Announcing the Winners of IVS2022 LAUNCHPAD NAHA
Given its reputation as a gateway to success for the next generation of entrepreneurs, IVS LAUNCHPAD is one of Japan’s largest startup pitch contests, attracting a wealth of startups to compete for the top spot. We have seen LAUNCHPAD winners make incredible achievements. In the last three years, all three LAUNCHPAD 1st place winners successfully fundraised after they pitched their startups to the IVS community. This year, IVS LAUNCHPAD received an all-time high number of applicants, approximately 250 companies, of which 14 made it through the final round and received the opportunity to give a 6-minute presentation about their products and their passions.
This year’s finalists hail from a variety of industries, including up-and-coming spaces among the likes of Web3, SDGs, DX, and cyber security. The audience of 1,000 was visibly thrilled by all of the pitches, with the judges commenting that “The quality of the presentations was the highest ever, the passion of the finalists was strong and the pitches were powerful”. Another judge added, “The presentations were spirited and passionate”.
IVS2022 LAUNCHPAD NAHA winners and finalists
“PETOKOTO”, the Headline Asia portfolio, won 1st place out of all 14 finalists.
PETOKOTO CEO Taisuke Okubo introduced his presentation with the notion that pets, as family members, “eat only brownish mashed pieces with a lot of additives.” Okubo then proceeded to introduce “PETOKOTO FOODS”, a fresh alternative that is a reinvention of traditional pet food. He even ate the product on stage, demonstrating that PETOKOTO is spearheading the creation of an “era in which real pet food (not just feed) is a matter of course.”
Judges were spurred to action by this presentation. One even commented that they “immediately bought PETOKOTO FOODS because my family suffered a huge problem that our dog hasn’t eaten food for about a month” and that “the presentation brought tears to their eyes.”
1st Place: Taisuke Okubo of PETOKOTO inc.
IVS CEO Toshiaki Shimakawa (left), PETOKOTO CEO Taisuke Okubo (middle), and Akio Tanaka (right)
A pet wellness company aiming for a world where people can treat their pets like family and with love.
Food Reborn CEO Etsuko Uda
Food Reborn’s innovative service, “Farmer’s Textiles”, turns the world’s unused agricultural resources into natural fiber to solve clothing issues impacting the environment and humanity.
3rd Place: Kohei Nishiwada of Asueno Inc.
Asueno CEO Kohei Nishiwada
Asueno’s “Asuzero”, a CO2 visualization and reduction cloud solution, is built for corporate decarbonization management.
4th Place: Takahiro Ishihama of nanameue Inc.
nanameue CEO Takahito Ishihama
Nanameue’s community app, “Yay!”, is building up a virtual world in the Web3 era. Read more about it in our founder spotlight.
J-tama CEO Momotaro Koike
Our portfolio J-Tama’s “OPTEMO” is a website-based business solution that allows sales to communicate with potential clients without the need for a traditional appointment.
IVS2022 LAUNCHPAD NAHA, the perfect ending of the first IVS in Okinawa
Headline Partner Akio Tanaka hosts IVS2022 LAUNCHPAD NAHA
It was the first year IVS took place in Naha, Okinawa, thanks to the support of Okinawa Prefecture and Naha City. Okinawa Prefecture is said to have the highest rate of entrepreneurship amongst all prefectures in Japan. This year, around 1,800 people from all over Japan and the world gathered in Okinawa for IVS. The three-day event was a great success for startups in Okinawa and Japan.