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SmartCityX Achievements


August 2020 Launch

Together with partner companies representing various industries in Japan, we launched SmartCityX, a global open innovation program for collaboration and business co-creation with startups from around the world, under the theme of "Smart Cities for the ‘New Normal’ Era."

Ultimately, SmartCityX partnered with: two local governments tackling regional issues;13 leading Japanese corporations representing a broad variety of industries and 95 startups selected from 20 countries around the world. It also collaborated with six local city governments and more than 60 expert mentors on topics related to the development of smart cities.

Corporate Partners

  • Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co.,Ltd.

  • Idemitsu Kosan Co.,Ltd

  • Woven Planet Holdings, Inc.

  • Nihon Unisys, Ltd.

  • Hakuhodo Incorporated

  • East Japan Railway Company

Local Government Observers

  • Mie Prefecture 

  • Shibuya City

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During the launch event, we heard from our partners about what they envisioned for the program. We also heard comments from supporting mentors, starting with serial entrepreneur and two-time NBA all-star athlete Baron Davis of the Advisory Board.


We welcomed applications from startups connected to the six main areas listed below:


Read about the program in Smart Cities World and Axios .

SmartCityX Launch Event Highlight Video

October 2020 Workshop #1

More than 50 participants from 4 local governments and 7 partner companies joined our first workshop for a discussion on the City of the Future: beyond the boundaries of large corporations and local governments. The participants defined how the core values of SmartCityX could inspire future city planning—infusing innovative tech through a “people-first” approach. Three main SmartCityX principles were then defined:


A city that values and celebrates diversity. This is a vibrant place in which residents can live freely without being restricted by time or space.

Perpetually Evolving

A city that continues to evolve through data-driven decisions. Rather than requiring people to conform to the city, the ideal urban environment adapts to suit the diverse needs of its residents.


A city where all people feel vested in its growth and success. This is a city that recognizes citizen participation, deepens pride and attachment to the city, and fosters accessible leadership opportunities. 


October 29, 2020 Announcement of Initial Startup Participants

We selected 18 companies for early adoption (in 6 categories from 9 countries), out of the overall pool of startup applicants.

2 new partner companies joined the project:



Fukui Prefecture, Ibaraki Prefecture's Kashima City / Kashima Antlers FC and The Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry also joined as observers.

January 13, 2021 Startup Application Deadline

From the August 2020 start of the program until November, we received 351 applications from startups in diverse fields, totalling 39 countries and regions.


Ajinomoto Co., Inc., JCB Co., Ltd., SUZUKI MOTOR CORPORATION, DeNA Co., Ltd., and Lion Corporation joined the program as additional supporters working on business co-creation with partner companies and domestic and overseas startups.

February 1, 2021 Participant Selection 

We selected 95 startups out of the 351 company applicants to participate in the business development phase of the program. We are proud of the global reach of the program with startups hailing from 20 different countries.


February 2021 Kick-off Event 

After a kick-off event to introduce the participating startups, 250 business “match meetings”  were hosted between the selected startups and partners.


April 14, 2021 Workshop #2

There were also discussions focused on specific business development projects. Participants included our 12 partner members and supporting companies, 4 observers from local governments, as well as startups and mentors. Each project was discussed individually.


2021.6.17 SmartCityX Happy Hour

We held our first face-to-face U.S. event at our Scrum Ventures office in San Francisco after the launch of the program. All guests were vaccinated and offices were allowed to have indoor events. Mentors, startups, and participants from large Japanese corporations joined us for the casual get together. The event was a success with many attending their first networking opportunity in quite some time, post-lockdown.

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2021.6.23 SmartCityX Demo Day

At Demo Day, we presented the outcomes of the first year of the program. We introduced 6 startups, representing each category, and also presented 6 projects of business co-creation between large companies and startups that were created through the program.

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Business Co-creation Projects in the First Year Program

In the program’s inaugural year, each company worked on business development with the support and advice of program mentors and partners. Multiple new business co-creation proposals resulted such as:



Regional Ecosystem "Smart Yorozuya" - Preventive medical care using service to service networks

Participating companies/organizations: 

  • Idemitsu Kosan Co.,Ltd

  • SmartScan,Inc.

  • Mie Prefecture  


SmartScan,Inc. offers a smart medical checkup service that can be completed online, from booking, consultation, payment, to notification of results. In their proposal, they focused on a form of preventive medical care that can be accessed easily by local residents. First, there was a demonstration experiment using a mobile clinic with a trailer in Toin Town, Mie Prefecture  that began on June 10. Later, the company plans to expand service-to-service station (SS) networks in other areas.



Infection Control & Public Hygiene - Making the cities cleaner and safer

Participating companies/organizations: 

  • Lion Corporation

  • East Japan Railway Company

  • Hakuhodo Incorporated

  • ExaWizards Inc.


