Japan Energy Challenge 2019

Startup Pitch Competition

Showcasing and supporting early stage companies in the international energy sector

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.

How it works

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 6 August 2019. Winners will receive a cash prize, features in the Japan Energy Challenge media releases, and the opportunity to build early connections with potential future partners in the Japanese energy sector.

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.

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 6 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.

2018 partners


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.


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.

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 crude refining capacity of around 2 million barrel 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.


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 1,110,000 customers (March 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.


LOOOP operates a low-voltage power retail business ‘Looop Denki’. Since starting in April 2016, the business has gained over 100,000 users by the end of March 2018. After reaching this critical turning point, LOOOP aims to reach 200,000 users by the end of the next fiscal year, and is opening a broad array of new services to attract smart energy consumers.


NEXT ENERGY is an integrated solution provider for renewable energy currently dedicated to solar PV, including services for solar module procurement, mounting system and energy storage system manufacturing, EPC, O&M and asset management. NEXT ENERGY also owns and operates GREENa - Japan’s first 100% renewable electricity supply plan.

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 April 2019

  • Jul 5, 2018

    Finalists confirmed - 1 May 2019

  • Jul 6, 2018

    Pitch competition - 6 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 6-8 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