Startup Weekend Kyoto International Online

Fri, 26 Aug 2022 19:00 - Sun, 28 Aug 2022 21:00 JST
Online Link visible to participants


Interested in startups?
Want to meet other aspiring entrepreneurs?
Want to test out your idea or see ideas that others are cooking up?

Come join Startup Weekend!

What is a Startup Weekend?

Startup Weekends are weekend-long, hands-on experiences where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs create a startup in 54 hours. Throughout the weekend, you’ll learn how to turn ideas into something real and experience what it’s like to startup.

Startup Weekend is a global movement carried out by volunteer organizers around the world. Over 400,000 people have participated in 150+ countries, making it one of the biggest entrepreneur communities in the world. Find out more here:

What happens during Startup Weekend?

During Startup Weekend, you and your team will take your ideas from concept to creation within a matter of days!

Starting from day 1, participants will pitch their ideas to form teams, then hit the ground running. Throughout the weekend, you'll be meeting talented and passionate coaches from whom you can get advice, and you'll be provided all the nourishment to keep going.

At the end of day 3, your team will be pitching your idea to a panel of judges who will provide feedback and select the winner!

But Startup Weekend isn't about winning, it's about working on ideas and taking the first step of your entrepreneurial journey. Startup Weekend isn't a Hackathon or a Workshop. There won't be nicely packaged instructions for you to follow, but you will connect with like minded aspiring entrepreneurs.

Many startups have been formed from Startup Weekends and many have found their co-founders to go beyond startup weekend.

See below for a more detailed schedule.

Startup Weekend ONLINE?

Yes! While many in-person events are coming back, there are still many benefits to running online events like being able to join in your pajamas, interacting with people around the world, and having very little carbon footprint (for transportation).

This edition of Startup Weekend Kyoto will be in English and Online so you can join from anywhere in the world! (We will send out instructions on participating before the event begins)

We will also be welcoming participants from Kyoto Startup Summer School Online, a program at the KYOTO Design Lab that brings together budding entrepreneurs from around the world. There is no doubt that this will be one of the most interactive and international Startup Weekends in the world!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to bring an idea?
Not at all. If you don't have an idea, you can join another idea and form a team to work on that one.

How should I bring my idea?
Each person will only have less than a minute so slides are a no-go. You can bring props if you want though.

Do I get to work on my idea?
Not necessarily. At the end of day 1, everyone will be voting for ideas and the top ideas will get to form teams. If your idea doesn't get enough votes, you won't be able to form a team around them.

Can I bring an idea that I'm already working on?
No, but well researched and vetted ideas are always welcome.

What if I am not available for the whole three days?
To get the full experience, it's best to be available for the whole three days, but in the past, we have had participants who had to miss a couple hours because of prior engagements.

What if I can’t make the pitches, coaching session, and/or final pitches because of the time difference?
If you can’t make the opening pitches, you can still see what’s happening on the event Slack and try to join a team afterward! For the coaching sessions and final pitches, hopefully someone from your team will be able to join.

Can I sign up with my friend?
Of course. More the merrier. But please do register individually.


All times listed below are in Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)

Day 1 - Friday
19:00 Registrations Begin
19:30 Welcome Session
20:00 Pitches Begin
21:00 Idea Voting and Team Formation
21:30 Start Working!
22:30 Mini Workshop 1 (Talking to customers)

Day 2 - Saturday
Build build build!
10:00 Mini Workshop 2 (Prototyping)
11:00 Coaching Session
Don’t forget to test your ideas with real customers
20:00 Coaching Session
23:00 Mini Workshop 3 (Pitching)
Might want to start thinking about your final pitches here

Day 3 - Sunday
11:00 Coaching Session
14:00 Check-ins (Let’s register your team)
16:00 Tech Check (Make sure your presentation works)
Scrambling to perfect your pitch!
17:30 Final Pitches
19:30 Judging and Awards
20:00 After Party!


The awesome people that will do their best to help you be successful. More coming soon!

Philip Nguyen
Philip graduated from UCLA in Earth and Environmental Science and World Arts and Cultures in 2011 and moved to Japan to study radiation safety at Kyoto University. In 2016, after obtaining his PhD, he established his social venture, Gochiso, to support nonprofits and the food industry in Japan. In 2020, he established his new venture, mamoru. mamoru is a service that connects students to exclusive offers from sustainable brands and shops to increase access to sustainable alternatives.

Adrian Sossna
VP Global Sales at HACARUS
MBA & Published with Ivey / Harvard Business Press. 5+ Years in executive management / Biz Dev for the AI, IoT, Automotive and Cybersecurity fields. Forbes Communications Council Member and United Nations Development Programme Mentor. Frequent speaker on the topic of innovation & how to create synergies between start-ups and large corporates at conferences & events - reach me at or visit
Academic Background: Doshisha University, Yonsei University, Fudan University, Chinese University of Hong Kong and University of Gothenburg”

Aki Saarinen
CPO (Marketplace), Mercari
Aki was introduced to programming at the early age of 8 years and taught himself to be a software engineer. He launched his first web businesses at the age of 15 in 2000, and graduated from Aalto university with a Machine Learning major in 2010. Aki has built digital businesses and worked in the intersection of software, design and business for most part of his life.

