Calling all scaleups and innovative tech companies – this is your opportunity to pitch your tech directly to Japan’s leading corporations.

Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ) and partners including the Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur and the Australian Government are leading a virtual mission to the Innovation Leaders Summit (ILS) in Tokyo on 3–12 March 2021.

Asia’s largest open innovation event connects major Japanese corporations with international startups through facilitated 1-on-1 business matching meetings.

Join our virtual mission and market mentorship program

We’re encouraging innovative Queensland tech companies currently in a growth or scaleup stage that are seeking to expand their strategic business engagement with Japan to submit expressions of interest to join the virtual mission by 6 October 2020.

Participation at ILS 2019 provided the foundations for Cryptoloc Technology, rated by Forbes as one of the best 20 cybersecurity start-ups in the world, to open an office in Tokyo in March 2020.

Queensland ILS 2019 participants were also featured in a Forbes Japan article, highlighting Queensland for our growing innovation ecosystem.

Participants in ILS 2021 will:

  • be part of a virtual pitch session, during which major Japanese corporations and VCs are able to contact startups directly to inquire about their offering and arrange meetings
  • join ILS Power Matching, a live business matching event featuring 1-on-1 meetings with Japanese corporations and venture capital firms
  • apply to join the ILS Tokyo Challenge 100, an additional business matching opportunity with select major corporations
  • receive tailored pitch support, market preparation guidance and advice, translation services, business development assistance, and other in-kind services valued at approx $10,000 per company
  • participate in virtual lead up training and mentor sessions with key leaders from the Japan tech ecosystem and Australia-Japanese business community
  • feature in marketing and promotional collateral.

Participation in ILS is by invitation only and up to 10 companies will be selected to join the virtual mission.

Companies will be selected based on:

  • market fit – product or service has relevance to and demand in the Japanese market
  • value proposition – clearly defined value proposition for corporate investors or partners
  • existing market traction and sales – including existing sales, returning customers, a growing customer base, funding, investors and partners
  • ambition and readiness – clearly defined business objectives for Japan and resources to achieve projected growth
  • international scalability – ability to service the Japan market and deliver solutions quickly to a growing customer base.

Prior experience in Japan is not a pre-requisite, however companies are expected to have a strategic market interest in Japan.

Consulting and or professional services firms and listed firms are not eligible for this program.

Listed companies are also ineligible to participate.

Notes for EOI submission

The EOI consists of two phases and will take approximately 30–60 minutes to complete. Phase one is a collection of business and contact details, Phase two is the formal EOI application. We recommend taking your time to submit a thorough response, please note that you are unable to save your work as you progress.

Questions to be answered in phase two of the EOI application are below:


  • In which global markets are you currently operating?
  • Has your company expanded operations to another country previously?
  • Please describe your current market traction in Australia, current traction (if any) in Japan, or other relevant global traction? This can include areas such as who are your key partner, customers, etc [300 words or less]
  • Please describe why you are interested in Japan, and what your business objectives are for the Japanese market?
  • Please describe your level of experience operating in Japan, working with Japanese companies, and/or seeking investment from Japanese corporations and VCs?
  • Please describe your value proposition. What do your customers most value in your service or technology? What is the niche you are going after and why? [300 words or less]
  • Which other global markets are you currently strategically targeting in the next 1-2 years?


  • Who are your key Australian and global competitors (including Japan)?


  • Have you previously received investment funding (VC, other)?
  • If yes, please describe
  • Current funding stage
  • Are you currently seeking investment/funding?

Event details

Date 3–12 March 2021
Location Online and Tokyo, Japan
Cost Nil – Participation valued at approximately $10,000 per company


Expressions of interest must be submitted by midnight 6 October 2020.

More information

For further information please contact Amanda Russell at

ILS Tokyo website

Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur