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On July 3, 2020, RouteX COO Masahiro Tsukao joined in a member-only webinar “Members Monthly Meeting vol.2” hosted by Comité d’échanges Franco-Japonais (CEFJ) This article is the event report contributed by RouteX Inc. as below.

Vol.1 Guest: Prophesee CEO Luca Verre
Vol.2 Guest: Open Innovation Expert & Author Pascal Latouche


On July 3, 2020, Comité d’échanges Franco-Japonais (CEFJ) held a second webinar “Members Meeting” for its members only. It was held with more than 30 participants from member companies in both Japan and France.

In this event, the official launch of the second Startup Creativity Challenge(SCC), which is designed to promote collaboration between large companies and startups in Japan and France, was announced.

And we had the opportunity to meet with an open innovation expert & author, Mr. Pascal Latouche, who is also the founder and International Coordinator of Orange Fab. At this time Mr. Latouche kindly speeched about the expectation of SCC programs.

1. About Comité d’échanges Franco-Japonais (CEFJ) / Startups Creativity Challenge(SCC)

2. Event report

3. Upcoming CEFJ events


1. About Comité d’échanges Franco-Japonais (CEFJ) / Startups Creativity Challenge(SCC)

Comité d’échanges Franco-Japonais (CEFJ) is a non-profit organization established in 1997 with the aim of contributing to the development of French-Japanese business relations and deepening mutual understanding in the global environment.

CEFJ has been supporting more active exchanges for business purpose, between French and Japanese companies for more than 20 years through a variety of programs and information, and currently has 157 members in both countries, supported by its huge network in France and in Japan but also in Europe and Asia.

(Image Credit: CEFJ)

Recently CEFJ has launched a new innovation program,

“Startups Creativity Challenge (SCC)”.

It will be held three times in total from 2019 to 2021 annually in order to further strengthen the relationship between Japan and France and to build organic startup ecosystems together.

(Image Credit: CEFJ)

The first edition, held in October 2019, was attended by 128 participants from both Japan and France. 4 enterprises and 9 startups also came together. The event was held at Station F, France’s largest incubation facility. In the presence of Mr. Nobuyuki IDEI, former CEO of Sony,  Chairman and Founder of Quantum Leaps, and Ms. Anne Lauvergeon, former CEO of Areva, CEO of ALP, welcomed by President Kling and Delegate President Kuchly, the atmosphere is really attractive, and various kind of players actively discussed how to create new innovations between the two countries.

The second SCC event, scheduled to take place in December 2020 in Paris, will be even more practical than the first. The SCC will further accelerate cross hydride collaboration between large companies and startups and generate innovations.


2. Event report

The event, which began at 9:00 a.m. local time in Paris on July 3, 2020, was held online with CEFJ member companies and organizations in both countries.

At the beginning of the event, Ms. Noriko Tominaga, General Director of CEFJ, opened the event with an opening speech and introduce the SCC in 2020.

SCC was held first in 2019 and has been promoted CEFJ and the Foundation franco-japonaise Sasakawa, which has aimed to promote cultural and friendly relations between France and Japan since 1990. SCC helps France and Japanese startups ecosystems collaborate with each other and create disruptive innovations.

Ms.Mme Anne Lauvergeon, former Areva CEO and current ALP CEO, and Mr. Nobuyuki Idei, former Sony CEO and founder of Quantum Leaps, kindly provide support for the SCC project as an Executive Committee.
Sineora, Matrice, Eiko Group, and Institut d’Economie et de Stratégie Franco-Japonais support the coordination of SCC 2020.

Next, Ms.Aurélia Dejulliard, event & administration manager of CEFJ, explain current French and Japanese startup ecosystems and circumstances.

In France, financial support for start-ups is actively provided through the French Government and many startups have been born. And a variety of incubators and accelerators such as Station F are in place. On the other hand, French startup ecosystems has produced only eight unicorn companies so far, in contrast with USA and China, which are generated over 100 unicorns respectively.

Japanese startup ecosystems is also growing rapidly, especially in Tokyo, and a number of large companies are running accelerators and incubators. But only four unicorn companies have emerged in Japan so far. The challenges of Japanese ecosystems are that English is not enough used to allow worldwide open innovation, and that the fear of failure brakes entrepreneurship, Ms.Dejulliard said.

It was also announced that weekly webinars will be held prior to the SCC starting in September to deepen the understanding of both ecosystems and to overcome the current situations.

SCC 2020 will be held at Station F in Paris on December 3. It is highly anticipated that innovators from Japan and France will gather to discuss collaborations to create disruptive innovations.

Next, Mr.Pascal Latouche, Orange Fab Founder and Director, Open Innovator author, and SCC advisor, kindly talked about his expectations to SCC. He said that Japanese startups developed the economy rapidly after World War II, and after the bursting of the bubble economy, Japan have gotten in the so-called “winter” season. As Mr.Idei stated that new innovations from startups will bring “spring” season to Japan again, SCC will help enterprises and startups collaborate, Mr.Latouche said.

During the Q&A session, participants asked many questions in the online tool’s chat box, and various discussions continued until the very last minute of the event. SCC will


3. Upcoming CEFJ events

CEFJ will be hosting a variety of webinars and online contents in preparation for the SCC in December 2020.

On 7th July, the first webinar lectured by Ms.Kat Borlongan, who is French Tech Mission Director, will be held with the title,

”French Tech post-Covid – and what’s in it for Japan? ”.

And on 8th July, the next series webinar lectured by ispace, which is one of the most advanced space-tech startups in Japan, on “Space 6.0” will be held. Please feel free to join us.


CEFJ Members Meetings are member- only events. If you have any interests or inquiries about CEFJ and Prophesee, please don’t hesitate to send us a message.

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