Japan Energy Challenge 2019 Venture Competition


Helping innovative energy companies
accelerate their products worldwide

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

During the open application period (January-March 2019), companies can indicate their interest in participating via the application form. The JEC team will also be scouting and reaching out to companies of interest directly.

At the end of the application period, the JEC team will send formal invitations to up to 20 selected teams. As part of this process, invitees will sign an NDA to allow for the sharing of confidential information with the sponsors and JEC team and will confirm travel arrangements for the event.

After accepting the invitation, the JEC team will work the invited companies personally to collect and prepare materials for dissemination to the sponsors. We will relay questions and feedback from the sponsors and work with the teams to refine further over several rounds, ultimately working to develop a proposal for working with the sponsors.

Going in to the event, each of the sponsors will have reviewed the materials thoroughly and will be prepared to discuss project specifics and work toward agreeing terms for a project, collaboration, or investment.

While every invited company will have the opportunity to win a commercial engagement, we will select two winners based on sponsor interest. 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

To find our more about our winners for 2018, read here. We want to do everything we can to help all participants succeed in the Japanese energy sector and aim to have all participants producing a viable plan for pilot projects, sales agreements, coordinated development, or other forms of collaboration.

Business People Handshake Greeting Deal at work.
Who can apply 08

Who​ ​can​ ​apply

  • Energy sector startup - or a startup with a product relevant to the energy sector - based in EMEA
  • Fully commercialised and set to expand, typically holding annual revenues in excess of £1M
  • No absolute funding size requirement, but typically Series B (£10M+) or later
  • No absolute company size, but typically 25+ employed full-time team members
  • Must be available to attend event in London in 6-8 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

  • Dec 27, 2018

    Applications close - 1 April 2019

  • May 1, 2018

    Finalists confirmed, remote preparation begins - 1 May 2019

  • Jul 5, 2018

    Event day meetings with Japanese partners & clients - 6/7 August 2019

  • Jul 6, 2018

    Winner announcement - 8 August 2019

  • Jul 12, 2018

    Follow-on preparation & project start


  • What criteria will you use to select participants?

    In order of importance, we will assess:
    1. Partner interest in buying, selling, or implementing your solution
    2. Traction achieved to date, measured from investment size, sales volume, and number of employees
    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. Our interest is always in making sure that deals happen, and the travel benefits, industry feedback, and potential prizes are bonuses!

Any questions?

Get in touch with us at info@japanenergychallenge.com