This is a "hygiene station" concept to visualize hygiene data on hand sanitizing and other hygiene behaviors at train stations. Lion Corporation and East Japan Railway Company will promote this concept to encourage hygienic behavior in the city, at home or on the road. By monitoring hygienic behavior at the station, which is the hub of transportation and a gateway to the city, they will highlight how people who use the station can mutually protect the city’s public hygiene. This fall, we are planning to conduct a demonstration experiment at a location with East Japan Railway Company.



Disaster prevention solutions that can be used on a daily basis to encourage residents to change their behavior.

Participating companies/organizations:

  • Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co.,Ltd.

  • Shibuya City


Based on Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co.,Ltd.'s "cmap," this project will work with Shibuya City to develop a disaster prevention application that can be used on a daily basis by local residents of all ages. They plan to develop a prototype by the end of FY2021 and conduct a proof of concept in Shibuya City.



New Traffic Safety Measures for the Digital Age: New traffic systems using telematics technology

Participating companies/organizations:

  • Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co.,Ltd.

  • Fukui Prefecture

  • Fukui Prefectural Police


In order to solve traffic problems in the region, which is a priority for Fukui Prefecture, the telematics tag owned by Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co.,Ltd. will be used to acquire driving data from drivers in the prefecture to detect areas of the region where dangerous behavior occurs. After identifying areas that are accident-prone, the prefectural government and police will cross-reference the data with the accident data in order to stem the rate of traffic accidents.



Provide new value to Kashima Antlers fans and address regional issues in the home town based on a secure data distribution platform

Participating companies and organizations:

  • Nihon Unisys, Ltd.

  • Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co.,Ltd.

  • JCB Co., Ltd.

  • Miles

  • Kashima City / Kashima Antlers F.C. Co., Ltd.


Many of the fans who attend Kashima Antlers FC Co. home games arrive in their own cars, and congestion in the surrounding area is an issue not only for fans but also for local residents. While effectively utilizing the Kashima Antlers FC Co. brand, the project will revitalize the Kashima local industry through the sports team by encouraging the use of alternative transportation and commerce at nearby stores. “Dot to Dot," a secure data distribution platform provided by Nihon Unisys, Ltd., will be used to exchange data between businesses and services, and a mileage application provided by Miles will be used to provide incentives to consumers.



“Local Development” and “Regional Revitalization” to be realized through behavior change services for consumers

Participating companies and organizations:

  • East Japan Railway Company

  • Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co.,Ltd.

  • Miles


“JREAD,” an application that provides rewards according to consumers' movement information via smartphones, will be co-developed to encourage behavioral changes such as visiting stores one has never visited before and choosing eco-friendly modes of transportation, and utilizing data for local development. Experiments were conducted from February to March 2021, and the service’s value via questionnaires and monitoring has been confirmed. Future business development using the application is being studied.


Six Presenting Startups

Of the 95 startups selected from 20 countries and regions around the world, 6 startups representing each category gave presentations.

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Consumer Products & Services

Misapplied Sciences [United States]

“Parallel Reality” using special HW/SW technology to show different images to different people on a single display.

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EVA [United States]

Provide a transportable drone infrastructure that can accommodate up to 24 aircraft.


Smart Buildings [United States]

Non-contact, privacy-conscious remote monitoring service for the elderly using AI sensing technology.

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Energy, Resources & Sustainability

Electro-Active Technologies [United States]

Development of a modular system to produce renewable hydrogen by decomposing food wastes.


 Infrastructure [United States]

Providing a highly accurate weather analysis platform to avoid and reduce disaster risks.

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Social Innovation

Singular Perturbations [Japan]

Realization of regional crime prevention by providing a crime prediction system and an optimal patrol route application.

In addition to the six projects announced earlier in the day, many other business co-creation projects have already started. The partners and participants pledged to continue business development between startups and corporations, as well as between corporations, all the while keeping a "consumer-centric" perspective in mind in the second year and beyond.

About SmartCityX 2020

SmartCityX is a global open innovation program in which leading corporate partners from various industries co-create "cities of the future" with cutting-edge startups from around the world.

Organizer: Scrum Ventures

Partners: Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co.,Ltd., Idemitsu Kosan Co.,Ltd, Woven Planet Holdings, Inc., SEKISUI CHEMICAL CO.,LTD., NIPPON TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE WEST CORPORATION, Nihon Unisys, Ltd., Hakuhodo Incorporated, East Japan Railway Company

Supporter companies: Ajinomoto Co., Inc. JCB Co., Ltd., SUZUKI MOTOR CORPORATION, DeNA Co., Ltd., Lion Corporation

Observer Local Governments: Mie Prefecture, Shibuya City, Fukui Prefecture, Kashima City / Kashima Antlers F.C. Co., Ltd., The Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Resource Partners: Amazon Web Services Japan K.K., CIC Japan G.K., Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO)

The second year of SmartCityX has started in November 2021. We are looking to collaborate with corporations on creating the cities of the future.

For more information on Scrum Studio and SmartCityX, please visit:

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