International Entrepreneurship Contest for University Students 2019AW in Osaka

(November 24th-28th, 2019, Osaka, Japan)

Executive Committee of International Entrepreneurship Contest for University Students

August 28,2019

1. About the Competition


The International Entrepreneurship Contest is a business plan competition for multinational university students. It will be held from November 24th to 28th, 2019. The best entrepreneur teams are invited to compete in Osaka, where the champion of the contest will be decided. We believe that the spirit of innovation is vital to the development of young minds. This contest will not only provide a platform for cutting-edge business ideas but also brings great investment opportunities with the support of excellent business partners. 


Osaka is one of Japan’s most vibrant cities, sought after by tourists due to its incredible range of signature local delicacies. With an astonishing number of restaurants, bars, and izakaya, Osaka comes to life after dark as the city lights up from glowing neon signs and flashy 3D signboards. The many shopping regions, numerous attractions and entertainment options are also reasons why tourists flock to Osaka every year, from abroad and within Japan. Situated in the center of Japan, Osaka has well-established domestic and international transportation networks in air, land and sea. Such infrastructure not only provide travellers with convenient access into the Kansai region and Japan’s major metropolises, it also supports businesses with exceptional distribution networks for both supplies and finished goods. With an economy only second to Tokyo, Osaka stays competitive with its lower business cost such as rent, land prices, and labor.  In addition, the city encourages investments by offering a variety of tax incentive programs and subsidies for qualifying businesses, as well as comprehensive support for the needs of local and overseas companies. Of course, Osaka is not without its challenges. With the boom of manufacturing industries comes environmental concerns, and Japan has long been faced with issues such as low birthrate and an aging society.  However, in actuality such challenges present huge opportunities for the long-term development of Osaka. We hope this contest will inspire energetic and creative young minds to bring new innovative ideas to the development of Osaka, and contribute to solutions for social problems.  


In the era of change and challenge, especially in the perspective of human society and technological development,we encourage the younger generation to use the 2019 International Entrepreneurship Contest as a platform for their voices, and show this world a better future with the spirts of collaboration, unity, innovation and integrity.


2. Institutional Framework



Executive Committee of International Entrepreneurship Contest for University Students




The Consortium of Universities in Osaka

The Consortium of Universities in Kyoto

The Consortium of Universities in Hyogo, Kobe

Organization for Small & Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation, Kinki Japan

Kyoto University Original Co., Ltd



Osaka Prefecture

Kansai Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry.(METI Kansai)

Kansai Economic Federation

WASEDA-EDGE Global Talent Development Program



3. Overview of Contest Judges (Tentative)

Seiichi Nishimoto, Chairman of Kyoto Municipal Institute of Industrial Technology and Culture, and Professor Emeritus, Kyoto University

From student to a well-respected professor, Seiichi Nishimoto dedicated his entire academic career to Kyoto University.  After retirement, he continues to contribute to the development of industrial technology by taking on the role of chairman for the Advanced Science, Technology & Management Research Institute of Kyoto (ASTEM), and the Kyoto Municipal Institute of Industrial Technology and Culture.

Yoshinori Hara, Dean of Graduate School Of Management, Kyoto University

Yoshinori Hara received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Engineering from the University of Tokyo, and his Ph.D. in Informatics from Kyoto University. He has been a professor in the Kyoto University Graduate School of Management since April 2006, when the school was first established. His current research focuses on innovation management, service and design management, and open innovation with IT frameworks.

Mikiko Shimaoka, Deputy General Manager of WASEDA-EDGE program, Waseda University

Mikiko Shimaoka obtained her Ph.D. in Public Management from Waseda University.  In addition to her role in the WASEDA-EDGE program, she is also an advisor for the "Accelerate Cooperative Efforts to Promote Regional Vitalization", and a professor in Waseda University.  Professor Shimaoka specializes in fields including Management of Nonprofit Organizations, Stakeholder Management, Collaborative Governance.

Satoshi Sugahara, Professor of Accounting, Kwansei Gakuin University

Satoshi Sugahara has a Ph.D. in International Business Law from Yokohama National University, and a Master of Commerce from the Australian National University.  He is a member of multiple national and international accounting associations.  His primary research interests are financial accounting in Small and Medium-sized Entities (SMEs), and global implementations of practices and standards for accounting education.

Changju Kim, Professor of Business Administration, Ritsumeikan University

Changju Kim obtained his Master’s degree in Strategic Marketing from Cardiff University (UK), and his Ph.D. in Commerce from Osaka City University.  He is a member of multiple academic associations, including the Japan Society of Marketing and Distribution, and the Marketing Science Institute. Professor Kim’s research specializes in retail strategy, innovative sales management, strategic marketing, and global strategy.

