Japan Energy Challenge 2019

Startup Pitch Competition

Showcasing and supporting early stage companies in the international energy sector

5 August 2019, London

What is the Startup Pitch Competition?

Brand new for our 2019 program, the startup pitch competition is an opportunity for early stage energy tech companies to showcase their product for an audience of energy sector executives from Japan.

Up to 8 companies will be invited to pitch for 5 minutes at Japan Energy Challenge 2019 in an event on the afternoon of 5 August 2019.

Winners will receive a package that includes:

  • A fully sponsored and managed trip to Japan to pitch to a tailored selection of key decisionmakers with our partners
  • All supporting services - travel agents, translators, etc. - included
  • Connections to relevant suppliers, consultants, technical experts, etc. and ongoing support to make sure promising projects reach fruition
  • Media coverage in both European and Japanese publications


How it works

Interested companies can submit their application before 1 April 2019. Following the close of applications, the JEC team will shortlist applications and reach out for interviews. Final invitations are expected to be sent by 1 May 2019.

The pitch competition will take place on the afternoon of 5 August 2019 in London. Attendees will be expected to arrange their own travel and accommodation, and travel support will be considered on a case by case basis.

A winner will be selected at close of the event based on the votes of the judges and the JEC team will make arrangements for the prize trip in the months following the event.

Who can apply 08

Who​ ​can​ ​apply

  • Energy sector startup - or a startup with a product relevant to the energy sector - based in EMEA
  • No absolute size requirement, but strong preference given to commercialised technology with annual revenue exceeding £100K
  • Must be available to attend pitch event in London on 5 August 2019

Why​ ​Japan?

For innovative energy sector companies starting their global expansion, Japan is a massive opportunity that cannot be ignored.

With over 900 TWh of annual electricity consumption, Japan is the fourth largest consuming nation in the world. It’s also in a period of rapid political, industrial, and technological change.

In March 2016 - one month before liberalising - Japan’s electricity market size was $150B. Nearly two years later, the market is highly competitive with the former incumbents and dozens of new entrants fighting for market share and new technologies that will give them an edge.

In 2015, Japan became largest procurer in the world of smart-metering solutions. Every household - nearly 80M in total - is expected to have a smart-meter installed by 2025.

These advancements have made Japan a hotbed of change and opportunity. However, entering the market from overseas can be challenging. The Japan Energy Challenge is a program designed to select promising technologies and match them with companies in the Japanese energy sector who are looking to innovate.

Who​ ​we​ ​are

Japan Energy Challenge is comprised of a consortium of forward-thinking Japanese and European partners in the energy sector. It includes suppliers and generators providing energy to millions of customers, Japan’s leading energy switching website, and some of the world’s largest multinational engineering & technology companies.

All are invested in finding the best ideas from outside Japan to apply to enhance their own product offerings and  take the lead in the energy transition. Read more about the management team here.

2019 Sponsors


TOKYO GAS  is Japan's largest provider of natural gas, serving more than 11 million customers. In FY2016, TOKYO GAS made a start by entering the electricity retail business and has since reached 1.6M customers (Nov 2018). TOKYO GAS is shifting from the in-house R&D focused on natural gas energy to an open innovation style R&D to focus on a broad range of innovative energy solutions.


ENECHANGE LTD. is Japan's most popular energy switching website, having 3 million monthly unique visitors and working with over 100 energy suppliers. Enechange is also recognised as one of the most innovative energy ventures in Japan, providing vertically integrated tech solutions - such as data-driven CRM solutions, smart-meter data management (SMAP), AI-driven load curve simulation etc. - for energy suppliers.


SUMMIT ENERGY is a subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation, one of the major integrated trading firms in Japan. They supply electricity to both commercial and residential customers. In 2016 they supplied 2,800GWh, making them the 6th largest retail electricity supplier in Japan. Summit Energy has its own generating capacity from a variety of sources, including biomass power generation.

showa shell

SOWA SHELL SEKIYU K.K. is the Shell brand licensee and one of the major oil companies in Japan. They also provide energy solutions for businesses with operating power plants and deliver renewable-sourced electricity. Solar Frontier, the world largest CIS solar energy solution provider, is their 100% subsidiary company and operates as independent solar power producer in Japan and worldwide.


HOKURIKU ELECTRIC is a vertically integrated electricity supplier serving about 2.1M customers. Their generation mix is characterised by a higher ratio of hydroelectric power thanks to plentiful water resources in their area. Their Transmission/Distribution Division will be reformed as a separate entity in 2020 and plans to install smart meters to all household by 2024.


LOOOP operates a low-voltage power retail business ‘Looop Denki’ and is among the fastest growing new entrants in the energy sector. Since starting in April 2016, the business has gained over 130,000 users by the end of December 2018. After reaching this critical turning point, Looop is also a successful energy EPC/IPP player, selling over 100MW capacity of rooftop solar panels for their residential and business customers.

JXTG_En (1)

JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy is the largest oil company and 3rd largest new electric power supplier in Japan, and is known by its brand ENEOS. JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy has a crude refining capacity of around 2 million barrels per day - which is comparable to BP - and a nationwide supply chain enabling stable supply of products and services associated with energy. JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy has also been increasingly supplying low-carbon energy sources, such as solar power, wind power, biofuel, and hydrogen, while developing related technologies.

chubu electric power

CHUBU ELECTRIC POWER is Japan's third largest energy utility provider. They are transforming by separating their organisation into three divisions, Power generation, Transmission/distribution, and Sales. With a FY2018 target of 130 TWh sold, they established a new sales company in Tokyo area. Their priority is improving the local community by utilising their infrastructure and data as well as new technology.

toho gas

TOHO GAS is the third largest city gas supplier in Japan with 2.46 million customers. They also have a growing electricity supply business, aiming to grow customer acquisition by 60% in 2018. Furthermore, Toho Gas also provide services related to connected homes, business energy support, and energy resource aggregation & balancing.

If you are interested in becoming a partner for future events, please contact us at info@japanenergychallenge.com.

Let's get started!


  • Jan 1, 2018

    Call for applications opens and scouting begins - 1 January 2019

  • May 1, 2018

    Company interviews - 1 June 2019

  • Jul 5, 2018

    Finalists confirmed - 10 July 2019

  • Jul 6, 2018

    Pitch competition - 5 August 2019


  • What criteria will you use to select participants?

    In order of importance, we will assess:
    1. Partner interest in your solution
    2. Traction achieved to date
    3. The quality of your technology demonstration

  • Do we have to move to Japan?

    Not unless you want to! Attendance at our London pitch event on 5 August is mandatory, and other meetings will be held in London or on Skype depending on your preference. If you successfully win a project, our team can help with the logistics of deploying it in Japan to minimise disruption to your team.

  • Does it cost anything to participate?

    Japan Energy Challenge is entirely free for the invited participants. Unlike other programs, we won't ask for equity or commission - the costs are entirely supported by our sponsors. We are invested in making sure you van have a great outcome!

Any questions?

Get in touch with us at info@japanenergychallenge.com