Build Your Innovation-ready Future with Startup Year at Western... more

Imagine studying your passion abroad while exploring the beauty of Japan!

This was the unique experience of 9 Western students during the Venture Makers Global Exchange Program that took place from July 1st to July 14th in the vibrant city of Kobe, Japan. This two-week program was an extraordinary opportunity for students from various universities worldwide to immerse themselves in cross-cultural collaboration, innovation, and the spirit of entrepreneurship.

Global Collaboration in Action

The program brought together students from global institutions such as Delhi University, Shaheed Rajguru College of Applied Sciences for Women, Vancouver Island University, Keele University, Kansai University of International Studies, Kobe Design University, Miyazaki International University and Western Sydney University,. These aspiring entrepreneurs collaborated in cross-cultural teams to develop innovative solutions addressing real market challenges within Japan.

“It has been an utterly unique and unparalleled experience. We were given the opportunity to collaborate cross culturally which really broadened my perspectives”

–  Program Participant

Creating Innovative Solutions for Real Challenges

The program’s focal point was the development of cutting-edge solutions for companies like AstraZeneca i2.jp, TOA, MCC, and ANCHOR KOBE. Once the students had identified which organisation’s challenge they were most passionate about, they worked in interdisciplinary groups to create a pitch that they presented at the Venture Makers Global Conference at the end of the program. Through teamwork and collaboration, students brainstormed and crafted unique approaches to address these market challenges, applying a global perspective to their ideas.

A student from Keele University shared;

“I am filled with hope and excitement, knowing that our innovative ideas and core values struck a chord with the life-long friends I’ve made on this program”  

–  Program Participant

Student Startup Teams and Solutions

We are proud to announce the winning startups from the Venture Makers Global Conference:

Staffs Choice

Peace Upon the Forest

A social enterprise that facilitates social interaction in natural landscapes for the isolated elderly population in Japan

Peoples Choice


A magic box that heats and carries delicious ready-to-go meals, giving the consumer power over when and where they want!

Colleagues Choice


Building immersive spaces for businesses through the use of dynamic sound technology and nature to create new work environments.

We commend all the other startups as well for their participation, enthusiasm, & commitment during the program.


A collaborative app that aims to enhance the co-working experience for businesses to promote collaboration and co-creation.


One stop medical solution for travellers abroad. An app that provides travellers with information about over the counter medication.


Leveraging the use of TOA Corporation directional sound system to create an app that addresses sexual harassment on public transport.

Adventure Eats

An app that caters to travellers dietary requirements to allow a personalised food experience.

Exploring Japan's Entrepreneurial Ecosystem​

Participants also had the opportunity to explore Japan’s thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem by visiting various Japanese companies and industries. From city councils to cutting-edge medical corporations, these visits provided valuable insights into Japan’s economic prowess and global contributions.

A huge highlight so far has been visiting Knowledge Capital in Osaka (one of the biggest incubators in Japan) where we learnt about the importance of investing and engaging with community to develop meaningful startups.

We also had the unique opportunity to play with some of the exciting tech that has emerged from their current startup ecosystem. From pianos that read people’s emotions and create a melody to interactive 3D art, the experience has been eye-opening in helping myself and our students to realise the impact of community investment and nurturing your local and regional startup ecosystem.


Looking ahead to a bright future

As the program concluded, participants were filled with a sense of accomplishment and anticipation for the opportunities that lie ahead. The connections made, lessons learned, and innovative ideas developed during the Venture Makers Global Exchange Program will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on their entrepreneurial journeys.

Innovation Dojo Japan, along with the supportive faculty members from partnering universities, deserve special commendation for orchestrating this transformative experience. The program’s success underscores the power of global collaboration, innovation, and entrepreneurship in shaping a brighter future for us all.

With hearts full of gratitude and minds brimming with inspiration, the students bid farewell to Kobe, Japan, and eagerly anticipate the continued growth and impact that their entrepreneurial endeavours will bring.

As one participant eloquently put it;

“The key in developing new and innovative ideas is community collaboration”

–  Program Participant

The Venture Makers Global Exchange Program exemplifies this spirit of collaboration and paves the way for a world driven by innovation and positive change. Take a look!

Whether you’re a wanderlust-filled student eager to explore the world, a professional seeking an international entrepreneurial perspective, or an adventurer at heart craving the thrill of new encounters, the Venture Makers Global Exchange Program is for you.

Join our live community to hear about future exchange opportunities.