ASICS held the DEMO DAY for the ASICS Accelerator Program, its business partnership accelerator program for startups, on July 3rd, 2019 at the ASICS Japan headquarters in Tokyo.
The theme for applications for this program was “ROAD TO 2020”, and application enrollment began from March 2019. Startups submitted their business collaboration proposals for products, services, and contents that could contribute to business opportunities for ASICS in 2020.
Eight finalists made their final pitch to the Jury on DEMO DAY, with the finalists selected through 2 rounds of screening steps - the first written and the second interview sessions, after which they spent approximately one and a half months working with the ASICS team to brush up their business collaboration proposals.
On DEMO DAY, the four juries - three ASICS executives and one representative from operating partner Spiral Ventures Japan LLP - selected four collaboration proposals, based on overall assessments of “vision” and “feasibility”. The proposals will be test-marketed for business opportunities for 2020.
The four selected startups and their proposals are outlined below.
Elyza, Inc. (Headquarters: Tokyo, Representative: Yuya Soneoka)
Proposal: Development of a sales/demands forecasting system using artificial intelligence (AI) technologies
ASICS’ Comments: We think Elyza’s technology would be synergetic in many ways as their system can be applicable to various use cases in addition to forecasting sales/demands.
no new folk studio Inc. (Headquarters: Tokyo, Representative: Yuya Kikukawa)
Proposal: Joint development of smart running shoes that can measure foot movement while running
ASICS’ Comments: An outstandingly fun and novel idea that can be integrated with ASICS products.
Award of Excellence
biima, Inc. (Headquarters: Tokyo, Representative: Yoshihiko Tamura)
Proposal: Interactive sporting fun for children under 10 and their parents
ASICS’ Comments: We would like to work together starting from developing services to encourage kids to participate in sports, which is in line with ASICS’ founding philosophy.
Award of Excellence
Runtrip, Inc. (Headquarters: Tokyo, Eiichiro Omori)
Proposal: Proposal for creating a running community connecting local workers
ASICS’ Comments: We would like to work together leveraging Runtrip’s knowhow to build a running community that connects the spirits of participating runners
ASICS will work together with the four startups on test marketing, aiming to offer the products in ASICS owned stores in Japan, facilities, and events by 2020.
- Wovn Technologies, Inc. (Headquarters: Tokyo, Representative: Takaharu Hayashi)
Proposal: Joint development of a service to translate website and retail outlet digital tools into other languages
- Eishis, Inc. (Headquarters: Tokyo, Representative: Eishi Saito)
Proposal： Joint development of a product information inquiry system using WebAR technology
- Naorai, Inc. (Headquarters: Hiroshima, Representative: Koichiro Miyake)
Proposal：Joint development of a wellbeing business that contributes to local areas using local resources like sake and organic lemon.
- Neo Sports, Inc. (Headquarters: Kanagawa, Representative: Yoshikazu Shimada)
Proposal： Joint development of a Fantasy Sports service in which users compete for points based on actual competition results of real athletes
Comment by ASICS Director Hokuto Nakano (Head judge)
I was very excited to have the opportunity to hear the wonderful, exciting presentations by each startup, and felt that all the startups that participated are able to contribute to ASICS’ growth. I hope to continue to take on bold challenges while adopting outside technologies and business growth ideas from innovative startups.
One of the core strategies in the ASICS Growth Plan (AGP) 2020 is creating differentiated innovation, and ASICS focuses on creating revolutionary products, services, and processes that can bring about big changes in customer lifestyles and experiences.
ASICS wishes to achieve sustainable growth by partnering with startups that would create value, and developing new businesses.