‘We feel the growth of Japanese start-ups and SMEs:’ FedEx Small Business Grant Contest winner
“We can feel the enthusiasm for business growth among Japanese start-ups and SMEs,” is how Masamichi Ujiie, regional vice president of FedEx Express today announced the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest winner. He granted the first prize of ¥2,750,000 to a self-propelled capsule endoscope system, MU Ltd. The second winner, a barrier-free map app designer, WheeLog Institute received the second prize of ¥1,100,000 for its business concept.
Speaking at the final meeting of the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest (SBGC) for businesses in Tokyo, Masamichi pointed to the competition being a growth opportunity but also a collaborative chance. He said that the competition is gaining momentum as he was “delighted by the number of contest applicants” from Japanese businesses.
Among the 54 eligible applicants, 10 finalists were shortlisted and, based on the business ideas presented, a first-prize winner and runner-up were selected. Three members of FedEx Express senior management and Ms. Emi Makino, associate professor of Hiroshima University, listened to the finalists’ presentations at the SBGC final qualifying round.
“The business ideas from the other participants were excellent, and we are truly pleased and honoured that we won first prize. With this award, we are encouraged to work harder to develop our business even further.”
– A spokesperson, MU Ltd
“I have always dreamed of expanding our business globally. It is inspiring that an active person in a wheelchair like myself can work with passion, and with the people around me, we can use this award to bring our company to the global stage, which has been our dream from the very start”.
– A spokesperson, WheeLog Institute
What is FedEx Small Business Grant Contest?
The FedEx Small Business Grant Contest aims to support small business enterprises (SMEs) that are trying to expand their businesses globally.
In 2012, the contest was first held in the US and then spread to other countries. This year Japan held the contest for the first time, joining the US, mainland China, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the US, Brazil, Chile and Mexico.
FedEx say that non-profit businesses that have fewer than 99 employees and have been operating for six months or more are welcome to enter the competition. The FedEx Small Business Grant Contest winners receive expertise and advice from FedEx on vital aspects of building a business. FedEx promise to continue to support sellers after the contest finishes.