Webinar - Kyoto: the Japanese start-up community powering the future of smart cities

Monday, 19 April, 2021

Webinar: Kyoto: the Japanese start-up community powering the future of smart cities

by SmartCitiesWorld

Date Recorded: 30 March 2021

Length: 60 mins, including Q&A

Dubbed the cultural capital of Japan, Kyoto has been at the forefront of the start-up scene for decades and a focal point of the country’s innovative spirit.

Keihanna Science City is one of the most successful start-up hubs, hosting more than 150 research facilities and incubating fledging companies with game-changing ideas, from energy, mobility and healthcare to agriculture, security and municipal services.

This webinar will give insight into what makes Keihanna Science City unique and will hear from one of the executives behind the Keihanna Global Acceleration Program Plus incubator, as well as some of the program’s most successful start-ups sharing their experiences.

There will also be a Q&A session from the audience.


1) Hiroyuki Suzuki

Executive Vice President, Representative Director

Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR).

After a career in telecoms technology, Suzuki moved to ATR and is in charge of corporate management and planning, and business developments. He is also developing the global innovation ecosystem in Keihanna Science City together with local governments, companies, start-ups, universities, research institutes, and local residents, based on global networks constructed with leading innovation partners in Barcelona, Canada, India, Israel, New York City and Japan.

2) Shoji Koike

Head of Global Sales, Synspective Inc.

Synspective uses satellites and customised platforms to analyse their data. Since reaching $100 million in funding in July 2019, the company has released two products, one for monitoring land displacement and one aimed at flood damage assessment.

Coming from 20 years of satellite telecommunication sales & marketing experience out in the Southeast Asia to the Middle East, Shoji found his new home at Synspective back in his old city of Tokyo, leading their Global SaaS solution sales since mid-2020. Reaching out to new prospects in new sectors, new territories with new products are what Shoji has excelled for the number of years for organizations of various levels. Together with Synspective, Shoji aims to challenge the limits of the boundaries in the new radar satellite data driven world.

3) Nanmoku Toworu

Founder and CXO, XPAND

XPAND is a super-contactless technology designed to read data from large scale signage at a distance. Use cases are being developed for public transport, smart cities, sports, outdoor advertising and games.

For many years Toworu has been involved in design for the public transport sector, notably the design of the information systems installed in all Tokyo Metro stations. His experience led him to invent the XPAND Code, which harmonises with the space and works as an add-on to the QR code, and he founded XPAND K.K. in 2017.

4) Dr. Sandor Markon

CEO, Linearity Co

Established in 2017 in Kyoto, Linearity is developing next-generation elevator technology powered by linear motors. Similar to the technology used in maglev trains and some rollercoasters, Linearity’s innovation enables elevators to run in any direction and for multiple elevators to run on the same track.

In addition to founding Linearity in 2017, he is a professor at the Kobe Institute of Computing, founded Parity Innovations and also serves as an expert at the International Telecommunication Union.

5) Yukihiro Sakaori

Founder & CEO, Hyperia

Born in Japan, spent childhood in California and New York. 15 years of business experience in Global Gas and Power supply with Shell, Noble and Engie.

Experienced a major internal fraud caused by one of the colleagues in the mid-2010, which led to a strong interest in Blockchain technology. Established Hyperia Corp. in 2019 after researching and studying Blockchain adoption at both corporate and personal levels.

6) Graeme Neill

Editor, SmartCitiesWorld

Graeme has many years of experience as a B2B journalist and editor, specialising in technological innovation and its impact in cities.

Retrieved from