CHIBA, Japan–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Asian Entrepreneurship Award Steering Committee announced today that
IMAGR Ltd. of New Zealand won first prize at the Asian Entrepreneurship
Awards 2018 (“AEA 2018”), a three-day business pitch contest for Asian
startups held from October 31st to November 2nd at
Kashiwa-no-ha campus city in Chiba prefecture, Japan. This year, 20
technology startups from 13 countries and regions across Asia
specializing in the AI & IoT and medical & healthcare fields showcased
their innovations, the commercial viability and social impact of their
products and services, as well as the future potential of their
solutions and the potential for collaboration with major Japanese

Initiated in 2012, the AEA program aims to create an ecosystem of
entrepreneurship across Asia and has brought together 154 companies from
over 16 countries and regions to date. It constitutes a collaborative
effort across industry, government and academia and is co-hosted by
Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd., the University of Tokyo’s Corporate Relations
Division, TX Entrepreneur Partners General Incorporated Association, and
The Japan Academic Society for Ventures and Entrepreneurs.

This year, the AEA focused on AI and IoT and on the medical and
healthcare sectors—key business fields Kashiwa-no-ha campus city is
focusing on in its quest to spur the creation of new industries that
will help address a variety of social issues in Japan and Asia, such as
declining birthrates and aging societies. This year’s winner, IMAGR Ltd,
a New Zealand-based startup that developed the innovative AI/computer
vision shopping cart SMARTCART, was evaluated highly in terms of their
business scalability, with a number of Japanese companies already
showing interest in potential collaboration. The company also won the
Audience Award, attracting the most votes by the audience at the final

Last year, the AEA newly established the “Kashiwa-no-ha Award”, designed
to recognize a technology, product or service that will enhance the
development of the Kashiwa-no-ha campus, the host city of AEA – a “smart
city” initiative aiming to develop a next-generation urban environment
through collaboration between the public, private and academic
sectors. Located about 40 minutes from Tokyo by train, Kashiwa-no-ha
campus city aims to establish an open platform that will accelerate the
creation of new industries. This year, the award was presented to
Girasol Energy Inc., a spin-off from the University of Tokyo that
leverages its patented power line communication technology to develop
IoT platforms for solar power plants. The company also won third prize
in the overall competition, being rated highly on their practical
application of IoT and their potential to reach diverse customer sectors.

To further accelerate collaboration between Asian startups and major
Japanese corporations, the AEA added a new judging criterion evaluating
the startups’ potential to collaborate with Japanese companies on
business deployment in Japan. To illustrate such potential,
Singapore-based startup ViSenze, runner-up at last year’s AEA, shared
details of their recent collaboration with Mitsui Fudosan, one of the
co-hosts of the AEA. Following AEA 2017, Mitsui Fudosan adopted
ViSenze’s intelligent image recognition solution and deployed it at
their e-commerce shopping mall “&mall”.
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About AEA

The Asian Entrepreneurship Award (AEA) is an annual international
business pitch event for startups across Asia, aiming at forming an
“ecosystem” that generates innovation through collaboration among
industry, government and academia. Since 2012, young entrepreneurs from
over 16 countries and regions in Asia have gathered in Japan to present
their innovative ideas to leverage knowledge and technology to tackle
challenges in the fast-growing Asia region. AEA is hosted at
Kashiwa-no-ha Campus in Japan’s Chiba prefecture, a rapidly globalizing
smart city that attracts people from around the world to pursue the
creation of a new industrial culture.


• AEA 2018 Winners

First Prize   IMAGR Ltd. (New Zealand) / Founder & CEO: William Chomley
Second Prize Brain Beat, Ltd (Russia) / CEO: Edward Kryzhanovskii
Third Prize Girasol Energy Inc. (Japan) / CEO: Li Min
Kashiwa-no-ha Award Girasol Energy Inc. (Japan) / CEO: Li Min
The Japan Academic Society for Ventures and Entrepreneurs Award Value and Trust Co., Ltd. (Korea) / CEO: Paul Roe
IP Bridge Award PLIMES Inc. (Japan) / CEO & Co-founder: Kenji Suzuki
Audience Award   IMAGR Ltd. (New Zealand) / CEO: William Chomley

For a list of startup entrants and their businesses, visit

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