Ambassador Roos Recognizes Promising Entrepreneurs

November 28, 2011

U.S. Ambassador to Japan John V. Roos today awarded the U.S. Ambassador's Award for Entrepreneurship to Mr. Chikahiro Terada, whose information technology company, San San Inc., has developed a new approach to organizing business cards online. The U.S. Ambassador's Award was one of a suite of awards presented today at the second annual "The Entrepreneur Awards Japan" (TEAJ) ceremony at the Ambassador's official residence.

The following awards were also announced:

Ernst & Young Groundbreaker Award (for female applicants)

Winner: Ms. Mie Kajikawa
Company: Cheer Blossom Inc.
Industry: Sports and Corporate Social Responsibility
Description: Consulting services to sports organizations

TEAJ Global Entrepreneurship Award

Winner: Mr. Nhat Vuong
Company: I-Kifu
Industry: Information Technology
Description: Web-based portal system to facilitate donations to charitable organizations and causes

American Chamber of Commerce Japan Award

Winner: Mr. Tsuneyuki Fujioka
Company: FUNFAM Inc.
Industry: Manufacturing and Retail Products
Description: Using bamboo as an eco-friendly material, as well as the manufacturing, distribution, and sale of uniquely Japanese eating utensils

In announcing the awards, Ambassador Roos stated, "I believe innovation through entrepreneurship holds the key to future growth and prosperity both in the United States and here in Japan. Tonight's awards honor a group of outstanding new entrepreneurs who have the courage it takes to start new companies - to take risks and pursue their dreams." Adding that the firms with the most potential are those which build connections with global investors, customers, and partners, Ambassador Roos encouraged the award winners to "aim global."

In addition to receiving the awards, the four award winners will be matched with experienced entrepreneurs as mentors for a six-month collaboration designed to sharpen the entrepreneurs' management skills and business plans, as part of a program known as the Entrepreneurship Mentoring Initiative.

The Entrepreneur Awards Japan and the Entrepreneurship Mentoring Initiative are made possible by the joint efforts of the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan, the British Council, the MIT-Enterprise Forum Japan, IMPACT Japan, Ernst & Young, and the Japan Market Expansion Competition.

The 2010 winner of the U.S. Ambassador's Award was Ms. Reina Otsuka, founder of Eco+Waza, a magazine and online resource for healthy green lifestyle ideas and products from Japan.