Innovation Weekend New York was the first stop on this year’s world tour that will later visit San Francisco, Berlin, Osaka and Tokyo. This was Innovation Weekend’s second visit to New York, following up the successful visit in July of 2015 in which Agolo and Sous were selected to join the Grand Finale.
The event was held at WeWork Chelsea and Daniel O’Duffy of WeWork Labs kicked off the event by introducing Ikuo Hiraishi, CEO of Sunbridge Global Ventures, whose keynote addressed the current venture ecosystem of Japan.
After Ikuo’s remakes, Sage Wohns, CEO of Agolo, and Brian Bush, CEO of Sous, both shared their experiences at last years Grand Finale in Tokyo. Boris Milkowski, managing director of Goodpatch, also spoke about his experience expanding Goodpatch from Tokyo to Berlin and creating a global startup.
This year, Innovation Weekend New York received over 25 applications from local startups looking to pitch. Of those applicants, eight were selected. They represented industries including healthcare, IoT, transportation and travel. Three of the eight have been invited to travel to Japan to share their ideas and begin to explore ways to expand their business to the Japanese market.
The winner of Innovation Weekend New York is Dash. Dash is a connected car company that pairs an inexpensive, bluetooth enabled sensor to the computer of a car to track a myriad of data points that make driving smarter, safer, greener and more affordable. Dash’s CEO, Jamyn Edis, delivered the pitch and will be attending this year’s Innovation Weekend Grand Finale in Tokyo.
The runner up of Innovation Weekend New York is Journy. Journy is a travel service that curates city based itineraries and acts a concierge to then book restaurants and experiences for its users. They offer this full service at the daily rate of $15. Journy’s CEO, Susan Ho, delivered the pitch and will also be traveling to Tokyo to pitch at this year’s Grand Finale (coincidently, Tokyo is the most requested city by Journy users).
In addition to the winner and runner up, a third company was invited to Japan by Innovation Weekend New York’s sponsor, Hankyu Corporation. Hanyku Corporation hosts an annual startup conference in Osaka called Hack Osaka, and they have invited Skin-OS and its CEO, Gretchen Wobensmith, to join Hack Osaka 2017!