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Creating New Value in an Era Where Individuals Are Connected Across "Borders"

A gifted young man develops a technology that a person on the other side of the world decides to invest in – this is but one example of how in this new era, connections between people that transcend national borders can create new value.

People, products, money – rather than create organizations that merely encompass these elements, the key to competitiveness lies in the ability to combine human resources and capital from various parts of the world. Innovation requires the interweaving of different elements. While social networks help bring together individuals from different backgrounds with similar aspirations or thinking, in these uncertain times, it is more important than ever before to go one step further and nurture an environment where people of exceptional expertise and entrepreneurial spirit can realize their dreams.

We are striving to do just this, by creating a platform that brings together a diverse range of talent in Asia to spur innovation. The Young Entrepreneur Award is a great part of this endeavor, and we encourage young people in Asia who have the venture spirit to be active on the world stage.

We urge you to take the challenge and look forward to your application!

What is YEA?

The Young Entrepreneur Award (YEA) is an international business plan competition for promising students from top universities in Asian countries. Our vision is to create an Asian entrepreneurial platform that brings together Asia’s young entrepreneurs with investors to discover and produce technologies and content with high potential.

The 2nd YEA in 2013 received 143 entries from 20 countries/regions across Asia. Thirteen semi-finalists went through online presentations at the second round, and as a result, the selected 8 finalists were invited to the final round in Tokyo and made their excellent pitch in front of a large audience including prominent business leaders, entrepreneurs, and investors etc.

We are expecting an even wider coverage of participation from Asia for the 3rd YEA this year. In addition to the stage of the final round, the finalists can also join one-week program for visiting leading companies, networking with business leaders at Asia Innovation Forum (AIF) 2015, and experiencing both traditional and modern culture of Japan with the Japanese university students.


Main Tournament

【The Young Entrepreneur Award (YEA)2015 Main Tournament】

Date:December 2 (Wed), 2015

Venue: Toranomon Hills Forum, Hall A

〒105-6305 23 Toranomon 1 cho-me, Minatoku, Tokyo Toranomon Hills5


Eligibility for Entry

(1) Individuals or groups of students enrolled at universities, both undergraduate and graduate level, in Asian countries, who plan to establish their new business are eligible. Individuals who have graduated within the past five years as of December 2015 are also eligible. Applicants who have already established their own companies are also eligible as long as the company’s establishment was within the past five years.
*Please note that only the representative of the group will be invited to the final round in Japan as a finalist.

(2) Any type of business or industry field is acceptable.

(3) Language: Japanese or English, both for the written materials and oral presentation.

(4) The business plan must be the original work of the applicant and must not have received an award from other competitions in the past.


First Prize: US$10,000 + α

Other prizes to top ranked participants


The panel of judges is comprised of highly experienced business leaders, investors and venture capitalists, who have had extensive success in finding and supporting venture efforts in the global market. They will provide comments and advice to semi-finalists and finalists on how to improve each business plan.

Judges in 2013:

Nobuyuki Idei, President, Asia Innovators’ Initiative; Founder and CEO, Quantum Leaps Corporation; Former Chairman and CEO, Sony Corporation

Tomohiro Ishii, Executive Partner, Quantum Leaps Corporation

Akira Kurabayashi, Senior Director, Corporate Development,

Yohei Shibasaki, President & CEO, Fourth Valley Concierge Corporation

Arimasa Naitoh, Lenovo Fellow, VP, STIC, TPG, Lenovo (Japan) Ltd

Masataka Matsumoto, Co-Founder & General Partner, World Innovation Lab

Hirokazu Hasegawa, Professor, Waseda Business School, Waseda University; Managing Partner, Global Venture Capital

Timothy C. Draper,Founder and a Managing Director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ)

*For details, visit our website and download the application.

*The judges for 2015 competition will be announced later.

Selection Process & Schedule

Entry period: July 15 – September 30, 2015
※ Deadline for submission: September 30, 2015, 18:00 hrs (Japan time).

Please download the Application Form online from and kindly fill in the information requested. Limit your application to no more than two pages, and email it as an Excel file to info[at] If you have any additional material related to your business plan, please attach it with the Application Form (optional). As for the additional materials, there are no volume limits so you can submit as much as you want.

First round (screening of application materials): October 1-9, 2015

Semi-finalists will be selected after a screening of application materials.

Notification of first round results: October 12, 2015

Second round (online presentations by semi-finalists): October 13- October 22, 2015

All semi-finalists will be required to give online oral presentations of approximately 10 minutes. (*Further details will be given to semi-finalists with the notification of the result.)

Notification of second round results: October 23, 2015

In principle, 7-8 finalists in total will be selected and announced by the date above. With comments from judges at the oral presentation, the finalists can refine their business plans for the final round. Final presentation materials must be submitted to the Secretariat prior to the final round. (*Further details will be communicated to the finalists in due course.)

Final round: Open presentation and award ceremony on December 2, 2015

The final round will start with an opening speech by a guest speaker and proceed to open presentations (10-15 minutes each) by the finalists. The winner will be announced at the in the evening of the same day.


※1. Applicants who have been selected as semi-finalists or finalists are asked to refrain from withdrawing from the competition.
※2. We are unable to answer any questions regarding individual results of the selection process, such as the reason for failure.


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Contact Us

Secretariat of Young Entrepreneur Award
(c/o Asia Innovators’ Initiative)

Address: Pakside Six 502, Akasaka 9-5-12, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0052, Japan
Tel: +81-(0)3-5785-3968 Fax: +81-(0)3-5785-3969

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