mind-blowing ideas by the Binnovative team, great fit for the grand prize winner!

As the organizer of Kumamoto Keirin business plan competition, It was mind-blowing when I read the ideas submitted by the Binnovative team. The ideas proposed by the team were highly innovative, practical, and sustainable, and were great fit for the grand prize winner.
What a surprise idea to fuse Keirin, which is a sport and a gambling game, and agriculture together! Binnovative has proven the thrilling synergy between such different elements. I will be keeping a close watch on Binnovative’s future activities, as I am very excited to see how it will develop further!

主催者としてBinnovativeの提案を拝読したときは衝撃でした。Binnovativeから生まれるアイデアは革新性、実現性、持続性に富んでおり、熊本競輪ビジネスモデルコンテストのグランプリにふさわしいものでした。競輪というスポーツでありギャンブルであるコンテンツと農業の融合というアイデアとは驚きましたBinnovativeは異質なもの同士のシナジーがこんなにもスリリングだということを証明してくれました。Binnovativeがこれからどんな活動を展開するのか、わくわくしながら注視していきます!

Mr.Yutaka Naito 内藤 豊 氏
Industry Department of Kumamoto City Economy and Sightseeing Bureau 熊本市経済観光局産業部競輪事務所

a high quality and realistic business plan that can be put into practice

Each team presented a high quality, realistic business plan that can be put into practice. I hope to utilize my experience at this event through my future business career at Santouka. The winning team had a highly feasible plan with in-depth research. The team presented a rental food truck instead of purchased one. This enables us to implement the plan easily and temporarily, which is a huge plus for a small business like Santouka. I thank you for making this event such a fascinating competition, with participants from various backgrounds. Event operation was very smooth, and I was able to focus and enjoy listening to the presentations.

8チームともとてもプレゼン内容の水準が高く、どのチームの提案からも実現できる要素があり非常に参考になった。今後のビジネスに活かしていきたいと思わせる内容であった。(優勝チームの)勝因はフィジビリティの高さ、リサーチがしっかりできていて、提案のフードトラックも購入ではなくてレンタルで検討されているなど、パーマネントではなくテンポラリーでできる手軽さがベンチャー企業である我々の企業サイズにもフィットしたという点。今後実施については社内で話し合い検討していく。いろいろなバックグラウンドの参加者を定員以上に集客されていて、魅力あるコンペティションに仕立てていただき感謝している。会の運営も非常にスムースで楽しんでプレゼンを聞くことができた。

Mr. Fujita Kohei 藤田浩平氏
Plenty USA プレンティーUSA

Binnovative stretches the international entrepreneur to new heights

It was obvious the eight teams who participated took the competition very seriously and prepared some innovative recommendations for Santouka Ramen. The best teams had clearly been out in the field and could back their recommendations with market and consumer research. The winning team represented by Showa University won based on their thorough analysis, research and easy-to-implement recommendations. Binnovative stretches the international entrepreneur to new heights by exposing them to business challenges typically handled by senior executives at multinational companies. Eriko and Binnovative team has done a great job with organizing a business plan competition that explicitly addresses the challenges of Japanese businesses expanding into the US market.

全てのチームが真剣に取り組んだことは伝わってきました。結果すべてのチームがらーめん山頭火のために革新的なアイディアや改善案を提供できていました。優勝チームはマーケットと客層のリサーチを自ら進んで行いました。昭和女子大学の生徒で構成された優勝チームの勝因は、しっかりした分析、リサーチ、そして実現性のあるビジネスプランでしょう。グローバルビジネスを展開する会社のリーダー達と繋ぐことで、Binnovative はインターナショナルな起業家の次なるステップアップを促進している。Erikoさん率いるBinnovativeは、日本企業がアメリカのマーケットに展開する際に直面する問題を提示するビジネスプランコンペティションを見事に作り上げた。

Ms. Alice Stein アリス・ステイン氏
Stein + Partners

Impressed by the professional management and execution of the event

I was fortunate to serve as an advisor during the NASA Space Apps Challenge in Cambridge, MA in the spring of 2014 and 2015. Acquisition of funding and organization of the local venue was carried out by Binnovative providing a unique opportunity for local entrepreneurs and students to collaboratively innovate in areas important to modern space exploration and science. I was impressed by the professional management and execution of the event, which was carried out on an
very short time scale.
Binnovative also took on the added responsibility for the organization and creation of a number of "mix teams" which enabled direct collaboration of participants in Cambridge with participants in Kumamoto and Tokyo, Japan. I was very pleased to see the development of these groups and impressed with their effectiveness. With the increasing importance of international collaboration in space, as well as in earthbound ventures, the participants are certain to have come away with invaluable experience.

アドバイザーとしてこのイベントに参加できたことは私にとって、とても光栄でした。Binnovativeがオーガナイズし、スポンサーや会場を調達したこのイベントは、地域のアントレプレナーや学生達が一体となって、宇宙開発や近代科学に対してイノベーションを起こす、とても有意義なものとなりました。
また今回、Binnovative がミックスチームを取り入れたことで、ケンブリッジ、熊本、東京、それぞれの会場の参加者が直接、コラボレーションをして作業することができました。他国と共同作業したことは、それぞれのチームにたくさんの良い影響をもたらし、それを見てとても感心いたしました。宇宙における国際的な連携や、地上での投機的事業が求められる今、このイベントに参加できたことは、それぞれにとって非常に貴重な経験になったことでしょう。

Branden Allen ブランデン・アレン
Harvard College Observatory ハーバード大学

potential is realized when we actively seek opportunities

During my second day in Boston, I was invited to Babson College as the guest lecturer at a symposium. The campus was beautifully covered with autumn trees, their leaves turning reddish-orange, and the portraits of past presidents welcomed me at the college’s main cafeteria.

