Report on GTIE Kickoff 2024

On Friday, May 31, 2024, GTIE Kickoff 2024 was held at Tokyo Innovation Base (Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo). The event was full of enthusiasm and strong public interest in university-launched startups, with many people involved in the university-launched startup ecosystem in attendance. At the main stage, Takahiro Nakamura, Director/CEO of Midtown (former COO of iSpace), gave a keynote speech, followed by an introduction of policies related to university startups by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and Cabinet Office. Following the keynote speeches by MEXT, METI, and the Cabinet Office, the 11 “FY2024 GTIE Gap Fund Selectees” presented their adopted research seeds.

 Next, the 12 “GTIE Commercialization Promotion Organization Candidates” supporting the GTIE Gap Fund introduced the details of their support. In the latter half of the session, following the introduction of support for GTIE from the ecosystem supporting GTIE, in addition to the introduction of platforms nationwide, Professor Ren Kono of Nagoya University, the core institution of Tongali, a university platform in the Tokai region, took the stage to discuss expectations for collaboration between GTIE and Tongali and other platforms in each region. He expressed his expectations for cooperation between GTIE and Tongali and other regional platforms.

 The ROOM venue was divided into two parts with side events. In the first part, “GTIE Entrepreneurship Education,” GTIE lead and joint institutions explained this year’s entrepreneurship education programs, and each introduced the appeal of their unique programs.

 In the latter half of the session, students who participated in the 2023 GTIE student training program reported on the results of their training in Silicon Valley, Melbourne, and Japan, and commentators who had seen the student training programs gave advice to help young startup businesses take off. The second part of the side event, “GTIE AcademiaX,” featured pitches by university startups from GTIE participating universities.

After all programs were over, a lively exchange of ideas took place through networking in the venue.