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Keiichi Yoshino, CEO of Dari K Co., Ltd

After graduating from the Graduate School of Kyoto University and the Graduate School at Oxford University, Keiichi Yoshino worked as a financial analyst in the banking and investment sector.  He is currently the CEO of Dari K, a cacao bean importing company that successfully improved the quality and productivity of cacao beans on the Sulawesi Island of Indonesia, which is now the second-largest producer in the world.

Narimasa Makino, CEO of Darma Tech Labs

Narimasa Makino received his M.B.A from Kobe University. Before building his dream high tech company, he invested much of his time helping entrepreneurs and working with startups through organizations including the Future Venture Capital, SunBridge Global Ventures, and The Founder Institute. He is currently a co-founder and CEO of Darma Tech Labs, which runs a prototyping acceleration program for hardware startups.

4. Entry Requirements

The projects shall be creative and present relatively mature product prototypes or service modes.  The content of the business plan must be closely related to the future development of society in the real world. The entries shall include one or more of the following topics:

①Technology, media, telecommunication

②Health, biomedicine

③Environmental improvement, new energy

④Traditional culture, cultural creativity

There is no limitation to the type of business model or industry.  However, any plans that are contrary to public policy or deemed morally unacceptable will not permitted.



5. Qualification of Participants

Students must participate as a team. Participating team members must be college, university, or graduate students, or vocational school students in their fourth or fifth year.  Each team must have no less than 4 members, and up to a maximum of 8 members.


6. Rules of the Contest

Entries will first be selected based on the initial profile submission.  Qualifying teams will be invited to compete in the preliminary and final contest in Osaka.



Initial profile submission: English

Presentation: English (including question and answer session)



Time Limits

10 minutes for the presentation

5 minutes for the question and answer (Q&A) session

Points will be deducted for teams that go over the time limits.

Prepare your presentation in PowerPoint format.  The presentation shall be delivered by each team member or a representative from the team.  During the Q&A session, you may consult your team members before answering each question. 

Further details regarding the requirements of the presentation will be available during the Contest Orientation on November 25th, 2019.


7. Schedule

Registration Deadline: November 10th, 2019

Qualifying teams based on the initial profile selection will be notified by email on November 13th, 2019.

The schedule for the contest from November 24th to 28th, 2019 will be as follows:

Please note that attendance on November 25th, 26th, and 27th are mandatory.

Schedule of the Final Contest (November 27th, 2019)

10:00                    Opening Ceremony (Greetings and introduction of judges)

10:10                     Presentations of first half of all teams*

12:00-13:30          Lunch break

13:30                    Presentation of remaining teams*

​16:00                    Closing Ceremoney

*18 minutes for each team, including set up, presentation and Q&A session

​8. Judging Criteria

9. Registration Guidelines

Complete the Specified Form (link below) in English, convert it to PDF format (file size must be less than 3Mb), and

email the PDF file to:

The subject of the email and name of the PDF file shall follow the examples below.

Subject:                [IECO2019] University Name

PDF file name:     [IECO2019] University Name_Title of Business Plan

10. Awards


The award-winning projects will receive an award certificate. Excellent business plans have the opportunity to receive angel investment.

11. Registration Fee
USD$1,245/per entry

The registration fee covers:

  • Expenses of registration

  • Accommodation & transportation during the contest

  • International postage of invitation letters

  • Welcome party and awards party

  • Overseas medical insurance.


Examples of expenses NOT covered by the registration fee include:

  • International transportation

  • Passport application

  • Visa services

  • Transportation outside Japan

  • Meals

  • Costs of overweight baggage(s)

  • Personal shopping

  • Any other expenses that are NOT included in the 'covered items' mentioned above


12. Disclaimers


※The creators of the proposed business plan have the sole intellectual property rights to the proposed business plan.

※The proposed business plan must be the original work of the proposing team.  Any consequences arising from intellectual property rights infringement shall be the sole responsibility of the relevant individual or team.

※The business plans of selected candidates will be disclosed on the Internet in brief. Therefore, in order to protect any trade secrets and/or confidential information, application for the legal protection of your intellectual properties is highly recommended.  However, contest organizers are not responsible for any expenses incurred from such applications.

※Organizers have the right to publish the content of the business plans for each team participating in the competition in the media.

※The submitted business plan and related materials will not be returned. Please prepare your backup in advance.