event (20:00-21:00 Tokyo time) (Tokyo/TiB venue only)

Light refreshments and soft drinks will be served, and participants will have an opportunity to chat with each other. (Please note that alcohol will not be served due to the restrictions at the venue.)

For inquiries, please contact the organizers at