Island Innovation Demo Day is a one-day event bringing together entrepreneurs, investors, and corporate partners from both Japan and Hawaii, enthusiastic about developing sustainability solutions. This is a community-based in the Hawaiian islands where we can provide the best environment for startups to validate their sustainability solutions in energy, food, tourism, hospitality and such. The selected startups that applied through the public application will have an opportunity to pitch in front of Japanese investors and corporate partners, expose their innovations and solutions to the next stages, such as finding opportunities, investors and corporate partners in the Japanese market.


Application: Island Innovation Demo Day 2021

If you are a startup who wants to pitch at this event, please use this application. Our demo day is an online pitch event for Hawaii or Hawaii-related startups to connect with Japanese investors and corporate partners to pursue their visions to look for opportunities in the Japanese market or funding from Japan.

Apply now, selected startups will be notified and invited to the demo day!
Application deadline: October 8th


  • The pitch event will be completely online. Presenters don’t have to be in Hawaii.

  • 5-6 Hawaii or Hawaii-related startups will be selected as finalists to pitch on November 18th.

  • Each startup will have 7 minutes to pitch and a 5 minute Q&A session.

  • Speaker sessions and networking events will be held on November 18th and will continue into November 19th.

  • An in-person networking event will be held in Hawaii but is subject to change depending on COVID-19 restrictions. 


  • We are looking for startups with solutions and ideas for ESGs problems, especially in Japan or other island communities.

  • We are focused on renewable energy, environmental monitoring or controlling, food sustainability, and woman empowerment.

  • We do not limit our industry focus as long as your solutions relate to the ESGs theme. 

  • Preferable startup sizes are Seed and Series A.


  • Startups should have solutions and ideas to solve ESGs problems.

  • Startups must be interested in or looking to the Japanese market for future expansion.

  • We prefer startups that have traction or prototypes to demonstrate the concept.

  • Startups should be located in or started from Hawaii or have done projects/programs in Hawaii.

  • In order to avoid future conflicts and fraud information to protect all of the attendees, all applicants must agree to our Terms & Conditions.


  • Judges are TBD, but we plan to have Japanese corporate venture capitalist experts and investors who have extensive knowledge of and experience with startups, investments, and the Japanese market.


  • Applicant finalists will have access to mentors to prepare for their November 18th pitch.

  • Investment deal flow opportunity for the first place winner.

  • 1-hour one-on-one free mentorship session with Japanese investors and Corporate VC for the first-place winner.

  • Free membership for 1 year at BoxJelly for the first-place winner.

  • Professional feedbacks from Japanese investors and Corporate VCs for applicant finalists.


  • Application deadline: October 8th. 

  • Semi-finalists will be announced on October 13th. 

  • All of the finalists will be announced by October 20th.



Why do we do this event?

Hawaii is a unique state in the U.S. as it is an isolated island with a strong Asian culture. Due to this unique location, Hawaii has a lot of different problems compared to other states, such as high energy cost, environmental issues and lack of workforce…etc. These problems are very similar with those in rural Japan since many prefectures rely on tourism and agricultural business with a lack of workforce due to decreasing population. We believe introducing innovation and solutions coming from Hawaii can change businesses in Japan, especially outside of the major cities, in a way that is different innovation coming from Silicon Valley and the Mainland U.S.




Operated By DENTSU Inc.

Island Innovation Demo Day 2020 will be co-organized by engawa KYOTO, which is operated by DENTSU Inc. We are planning to live-stream startups' pitch to their incubator in Kyoto to expose Hawaii business to Japan.  

engawa KYOTO is created by Dentsu Inc. to support the innovations of individuals, corporations, and society, in the Shijo Karasuma area of Kyoto. With a members-only co-working and shared office space targeted at individuals and corporations as a platform, engawa KYOTO is a facility that connects the individuals and corporations that gather there and supports the co-creation of businesses that will one day bring vitality to Japan's economy.

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