A Covid-19 Webinar Series by 500 Startups

Driving Open Innovation at Japanese Corporations

Upcoming Sessions:

Lecture: The Impact of COVID-19 on Global Startup Ecosystems and Growth Opportunities Being Unlocked for Corporates

June 16 9AM JST / June 15th 5pm PDT

Fireside Chat + AMA: How Corporates are Reacting to New Opportunities Unlocked by COVID19

July 9th 9am JST / July 8th 5pm PDT

This free webinar series is designed for Japanese innovation teams, CVCs, and new business development who want to:

Grow beyond their core business​ through open innovation

Provide more value to customers with new technologies

Make their company more innovative through startup collaborations

Digitize current businesses to be more efficient and productive

Despite spending millions on training programs, sourcing, opening Innovation Labs, and sending teams to Silicon Valley, many innovation teams at Japanese corporates have the following concerns:

"We are still figuring out our innovation strategy"

"We are doing internal training sessions for our business units but it takes a long time and often times doesn't work."

"We are unsure how to set clear KPIs"

"Our business units are not trained to work with startups. "

"Our company is very traditional and conservative and our decision-making process is slow."

This unique webinar series is designed to address these exact challenges.

  • Mistakes made in setting innovation strategy​

  • How to run internal training programs to get the results you are looking for

  • Where Japanese innovation teams focus and why it's the wrong approach ​

  • How to evaluate whether a startup will be a good partner for your company

  • Bridging language, culture and speed to effectively collaborate with startups

By the end of the series, you will learn about:




Facilitating better communication internally


Setting clear expectations and KPIs


Measuring your return on innovation


Integrating startups more easily in business units

Why 500?

In addition to being a leading early-stage venture capital firm with more than 2,400 global investments, we have also partnered with more than 100 corporates, helping them with corporate-startup engagement, perks programs, and innovation best practices. 

We want to do our part during this Covid-19 crisis to uplift the global economy by sharing our lessons learned freely to enable innovation and growth around the world.

Meet The Presenters

500 Startups

Vijay Rajendran

Director of Corporate Innovation

Vijay is Director of Innovation and Partnerships at 500 Startups where he works at the intersection of startups, investors, and corporate innovation. Vijay is an innovation advisor and strategic partner to a wide range of industries from financial services to retail to automotive.
Previously, he developed partnerships with FinTech startups and worked directly with Entrepreneurs-in-Residence at global bank BBVA in San Francisco. In 2016, he secured internal seed investment from BBVA as interim CEO at one of the first digital banks for small business: Azlo.

Ayumi Ode

Country Lead, Japan

Ayumi oversees 500’s partnerships and investment activities in Japan. She was previously a top executive at two Japanese startups, helping them scale up their business as an operating leader. Ayumi holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Alba Zurriaga Carda

Corporate Innovation Manager

Alba focuses on supporting corporate and government partners to drive innovation by effectively engaging with startups. Prior to 500, Alba worked at Deloitte helping F500 companies in their global open innovation efforts (in the automotive, financial services, insurance, life-science and retail sectors). Alba holds a BSc  and MSc in Biotechnology and a MEng and PhD in Technology Management, specializing on Innovation and Startup Ecosystems.

Guest Speakers

Jim Adler

Managing Director and Board Member



Toyota AI Ventures

Jim Adler is the founding managing director of Toyota AI Ventures, and an executive advisor at Toyota Research Institute (TRI).


He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Toyota Financial Savings Bank and the Investment Committee of JetBlue Technology Ventures, and he is a member of the Department of Homeland Security Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee.

Jim joined Toyota AI Ventures from TRI, where he served as vice president of data and business development. Prior to that, Jim was vice president of products and marketing at Metanautix, a big data analytics startup funded by Sequoia Capital and Workday that was acquired by Microsoft.

Previously, Jim was the vice president of data systems and chief privacy officer at Intelius, which was acquired by H.I.G. Capital. In addition, he founded VoteHere, a pioneer in cryptographic secure and secret online voting for public elections that was funded by Cisco and HP, among others. Jim started his career as a rocket engineer for Lockheed Martin.

He received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering with high honors from the University of Florida, and a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of California, San Diego.

Takayuki Sumi

Global Head of Tokio Marine Innovation Lab

General Manager, Digital Strategy Dept.

Tokio Marine Holdings

Takayuki (Taka) joined Tokio Marine in 1989 and assumed his current position in July 2016. Taka is Global Head of Tokio Marine Innovation Lab located in Tokyo, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Taipei and London.

He has held various management roles, both at the Head Office and with Group companies. In 2004 he was appointed Director & Senior Underwriting Officer for Tokio Millennium Re in Bermuda. In 2007, he returned to Head Office to assume responsibilities for ceded reinsurance of property and casualty lines, while also developing risk/retention policy in line with the Group-wide ERM framework. In 2011 he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Tokio Millennium Re (UK) and moved to London. 

Taka joined Tokio Marine after graduating from the University of Tokyo with a BA in Economics. He also has an MBA from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business.

Jay Onda

Startup Investments



Orange Silicon Valley

Jay Onda has built his career on the forefront of innovation, technology, and design, to make visions of the future a reality. He brings over ten years of Corporate Venture and Innovation experience and over fifteen years of startup experience in Silicon Valley. His experience includes the transformation of NTT Docomo Innovation Inc, the launch of Yamaha Motors Ventures and Laboratories, and supporting Orange Silicon Valley’s innovation activities. He is also a dedicated supporter of the CVC and innovation ecosystems and have worked with Governments, Universities, and MNOs around the world sharing best practices and tactical strategies on integrating innovation into each of their unique operating culture. He also participates as an active mentor to accelerator programs.

Past Sessions:

4/29: "Top Five Mistakes in Setting an Innovation Strategy and How to Avoid Them"

This session explores how to avoid some of the most common mistakes in setting an innovation strategy, including setting goals, plans, defining and sharing your strategy, creating a portfolio of innovation activities, and setting clear expectations internally. 

5/28: "Setting and Executing your Innovation Strategy, Pre and Post-COVID-19"

Executing on innovation plans is difficult even in ideal conditions. The Covid-19 outbreak has made for an even greater challenge. We’ll hear from three leading innovation practitioners from Orange Silicon Valley, Toyota AI Ventures, and Tokio Marine Ventures on how they’re addressing the current situation.

If you are a Japanese Corporate and looking to make the most of your innovation efforts, sign up now.

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