Friday, March 10, 2017

Osaka University - 5 cohorts strong!

A fifth cohort of ten students and faculty from Osaka University attended the 2-week Global Innovation Training program at UC San Diego to learn how to bring their ideas from the lab to the market. The Global Innovation Training Program is an opportunity for our international partners are introduced to commercialization skills including team formation, customer validation, building the business model, and go-to-market planning.

Jonathan Masters (instructor) and Dennis Abremski (IGE Director) with Ayumi Kawasaki receiving her certificate for the program. 

During this cohort, the attendees were able to practice their presentation skills and highlight their ideas and technology through a poster session open to the UC San Diego Community. Serial entrepreneurs Jonathan Masters (Lead Instructor of Osaka Program) and Albert Liu (Lead Mentor of Osaka Program) selected 4 of the 10 projects presented and created 2 to 3 person teams to work on each project together.

Within the duration of the program, everyone participated in team building exercises with the Gordon Center and experiential design exercises with DD Studio CEO, Charles Cunbburn. Human-centered Design is a process to understand customer needs, which is the initial step in the Lean Launchpad process of commercialization taught at IGE. The group also visited local startup companies, such as Whova and NanoCellect Biomedical, and hosted guest speakers such as NSF I-Corps graduate, Lorenzo Ferrari, and Ichiro “Ike” Toriyama, Sony R&D Director.

At the end of the program, the teams presented what they had learned over the 2-week period to a panel of serial entrepreneurs and investors. Derek Footer, Jan Dehesh and Richard Kuntz selected as the winning team, but they said all 4 teams have great ideas with a strong chance for success.

The whole class visiting the Pepper House. is a company aimed at creating drug candidates for pharmaceuticals using a novel gene-based method of developing new compounds from plants. Winning team members include Ayumi Kawasaki, Ryo Iwamoto, & Mario Nagase, who are all doctoral students in Science & Engineering.

Other technological ideas explored in the program included: VisFlu, a company aimed to provide diagnosis of any infectious disease in the world with a gene-based kit that can detect viruses and drug resistance in 15 mins, Nanaota created a new lithium ion battery using nanomaterials to last longer and avoid the risk of fire, and MIRAI, a portable and inexpensive analyzer that utilizes infrared light to maintain quality control during drug development using.

To learn more about our Global Innovation Training programs at IGE, please visit:

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