Mark Lozano
Creative Production Manager / Paid Social Media Manager,

Mark specialises in designing and executing digital marketing strategies. He’s currently at, an ad tech startup working on automating every step of social advertising to unlock greater performance and creativity, working as a Creative Production Manager, and formerly as a Paid Social Media Manager.
He previously worked on market expansion and customer acquisition at Yours, a beauty tech startup bringing personalisation to skincare, and as a Growth Account Manager at Facebook working with some of the top advertisers in South East Asia in developing and executing full funnel marketing strategies that allow their businesses to scale and expand efficiently across markets.
He is also the Founder of One Million Lights Philippines, a non-profit focused on providing clean, safe, and affordable lighting in rural communities across the Philippines.

Aaron Down
Aaron Down is the International R&D Projects Coordinator and Lecturer at Design Factory Melbourne where he delivers high quality, industry engaged innovation projects through DFM’s global academic programs. Working with international partners and research institutions, including Stanford University (USA) & European Organisation for Nuclear Research, or CERN (Switzerland), Aaron delivers interdisciplinary student programs that allow students to work alongside industry and generate innovation solutions.
Aaron’s passion is to increase his student’s self-efficacy, critical thinking and creative capacity through hands on experiential learning. As a brand designer and strategist, Aaron has worked nationally and internationally applying evidence-based, human-centered design methods in his practice. He is a skilled facilitator and innovation coach, regularly leading design thinking, creative and strategic workshops with students, researchers, industries, businesses, and public sector organisations. His research interests span design process, co-creation in interdisciplinary innovation, cross cultural collaboration, and the visual and communication modalities to enhance collaboration and innovation practice, as well as the communication and curation of process.

Kelsie Stewart
Kelsie was born in the United States, graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology (2009) and a Masters of Arts in Religion (2015). As the FabCafe CCO, Kelsie oversees the FabCafe Global network. In FabCafes across Asia, Europe and America, Kelsie strategizes and aligns Fab synergies to empower everyone to take the initiative to make and share their ideas with local and global communities. Kelsie is also the Tokyo organizer for the Global Goals Jam (GGJ), a two-day designathon and community which aims to create short term solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals. Kelsie has organized sustainability and design thinking workshops in Tokyo, Bangkok and Hong Kong.

Yoshiyuki Taguchi
Born in 1993. While in college, he participated in the founding phase of LOUPE (now ARROWS), an educational startup that operates one of the largest platforms for teachers in Japan, as an intern. After that, he studied abroad in Finland and was invited by a member he met there to join Slush Asia (now Slush Tokyo) as a founding member in 2015. After graduating from university, he joined Recruit Marketing Partners as a new graduate and worked on business development of a new business for nursery schools. Currently, he is back at ARROWS. He is in charge of a business that solves the marketing issues of companies for young people by creating educational materials with leading companies such as Unilever, Otsuka Pharmaceutical, and Suntory, and providing those materials to children nationwide via a platform for teachers. He is currently working hard to provide value to all three parties: companies, teachers, and children.

Martin Heidegger
After beginning with games and media, Martin has been working professionally on a computer since his late teens, over 20 years ago. Ever since he released his first open source project around 2004, he has been involved with a very wide range of open source technologies. After coming to Osaka in 2010, he spent his time working besides code on startups and community-building. In recent years, he has focused his efforts on decentralized systems, security and self-sovreign-identity.

Antti Sonninen
Antti is originally from Finland and came in 2013 to Japan to start the Japan office of Rovio, maker of game Angry Birds. In 2015 Antti started Slush Tokyo, the largest English soeaking startup event in Japan and grew it until 2018. From 2019 onwards Antti has been an entrepreneur helping foreign startups enter Japan and Japanese startups expand internationally.


The experts who form the jury on day 3, to decide which is the winning team. More coming soon!

Charles Allard Jr.
With a career as an intrapreneur in the finance industry spanning 25 years, Charles helped develop early credit default swaps in Japan in the late 1980s and early 90s. He helped drive innovation and several companies including at the alternative asset management leader Winton Capital Management where he sat on the firm’s Investment Committee, led the largest foreign fund raise in Japanese history and with his COO Kurt Settle, launched the first foreign advised quantitative fund in the PRC. He also took a few months off to co-author two successful books on the Insurance Risk Securitization market. In 2014 Charles left to become a joint entrepreneur and built from scratch Ve Interactive’s Asian group of 7 APAC offices offering innovative adtech and martech before exiting to start his own company. Along the way he has invested in several successful startups including Delerrok, the mass transit disrupter. His current venture Delvify is now leading the race to improve sustainability in garment production by harnessing AI to improve processes and reduce waste.