The primary goal of my stay in Boston was to support Binnovative Boston with their mission of “bridging communities in Boston and Japan.” Specifically, Binnovative Boston was hosting a business plan competition, which focused on proposals to popularize koji in the United States.

Among the competitions, who came from various backgrounds, there were several students from the Showa Women’s Institute. On the first day of the one-week-long competition, the girls all seemed shy and intimidated. However, throughout the course of the competition, it was apparent that they gained confidence. By the end, the Showa students actively participated in their teams.

On the last of the competition, each team delivered a final presentation – I was so proud to see the young ladies from Showa Boston present passionately in very fluent English about their research and proposals.
Our potential is realized when we actively seek opportunities. My warm applause to the students from Showa Boston for actively challenging themselves, and to the members of Binnovative Boston who supported them to grow a step further.

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Ms. Myoho Asahi 浅利 妙峰氏
Kojiya Honten 糀屋本店

High quality and well-organized event

I was very impressed how well the whole event was organized and quality of the plans that came out of the competition. We met very talented students through this event who became candidates for the job openings in our company as well.

イベント自体の質の高さ、そしてそれぞれのチームのプレゼンテーションの完成度の高さには驚かされました。また、参加者の中から是非今後私どもの会社で活躍してほしい人材を見つけることもできました。

Mr. Katsunori Tanaka 田中 克典氏
Information Development America インフォメーションディベロップメントアメリカ

Realization motivated students

Nine students from Showa Boston's Global Business Department were excited to participate in the Business Plan Challenge Project. By teaming up with students from other universities in the Boston area, they had a chance to both apply their business knowledge and communicate in English. Showa's students soon realized that they knew less than many of their American peers, but this realization motivated them to work even harder in their business studies. Although the competition was brief, our students were able to learn much more than they imagined was possible.

昭和ボストングローバルビジネス学部からは9名の生徒がビジネスプランチャレンジプロジェクトに参加しました。他大学の学生とチームを組んでプロジェクトに取り組むことは、彼女たちにとって英語でコミュニケーションをとりながら授業で学んだことを応用するとても良い機会になったと思います。昭和ボストンの生徒の多くはまだまだ自分たちの実力が発展途上であることを思い知らされたようですが、これからに向けてのモチベーションになったことでしょう。1週間という短い期間でしたが、彼女たちにとってとても学びの多い時間であったようです。

Dr. Frank Schwartz フランク・シュワルツ氏
Showa Boston Institute 昭和ボストン学長

Fresh perspectives

I enjoyed listening to the four groups each explain their premise and proposal for new and innovative ways to use koji. I was curious to see how each group would bring a fresh perspective on how to incorporate koji, one of the traditional key ingredients in Japanese food, in a creative way that would meet the needs of a modern diet. I was impressed by the ingenuity of each group's idea as well as the diligence and work ethic they brought to the project. Ultimately, the most successful team was able to harness the spirit and tradition of koji while understanding how to create an effective business model for the current market. This mix of "tradition and modernity" captures the essence of an innovative approach to building on one's strength to ultimately launch in a new direction. I hope that each team is able to take away key lessons on life from Asari-san and insights into how to find their own market niche through this competition.

4チームそれぞれの、糀を使った新たなビジネスを提案したプレゼンテーションをとても楽しむことができました。 参加者たちが、日本の伝統的な食材である糀をどのように現代の食生活とマッチさせるプランを考え出すのかが非常に興味深かったです。また、参加者のプロジェクトに対する真摯な取り組み方には特に感心しました。優勝チームのプレゼンテーションは、本来の糀らしさを残しながら、それを魅力的なビジネスへと繋げることに長けていたように思います。この「伝統と現代」の融合という概念は糀に限らず、様々な場面において大切なコンセプトでしょう。浅利さんをはじめとしたメンターの方々から多くのことを吸収し、参加者にとって学びの多いイベントであったことと願います。

Ms. Kerianne Panos ケリアン・パノス氏
MCML Consulting Services

impressive job

Serving as a judge for the Binnovative Business Plan Competition [Koji Business Challenge] was an exciting opportunity to transition from being marketing practitioner and consultant to strictly advisor. It was obvious the student teams were extremely well-prepped by Binnovative Boston and Ms. Myoho Asari on Koji Business Challenge. The students did an impressive job of translating the background information into business opportunity. I was especially pleased to see a very high-level of preparedness and diversity of recommendations from the teams.

普段はマーティング・コンサルタントとして活動している私にとって、糀チャレンジのジャッジ役というのはとても刺激的な経験でした。どのチームのプレゼンテーションも入念かつ綿密に準備されていて素晴らしかったです。チームごとに全く違ったアイディアでしたが、どれも糀の本来の特徴を活かしながら新しいビジネス機会へと繋げるとても完成度の高いプレゼンテーションで、非常に感心しました。

Ms. Alice Stein アリス・ステイン氏
Stein + Partners