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Struck by Slush Tokyo 2017: Our Favourite Moments!

Slush Tokyo 2017 was an roller coaster mix of ideas, info, people, money and digital signals, all in a mysteriously smoky but otherwise impressively designed venue. Here are some of the moments that made us take a second look.

Arnaud Bonzom, Main Stage

Nothing ‘alternative’ about the facts Director of Innovation at 500 Start Ups Arnaud Bonzom’s deceptively simple slides conveyed up there on the main stage. Highlighting the current state of business innovation, the INSEAD entrepreneur in residence pointed out four of today’s most powerful business facts. “The world’s largest taxi company (UBER) owns no vehicles. The most valuable retailer (Alibaba) has no inventory. The world’s most popular media owner (facebook), creates no content. The world’s largest accommodation provider (airbnb), owns no real estate.” Mic-drop. Where does your enterprise fit into such a spectrum?

Nana Music’s Origin Story

Akinori Fumihara was so moved by “We are the world for Haiti”,  it became a catalyst for his career shift from F1 race-car driver to music-app entrepreneur. Realizing that the power of music to help the world remained mostly untapped and lead to the development of his own app. Nana Music allows for obstacle free music collaborations across the globe.

ALE’s Engineered Meteor Shower

The further implications of Lena Okajima’s ALE, the world’s first space entertainment system, continue to reverberate. The system–which creates artificial meteor showers in customizable color schemes for event spectacles of never before seen proportions– made us shudder with delight (and perhaps a dash of terror).


Dfree, a device that is strapped to the abdomen, senses changes in the size of the bladder and alerts caregivers of the need for a visit to the loo. Sparing embarrassment with simplicity, Dfree is on point amidst the world’s oldest population.

Swoon by Questrel

Swoon, produced by Sendai-based Questrel, has not only beauty, but brains, brawn and heart. Ingeniously elegant, it is designed in a selection of interlocking Japanese hardwoods and aluminum without the use of fasteners of any sort, and is specially made for the recent trend for downtuning. Swoon is manufactured by artisans in the still-recovering Tohoku region.

Shogo Shimura’s Magic Wrong Impression

Shogo Shimura, magician cum CEO of the Japan Institute of Cognitive Science, demonstrated just how powerful the “Fear of Wrong Impression” is in real time, convincing a savvy Slush attendee that an empty cardboard box was simply too heavy to pick up.


While there were a number of exhibitors riffing on a similar theme of digital marketing channel consolidation, Tom at Qurate was able to lay down a solid pitch with heart and the most resonant catch-phrase : Holographic Content, referring to both the reverberative and highly transient nature of impactful engagement.

Code Chrysalis, co-founder’s passion

After holding “coding bootcamps” in other parts of the world, code chrysalis’ Yan Fan and her co-founder set sites on Japan with its almost alarming scarcity of engineers, aiming in tandem to realize a 50/50 gender distribution on the course and disrupt the Japanese tendency to put out only “perfect” products.

Dot Incorporation

Congratulations to Dot Incorporation on their Slush Tokyo 2017 Pitching Contest! Disrupting the vision impaired products arena with true innovation and sleek, sophisticated styling and impeccable execution. Changing the world for some of us is changing the world for all of us.


Keep disrupting!