CONTEST #6380178



Contest Summary Introduction of Asahi Kasei  Press Release 



               Webinar Transcript  Webinar Recording Target Technology                             



New Business Use Case Contest for

ASAHI KASEI Sensing Technology






NineSigma, representing Asahi Kasei Co. (headquartered in Japan), invites novel business ideas or unique use-case scenarios to be enabled by their globally best-in-class position estimation and activity recognition technologies.  Based on these proprietary technologies, Asahi Kasei is eager to develop new solutions or service businesses that address local needs or niche needs unique to the United States.


Contest winners may have the opportunity to further develop their proposed ideas.  Winners may gain financial support, mentorship or access to Asahi Kasei’s cutting-edge materials or components for electronics, healthcare, housing, etc. Funding and terms of these interactions will be negotiated accordingly after the execution of a confidentiality agreement between the parties.


Please refer to the Contest Summary for background inforrmation and further detail.  






A total prize pool of $35,000 USD is available.  Asahi Kasei will select up to 3 (three) Entries as Cash Prize Winners, in the form of:

  • 1st Place Prize Winner: $20,000 USD
  • 2nd Place Prize Winner: $10,000 USD
  • 3rd Place Prize Winner: $5,000 USD

All Prize Winners will be invited to a celebration Event in Tokyo, Japan.  Travel expenses (flight and accommodation) for one person per winning Entry is to be covered by Asahi Kasei





Phase 1: Primary screening (short proposal review)

1) Entrants will submit a short non-confidential proposal covering the following items: Name, affiliation, idea (target user/application, value proposition), how Asahi Kasei’s solution is utilized.

2) Asahi Kasei will evaluate all Entries against the key success criteria. Ten (10) Entrants will be selected as semi-finalists and invited to advance to Phase 2.


Phase 2:  Final screening (presentation review)

3) Selected Semi-finalists are invited to a 30 minute (including Q&A) pitch to Asahi Kasei’s review committee at their US office (CA: Travel expense up to $1,000USD/proposer is to be covered), or alternatively an on-line videoconference session.

- Items to be covered in the presentation: Name, affiliation, Idea (target user/application, value proposition), how Asahi Kasei’s solution is utilized to develop the idea into practice, how to capture value (business model)




 Regarding "Pitch to the review committee”, the announcement of the detail will be made at the end of January.





  • Your compelling proposal should be supported by a concise technology description, and include supporting
  • To participate, Entrant must be 18 years or older, or the age of majority in individual's country of origin.
  • Eligible contestants include:
    • Students enrolled in colleges, universities, and technical schools.  
    • All undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students are eligible.  
    • Not only students but also start-ups are welcome.






Submissions will be evaluated by the following criteria:

  • Disruptiveness of business idea
  • Market that is unique to the United States

  The business scale and the feasibility is not the priority in this contest. 






You will be asked to agree to the following when submitting a proposal for this contest:

  • The proposal shall not include any confidential information of the Entrant's or anyone else's to the best of the Entrant's knowledge.
  • The intellectual property rights of the proposed approach remain with the Entrant. Any future transfer of the rights, etc. will be first negotiated between the parties.
  • The evaluation of proposals and selection of winners will be wholly performed by Asahi Kasei.  All decisions will be final and binding on all matters relating to this contest.
  • There is no guarantee of collaboration with Asahi Kasei even if Entrant is selected as an Award Winner.





Q: Is it possible to enter the contest as team?

A: Yes. There is no restriction on the number of team members per Entry.  Team submissions should identify a single point of contact for communication purposes. 

Q:  Must the Entrant or all team members be located in the United States?

A:  It is preferable. However, global Entrants with an approach that describes a use case within the United States are welcomed.

Q: Who sees the submissions?  Will my submission become public? 

A:  Submissions are not public.  The proposals will be transferred by NineSigma to the Asahi Kasei evaluation team. 

Q: Will you pay any travel expenses during the Competition period?

A: Asahi Kasei will pay airfare and accommodation up to $1,000USD/proposer for each selected Semi-finalist who travels to the presentation location.

Q: What does this project mean to Asahi Kasei? Is there any strategic intent?

A: It is one important part of Asahi Kasei's new challenge of starting solution business. And, it's also new to us to look for the business idea through the idea contest. So, this project is very important to Asahi Kasei. 

Q:  what kind of technology have you developed?

A: Asahi Kasei has developed both software and hardware. That means we can provide software or hardware or a combination of them.

Q:  Is there any chance to borrow Asahi Kasei's technology to prepare a competitive proposal?

A: We haven't prepared any application for test use, so it's probably difficult to provide for testing purpose.

Q:  Is Asahi Kasei going to start a new business or a new company based on the winner's idea?

A: We don't exclude any possibility. Starting a new company or new business is definitely one of anticipated for Asahi Kasei.

Q:  Can we submit several ideas?

A: The answer is yes, you can submit multiple ideas. If those ideas are significantly different, we recommend you make a new entry for each idea.

Q:  Is there a particular area to be avoided or preferred by the company?

A: The answer is yes, you can submit multiple ideas. If those ideas are significantly different, we recommend you make a new entry for each idea.

Q:  How long should the proposal be?

A: it's a 400-word abstract for each item is enough.  

Q:  Do you have any information on what the battery life is on using that sensor?

A: The power consumption is 1/4 of other technology. In our experiment, it works for 10-hour in warehouse experiments with smartphone.



Pam Semanik




Hiroshi Yamamoto, PhD
Program Manager 

NineSigma Japan, Inc.

Welcome to our Innovation Contest!

Questions?  Feel free to email us at






Steven Berger

Asahi Kasei America

New Business development

Managing Director





Nick Wood

Kidron Capital Advisor





Takashi Morishita

Asahi Kasei Corporate VC

General Manager




Shiro Kobayashi

Asahi Kasei Corporate VC

Senior Innovative Architect




Masaya Yamashita, PhD

Asahi Kasei Corporation

Masaya Yamashita Laboratory

Asahi Kasei Senior Fellow




Takanobu Hamazaki

Asahi Kasei Corporation

Synergistic Solutions Initiative

Senior General Manager




Masahiro Konda, PhD

Asahi Kasei Corporation

Synergistic Solutions Initiative

Assistant General Manager