Sponsor companies

  • Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd.

    Asahi Soft Drinks Co., Ltd.

  • Mitsui Chemicals Tohcello, Inc.

    Mitsui Chemicals Tohcello, Inc.

  • TOPPAN printing Co., Ltd.


About Disruptive Innovation Pitch

Startups that have the spirit to bring revolution to the world are welcome to join us!

Over the years, concerns have grown over the impact of plastics used as packaging materials on the environment. A recent focus has been on the problem of plastic fragments of less than 1 mm in size floating in rivers and oceans, harming fish, seashells, seabirds, and humans. Corporations and research institutes specialized in package materials and packaging are conducting R&D to address such social problems by using various approaches, e.g. promoting the 3R principle - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - and introducing biodegradable plastics.
Returning to the basic purpose of “maintaining the value and status of goods”, experts have started to discuss how improving on existing technologies. However, it is not enough and the consideration should be given to a paradigm shift approach. The approach will change the conventions of packaging, as well as modes of storage, protection, information labeling, and logistics.

In this request, proposals are globally sought from potential startups with innovative technology and business schemes that are not based on the conventional idea of packaging and can promote the establishment of an environmentally friendly society and even improve human lifestyles in collaboration with the major sponsoring company with such resources as broad channels and high-quality production technology.

Opportunity for startups

  • Startups will have opportunity to pitch themselves to key stakeholders at Japanese established companies that are looking for new business ideas or solutions to society challenges, and to pursue future collaboration.
  • The startups can pitch themselves to multiple established companies from various industry sectors all at once, i.e., an efficient and effective match making opportunity.


  • Working on disruptive idea or technology.
  • Willing to partner with established companies.

Evaluation criteria

Possess an idea or startup for disruptive technology

  • Does it offer big change to today’s expectation or perspective?
  • Does it create a new business model and market?
  • Does it widen the customer base by resolving cost or production challenges?

    The maturity level, the idea or the technology does not matter.

    Besides the points above, we also consider if it matches the sponsor`s corporate strategy and timeline.

Topic of interest & Call for participation


Application to pitch event (Deadline: March 5th, 2019)

Click the above "Call for Participation", and then creat a proposal covering your technology overview (key features, unique selling points, target applications, track records, etc.) and organization overview for the sponsor companies.

Online pitch event(April 24th, 2019)

Approximately 5 qualifies will proceed to the on-line pitch presentation. The sponsor companies will come and listen to and interact with the presenters.

  • ・Date:April 24th, 2019
  • ・Each presenter will have twenty minutes including Q&A.

One on one meetings/interviews (From May, 2019)

Selected startups will proceed to the meeting/interview with the sponsor companies to look into partnership or collaborative development possibilities.
NineSigma will not join the meeting/interview between the startup and the sponsor company.

Pitch presenter selection (Early to late March, 2019)

NineSigma and sponsor companies will screen the applicants and select startups proceeding to the online pitch. The qualifiers will have the schedule by early April.

Match making exploration (From late April, 2019)

Sponsor companies select startups of their interest through the online pitch event.
NineSigma will inform the selected startup companies once they receive a meeting or interview request by any sponsoring company.


Once your application is submitted, you are agreeing with the terms stated below.

  • ・The application shall not include any confidential information not only of the applicant but also of any third parties
  • ・Licensing or transfer of any intellectual property would be a matter of discussion and negotiation between the parties after the pitch event.



  • Q. Are there any restrictions on originating countries of the startups?
  • A. No, startups from all around the world are welcome.
  • Q. Can universities or research institutes apply?
  • A. Yes, if they are in the process of setting up a startup company.
  • Q. What documents can I attach with the application?
  • A. You can attach any appendix material, e.g., technical papers, product brochure, video clips or any relevant media.
  • Q. Can I select a sponsor company to present to?
  • A. We can share your intent with the sponsor company of your interest, but your submitted application including the appendix materials are to be shared with all the sponsors to the corresponding topics.
  • Q. Am I guaranteed to gain funding or any other collaboration opportunities?
  • A. Yes, funding or collaboration opportunity from sponsor companies is guaranteed. This event is meant to provide an opportunity to meet up established companies with which you would directly discuss collaboration opportunities.


  • Q. If several sponsor companies are interested in the same startup, do all participate in the same meeting?
  • A. No, each startup basically will discuss with a sponsor company per a meeting/interview.

Online Pitch

  • Q. Will my application and the online pitch become public?
  • A. Only the sponsor companies will see your application and online pitch We will not make them public or show to other companies than the sponsors without your prior consent. Please never send your applications through your SNS.
  • Q. If I pass the screening stage of the application, can I see which companies are interested in my application?
  • A. Not which particular companies, but how many companies and which industry sectors that are interested in you.
  • Q. Do I need any special setup for the online pitch?
  • A. Please connect your computer to the internet to access the web-meeting setup and make sure the microphones and speakers on your computer are working properly.
  • Q. How will the sponsor companies participate in the pitch event?
  • A. All the sponsor companies will get together into a single premise in Japan and listen to and interact with presenters.
  • Q. If I pass the screening stage and proceed to the online pitch, do I need to pay to NineSigma?
  • A. No, applicants and presenters will not be charged.
  • Q. When will or shall the Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) be executed?
  • A. The application and the online pitch shall not include any confidential information of the applicants themselves or any third parties. The NDA based discussion shall be planned, if necessary, after proceeding to the one-on-one meeting/interview with sponsor companies.
  • Q. Is there any translator present during online pitch and Q&A session?
  • A. Yes, we are planning English-Japanese simultaneous interpretation.
  • Is it possible to send technology samples or prototypes to Japan for use during the pitch event?
  • A.No, we can not accept samples or prototypes at the pitch event.