NEC Innovation Challenge 2023 for Startups (Up to $15,000) – APPLY NOW

Have you ever thought of exploring the Japanese Market? Do you aspire to better today’s society with your digital solutions? If yes, you’d be glad to know that the NEC Innovation Challenge 2023 is inviting eligible start-ups around the world to join them in co-creating with major Japanese companies and institutions.

NEC Innovation Challenge

NEC, a Japanese multinational IT company, is seeking International and Japanese start-ups to collaborate with their partners and sponsors, on key domestic challenges. You’re invited to apply for participation If you have a solution that is relevant to the company’s 4 themes; LLM, Healthcare, Smart City, and Urban Agriculture.

NEC Innovation Challenge 2023

The NEC Innovation Challenge 2023, is your golden ticket to unlock unprecedented opportunities in the Japanese market and win up to USD 15,000 of funding available for PoC development!

Participants of the challenge will receive unparalleled mentorship from NEC and successful corporations to governmental institutions. They will also get to leverage the unique chance to work with renowned partners, including NEC Enterprise, Kawasaki City, NOFF, and BIRD INITIATIVE, to bring your disruptive and innovative visions to life.

About NEC

NEC is a renowned Japanese multinational IT company, the company has a mission to create value for all members of society. The IT company believes that, with technology and co-creation, digital solutions can address the needs of society. This year’s objective is ‘Global Co-creation’. They hope to find the answers to today’s challenges and bring amazing ideas to life while working with their sponsors and partners.

Benefits of Participating in the NEC Innovation Challenge

  • NEC Award: Up to $15,000 for PoC development. Please note that the USD amount may vary as it will be calculated as equivalent to 2,200,000 yen at the time of February 2024.
  • NOFF Award: Engage in discussions for funding from NOFF
  • BIRD INITIATIVE Award: Support of entering the Japanese market by BIRD INITIATIVE (e.g., connections with Japanese developers, support on incorporation of Japanese companies, etc.
  • Agri-Tech Innovator Award: You will gain access to the experimental farm field in Kawasaki City

Requirements for NEC Innovation Challenge 2024

Startups with innovative solutions in LLM, Healthcare, Smart City (Child Safety and Protection, Smart Retail), and Urban Agriculture are encouraged to apply for the challenge.

How to Apply for NEC Innovation Challenge 2023?

To apply for NEC Innovation Challenge 2023, kindly visit the NEC website at

Application Deadline

The application deadline for NEC Innovation Challenge 2024 is November 2, 2023.


Who can participate in the NEC Innovation Challenge 2023?

Any startup with innovative solutions in LLM, Healthcare, Smart City, and Urban Agriculture is eligible to participate.

What are the awards for winners of the challenge?

Winners have the opportunity to receive awards such as up to $15,000 for PoC development, funding discussions from NOFF, support for entering the Japanese market by BIRD INITIATIVE, and access to an experimental farm field in Kawasaki City.

What is the objective of the NEC Innovation Challenge 2023?

The objective is “Global Co-creation,” where NEC aims to work with startups and partners to address today’s challenges and bring innovative ideas to life.

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