Virtual Innovation Leadership Summit (Japan) 2021

Virtual Innovation Leadership Summit (Japan) 2021


Event Summary

As part of the NSW Government’s Going Global Program, NSW Treasury is calling innovative tech start-ups and scale-ups interested in pitching directly to Japan’s leading corporations and venture capital firms.

NSW Treasury, in partnership with the Federal Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER) is leading a virtual mission to the Innovation Leadership Summit (ILS) taking place in Tokyo and virtually, from 3–12 March 2021.

Asia’s largest open innovation event will connect major Japanese corporations with international start‑ups through facilitated one-on-one business matching meetings.



Applications close 11:59PM (AEDT) Sunday 1 November.

Participation in ILS will be limited to 10 companies carefully selected by NSW Treasury. Please refer to the evaluation criteria below.


An Exclusive Online Business Matching and Mentorship Experience

Previous participation at ILS 2019 provided the foundations for Cryptoloc Technology, rated by Forbes as one of the best 20 cybersecurity start-ups in the world, to open an office in Tokyo in March 2020.

Read more about why the Japanese investment market is an attractive option for start-ups and scale-ups here.

Participants in ILS 2021 will:

  • Be part of a virtual pitch session, during which major Japanese corporations and VCs can contact start-ups directly to inquire about their offering and arrange meetings.
  • Join ILS Power Matching, a live business matching event featuring one-on-one meetings with Japanese corporations and venture capital firms.
  • Apply to join the ILS Tokyo Challenge 100, an additional business matching opportunity with select major corporations.
  • Receive tailored pitch support, market preparation guidance and advice, translation services, business development assistance, and other in-kind services valued at approx. $10,000 per company.
  • Participate in virtual lead up training and mentor sessions with key leaders from the Japan tech ecosystem and Australia-Japanese business community.
  • Feature in marketing and promotional collateral.


  1. Conditions for Participation

We invite NSW businesses to apply who are:

1.1 ABN confirming NSW based business
1.2 Small and medium enterprises (SMEs)
1.3 Export capable or export ready 
1.4 Neither consulting nor professional services firms and listed firms are eligible for this program
1.5 Listed companies are also ineligible to participate


  1. Evaluation criteria

Companies will be selected based on the following criteria:

2.1 Be able to commit time and resources to full participation in the event
2.2 Market fit – product or service has relevance to and demand in the Japanese market
2.3 Value proposition – clearly defined value proposition for corporate investors or partners
2.4 Existing market traction and sales – including existing sales, returning customers, a growing customer base, funding, investors and partners
2.5 Ambition and readiness – clearly defined business objectives for Japan and resources to achieve projected growth
2.6 International scalability – ability to service the Japan market and deliver solutions quickly to a growing customer base

In conducting the evaluation NSW Treasury will have regard to any risks to the interests of NSW Treasury presented by the submission.

Failure to meet the above conditions for participation will result in elimination from the selection process.

Prior experience in Japan is not a pre-requisite, although companies are expected to have a strategic market interest in Japan.

Register your interest in this opportunity by filling in our registration form.  As places are strictly limited, all registrations will be reviewed by our government and industry panel for suitability. If you are accepted, you will be offered a place which will be confirmed. Once confirmed, we will work with you to ensure you are prepared to make the most of this opportunity.

In addition to your business and contact details, the following questions are required to complete the submission of your EOI application.

Your responses to these questions together with anything else you care to submit will be taken into account in evaluation against the criteria in Section 2 to the extent to which they are relevant to the individual criteria.


  1. Market engagement

3.1 How long have you been doing business in Australia and any other markets?
3.2 In which global markets are you currently operating?
3.3 Has your company expanded operations to another country previously?
3.4 Please describe your current market traction in Australia, current traction (if any) in Japan, or other relevant global traction? This can include areas such as who are your key partner, customers, etc [300 words or less]
3.5 Please describe why you are interested in Japan, and what your business objectives are for the Japanese market?
3.6 Please describe your level of experience operating in Japan, working with Japanese companies, and/or seeking investment from Japanese corporations and VCs?
3.7 Please describe your value proposition.  What do your customers most value in your service or technology? What is the niche you are going after and why? [300 words or less]
3.8 Which other global markets are you currently strategically targeting in the next 1-2 years?


  1. Your product/service

4.1 What differentiates your business and/or what is your competitive advantage (include market size and competitors)
4.2 How will your company benefit from joining the virtual ILS mission?


  1. Funding/Investment

5.1 How much capital has your business raised from private investors and/or government grants (AUD)?
5.2 What is the current funding stage of your business?
5.3 Are you currently seeking investment/funding?