Habitat Update — Jun / Jul 2018

Tugi Guenes
Jul 2, 2018 · 6 min read

A recap of past events and a guide for upcoming activities in and around Osaka.

First things first: A strong earthquake of magnitude of 7 hit northern Osaka on the morning of June 18 (Mon) paralyzing the train-system of Kansai and causing four fatalities. No significant aftershocks occurred. We hope everyone affected is fine! You can read more about the incident in Japan Times.

Past events in June 2018*

  • This is not a comprehensive coverage but a selection of events that took place in June 2018 in the Kansai area.

June is not only known as the rainy season in Kansai but also marks the transition from spring to summer. Chances are that you need a new umbrella — be it one to avoid getting wet or to protect you from direct sunlight. They come in all sorts of shapes and colors: which one to buy? You would be surprise how much more is happening in your body when deciding for an umbrella than you are aware of! And that is exactly what Neuromarketing is all about: to understand the underlying processes in decision making. That was also one of the topics discussed as part of the Global Innovation Seminar series at Keihanna Research Complex and feat. Dr. David Williams, founder and lead digital strategist at Global Digital Mojo.

The seminar series was the kick off of a new alliance between Global Digital Mojo, Keihanna Research Complex, ATR, and Kansai Research Institute to accelerate the development of the Kansai innovation ecosystem with more projects announced and in planning.

Making new friends and forming new alliances is what The Habitat is all about! In that sense, we continued our series of events starting with Habitat Drinks — the casual meetup for startup people at Sauce Boss in Osaka. Once more it was a very enjoyable evening with old and new faces.

Habitat Drinks takes place every second Thursday of the month and is supported by Gochisoan Osaka based startup that enables you to donate through dining. Join the next “drinks” is on July 12!

The most recent Habitat Meetup then focused on the practice of pitching: we had a look at common formats like the elevator pitch, the startup event pitch, and the investor pitch and discussed what one should pay attention to when preparing such a presentation. After that, all participants got the chance to pitch their projects sparking some exciting discussions about translation procedures, game design, and influencer marketing.

Thank you everyone for attending. Join the Habitat Meetup group and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to not miss any announcements and upcoming events!

Connecting like minded and working on new ideas together is also core to the mission of the KYOTO Design Lab (KYOTO D-Lab)! As part of the Kyoto Institute of Technology, the D-Lab organizes various events and runs different programs throughout the year — often in collaboration with partner universities around the globe. And this month they held the first ever Kyoto Design Thinking Expo. Visitors could join workshops, panel discussions, and presentation all about design thinking and innovation from morning to evening.

Furthermore, the expo marked the closure for this year’s ME310/Sugar 2017–2018 student innovation program at KYOTO D-Lab. ME310/Sugar is an effort to connect students and companies around the globe to solve real world product development challenges. The participating student teams showcased their prototypes, pitched their ideas to the audience and answered possible questions about their project.

The projects included:

  • A smart airport guide called “tomo” aiming to encourage and enable the world wide ageing society to travel more. The project is support by ANA (All Nippon Airways) and the prototype was developed in collaboration with Aalto University Design Factory in Finland and KYOTO D-Lab.
  • “Plan&See” — a platform featuring a conversational interface to facilitate simple communication and co-creation at PLANSEE, the market leader for refractory metals from Japan. The team was made of students from KYOTO D-Lab and the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland.
  • The creation of a new type of yarn consisting of bioplastic and leftover cotton. The development of “infini” was driven by Triwool (textile manufacturer based in Portugal) and will enable the company to produce and deliver sustainable knit garment products. KYOTO D-Lab and Porto Design Factory worked very hard to realize this innovation and already produced a first series of T-Shirts toward a more sustainable industry.

Truly inspiring efforts and results. The application for the next ME310/Sugar program starting late September 2018 is already open and interested students in and around Kyoto can learn more about the criteria and procedure to join on the following page: ME310/SUGAR 2018–2019 Now Open for Applications.

ME310/SUGAR 2018–2019 Now Open for Applications

And with that we arrived in summer 2018. The heat and humidity is real but it takes more than that to stop us from exploring upcoming Kansai events! Stay tuned to #HabitatUpdate and see below for a list of possible activities to participate in. Thank you.

Upcoming Events in July 2018*

*Order by date. Please click on individual event-link for details.

Did we miss anything?

Let us know and we see that it is included in a next update!


  • Takes place in Kansai region (Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Nara, …)
  • Related to entrepreneurship, innovation, startups, …
  • Is held in English / features content in English

Thank you and have a great day!


Your source for stories, reports and more about startup activities and entrepreneurs in Kansai (Japan). You are welcome to reach out and contribute (habitatupdate@gmail.com). #HabitatUpdate is part of The Habitat: https://kansaihabitat.org

Tugi Guenes

Written by

Very random, often artsy and always hungry. http://guenest.com


Your source for stories, reports and more about startup activities and entrepreneurs in Kansai (Japan). You are welcome to reach out and contribute (habitatupdate@gmail.com). #HabitatUpdate is part of The Habitat: https://kansaihabitat.org

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