Sustainability Featured at New Metropolis-Tech.Tokyo Startup Occasion

Japan’s capital hosted Metropolis-Tech.Tokyo on February 27-28, a startup-centered occasion the place lots of its actors launched revolutionary options within the subject of sustainability

It was the primary occasion of its form, bringing collectively college ventures and startups from Japan with pioneering initiatives from different areas. Selling Tokyo as a startup hub in Asia, the taking part firms are aiming to make our world extra sustainable. 

For instance, one of many predominant appeals of the occasion was the Metropolis-Tech Problem. This was a pitch competitors through which startups competed for a grand prize of ¥10 million JPY ($73,613 USD). 

Kyoto Fusioneerding Ltd took dwelling the highest prize with its imaginative and prescient “to ship a brand new vitality future for humankind,” in keeping with the corporate web site. 

Wota at Metropolis-Tech.Tokyo on February 27 (©JAPAN Ahead)

Avoiding Water Waste

Sustainability was the problem tackled by many firms. instance is Wota, a Japanese enterprise which has the bold purpose of common water provision. The corporate began in 2014. 

Wota develops merchandise that, utilizing AI, filter water at 98% in order that it may be recycled. Its bathe field — known as WOTA BOX — achieves the seemingly inconceivable feat of offering 100 showers with solely 100 liters of water. Because of the straightforward setup, this product is well-placed for disaster-affected areas or areas with little infrastructure. For instance, the corporate not too long ago offered bathe containers for the earthquake-hit areas in Turkey and Syria. 


Karen Cheah on the stand of Alterpacks at Metropolis-Tech.Tokyo on February 27. (JAPAN Ahead)

Energy of Upcycling

Different firms took on the issue of upcycling waste supplies. 

Singaporean enterprise Alterpacks is one such enterprise. It makes use of natural waste to provide meals packaging which is each sturdy and biodegradable. 

The concept was born in the course of the pandemic, when CEO and founder Karen Cheah, thought she ought to do her half for the atmosphere. She created containers that lend themselves effectively to packed lunches, a staple of scholar and salaryman life in Japan. Highlighting the significance of initiatives like hers, she identified, “Japan is the third nation on this planet by way of use of plastic containers.” 

The containers, designed to resist temperatures from -18 C to over 260 C, are additionally surprisingly sturdy. “You’ll be able to put it over an open flame, you may boil water [in it], after which you may put it within the freezer,” Cheah defined. 

The corporate’s revolutionary method was acknowledged with a number of particular prizes within the Metropolis-Tech competitors, in keeping with the Tokyo Metropolitan Authorities press launch

One other attention-grabbing merchandise was offered by Crust, additionally a Singapore firm which makes use of bread crusts and vegetable or fruit peel to create new drinks. 

It too is poised to enter the Japanese market, mentioned Hiroyuki Hirano, head of the corporate’s enterprise growth. “There aren’t that many firms that upcycle in Japan, and we see a possibility in that,” mentioned Hirano.


Fermenstation at Metropolis-Tech.Tokyo on February 27. (JAPAN Ahead)

Japanese Fermentation for the Setting 

Born in Iwate, Japan, the Japanese firm Fermenstation makes use of fermentation to upcycle meals waste that may in any other case be discarded. Utilizing Japanese fermentation, it processes objects like rice and different foodstuffs into byproducts like ethanol. These fermented merchandise can then be utilized in different sectors. 

COO Shota Kitabatake defined how the beginning of the corporate got here from a necessity in the neighborhood of Iwate. There have been rice fields that weren’t getting used, and the locals have been making an attempt to revive the trade. Because it was tough to promote their rice, these concerned determined to attempt promoting rice-derived merchandise, equivalent to alcohol. They achieved outcomes, because of the method of fermentation. And that’s how the enterprise was born. 

“Fermentation is one thing that Japan may be very robust in, however the matter of meals waste and meals loss nonetheless must be addressed. So we needed to be those to attach these two ideas,” defined Kitabatake. 

Fermenstation’s COO was optimistic in regards to the firm’s enterprise prospects. He says that enormous cosmetics firms are beginning to use these byproducts, and it appears to be an space of want out there. 

Extra broadly, Kitabatake was optimistic in regards to the prospect of sustainable enterprise in Japan. “We began in 2009, when sustainability was nonetheless not a buzzword. I believe the tradition is basically altering,” he mentioned.


Creator: Arielle Busetto


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