Masaru Ikeda
Masaru Ikeda currently acts as co-founder of Bridge, one of Japan’s leading media outlets covering the startup scene in Japan and the rest of the world. He started his career as a programmer/engineer, and previously co-founded several system integration companies and consulting firms. He’s been traveling around Silicon Valley, Europe and Asia exploring the IT industry and prominent startups.

Narimasa Makino
Co-Founder & CEO at Monozukuri Ventures

Narimasa started to work for Future Venture Capital in 2005, where he gained experience in private equity. Then he worked as an incubation manager at ASTEM in Kyoto and joined SunBridge to run GVH Osaka and also invested in startups as a member of Sunbridge Startups LLP. In 2015, Narimasa started Monozukuri Ventures (initially called Makers Boot Camp) which gives consulting services for prototyping and manufacturing to hardware startups and raised "MBC Shisaku Fund I" for hardware startup in 2017. So far Monozukuri Ventures has supported over 150 projects and over 50 portfolios in Japan and the US. Narimasa holds an MBA from Kobe University.


The one who makes sure things run!

Sushi Suzuki
Sushi Suzuki is an associate professor at the Kyoto Institute of Technology where he teaches and runs projects based around design thinking, the Stanford-IDEO innovation methodologies. Previously, he co-founded Paris Est while teaching design innovation at École des Ponts ParisTech and was the Executive Director of the ME310 program at Stanford University. Sushi also set up an innovation team for Panasonic Europe, was one of the co-founding members of, a Japanese start-up company that handles antique kimono and accessories online, and a concept developer for Yocondo, a Germany-based semantic product search engine.
Artist by nature, Engineer by training, and Designer by desire, Sushi is always thinking of new ways to do the old things better. Sushi holds a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and B.A. in Studio Arts from Rice University.


The amazing people behind the scenes who are helping put the event together. Seriously, this would not be possible without them.

Isao Sawamura
Co-founder and CFO of Quiny Co.

After working for a major city bank for 12 years, Isao worked for a consulting company and then for Kyoto Research Park, where he supported startups. In 2011, he started organizing of Startup Weekend Kyoto. When Isao turned 50, he left Kyoto Research Park to join several startups. In April 2022, he moved to Nanao City, Ishikawa Prefecture support start activities and invigorate the local community. While living in Nanao City, he continues to organize Startup Weekend Kyoto.

Takayuki Minakuchi
After graduating from Doshisha University, Takayuki moved to Tokyo and worked in sales at an advertising agency and at DeNA as a business developer. After 10 years in Tokyo, he returned to Kyoto. Takayuki participated in Startup Weekend Tokyo last year and has been an entrepreneur since April preparing his company. He operates a curation site "COMINCA TIMES" with its purpose of "bringing old traditional houses into the future" and serves as its chief editor.

Masato Inoue
Masato is a member of the Innovation Design Department of Kyoto Research Park (KRP). After working at a government-affiliated financial institution for 5 years in the SME finance field, he joined KRP, where he is in charge of startup support at the incubation floor "TSA", as well as planning and managing the event space "Tamariba." He has organized many events and programs in cooperation with partners both inside and outside of the company, such as co-hosting the social entrepreneur support program "COM-PJ" with taliki.

Tatsuya Tsubuki
Professor at Entrepreneurship Dept. of Musashino University
Former university professor at Kyoto Institute of Technology

Graduate GLOBIS Management School of Business 2012 (MBA), Background is Overseas sales, Join Startup, IT company After working as an enterprise marketer. Since 2008, Rikkyo University has been in charge of developing and teaching industry-academia cooperation programs (business leadership program) as a part-time instructor. In 2014 BLP Advanced received the Career Education Award from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Regional society collaboration, development of industry-university cooperation programs, leadership and entrepreneurship education are the core charge areas.

Akira Fukunaga
Akira joined Seiki Corporation in 2013 and helps university students with their career development. From 2015, he is also the director of Japan Edu-Beit Association which promotes career education for students. He currently develops new businesses for Seiki and is also responsible for planning events and campaigns.

Thomas Sun
Came to Kyoto from Wuhan, China. He participated in the Startup Weekend Kyoto 2017. To prevent people from wasting coins and help users develop a good habit of saving, his team came up with the Start-up idea “adventure piggy”. After participating in the Startup Weekend Kyoto Thomas took the master course in Kyoto Institute of Technology and is currently working in a business prototyping studio as an UX designer.

Rio Fujimoto
Rio is a UI designer at DeNA.He participated in Startup Weekend Kyoto in August 2015 as a designer and joined the team "1mile."

Joji Masutani
Currently studying International Relations at Ritsumeikan University. Participated in Startup Weekend Kyoto 2021, and came up with the idea for an app that teaches about politics, which also promotes voting among young people. At University, helped organize the job hunting seminar with LVMH.


The organizations who were cool enough to support us in putting together this awesome event. Coming soon.

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Startup Weekend Kyoto

Startup Weekend Kyoto

Startup Weekends are in cities across the globe bringing together highly motivated group of developers, business managers, startup enthusiasts, marketing gurus, graphic artists and more for a 3 day...

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