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OMRON VENTURES Launches "Omron Koto Challenge" Entrepreneurship Support Program
- Applications start, special website launches on December 1 -

December 1, 2014

OMRON VENTURES Co., Ltd. (Chief Executive Officer: Naoshi Ozawa), the investment subsidiary of OMRON Corporation (headquarters: Kyoto City; President & CEO: Yoshihito Yamada), has announced the start of the Omron Koto Challenge, a program to nurture innovative manufacturing-focused start-up ventures, on December 1, 2014.

The Omron Koto Challenge is the inaugural entrepreneurship support initiative of OMRON VENTURES Co., Ltd. The program seeks to foster new business and promote technological evolution together with participating companies. To this end, selected start-up ventures with a focus on innovative manufacturing in a range of sectors will receive comprehensive support from OMRON to develop their groundbreaking technologies and creative ideas, thus helping them overcome challenges, providing swifter avenues for the seeding of new enterprises, and encouraging growth and development. The program will do this by providing the full weight of OMRON's manufacturing strengths and global network to support budding businesses throughout the whole value chain, including production technology, purchasing, and distribution.

Over three months, participating companies will receive support as set forth below to help them complete prototypes of their products or services (or, if they already have complete prototypes, help to further hone those items).
(1) Use of rental office space located amid the innovative manufacturing environment at Kyoto Research Park.
(2) Mentoring and manufacturing expert support from OMRON's engineers and business development staff.
(3) Opportunities to publically announce prototypes at Demoday.

A dedicated program website will be launched and applications for participation in the inaugural program will open on Monday, December 1. Applications will be accepted between December 1 and February 2. After screening and interviews, the selected teams (between three and five teams will be chosen) will be announced in late February. The program itself is scheduled to start on early March for approximately three months.

A kick-off and program introduction event is to be held at OMRON headquarters in Kyoto on Monday, December 15.

In addition to the Omron Koto Challenge, OMRON VENTURES is seeking entries for the OMRON Agriventure Founder Contest, in which contestants vie for selection as the first members of an agricultural start-up venture backed by OMRON's formidable wealth of technology.

OMRON VENTURES is devoted to creating new value that can solve society's challenges while sparking new innovation and mining the untapped potential of groundbreaking enterprises by supporting and working in partnership with start-up ventures around the world.

Program Overview

Name: Omron Koto Challenge
Duration: March - May 2015 (approx. 3 months)
Open to: Innovative manufacturing-focused start-up ventures, universities, Business planners, etc.
Content: Completion of product or service prototypes as well as mentoring and support over the three-month duration of the program
Schedule:
Monday, December 1, 2014 Applications open
Monday, December 15 Kick-off event
Monday, February 2, 2015 Applications close
Up to late February Screening and interviews
Early March Program begins
Mentoring
Late May Program ends
Selection of best-performing teams
Middle June Demo day
Publically announce prototypes

OMRON VENTURES Co., Ltd.

Name: OMRON VENTURES Co., Ltd.
Address: OMRON Corporation headquarters, Shiokoji Horikawa, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto 600-8530 Japan
Established: July 1, 2014
Capital ownership: 100% owned by OMRON Corporation
Business lines: Investing in venture companies, business development, and business incubation
Target segments: Sensing technologies for security & safety purposes, life sciences, healthcare, biotechnology, IoT, environmental energy, education, agriculture
Website: https://www.omron.com/ventures/

About OMRON Corporation

OMRON Corporation is a global leader in the field of automation based on its core technology of sensing and control. OMRON's business fields cover a broad spectrum, ranging from industrial automation and electronic components to automotive electronic components, social infrastructure systems, healthcare, and environmental solutions. Established in 1933, OMRON has over 37,000 employees worldwide, working to provide products and services in more than 110 countries and regions.
For more information, visit OMRON's website at: https://www.omron.com/.

NB: The "koto" in Omron Koto Challenge derives its meaning from a number of homophones, Japanese and international. On the Japanese side, it refers to the work required to strike the right chord and inspire new business here in Japan's ancient capital, Kyoto. From a global perspective, "koto" takes from the culinary references of the Italian cotto, which creates images of delicious collaboration between OMRON and the participating start-up ventures as they seek to achieve groundbreaking innovations.

Source: OMRON Corporation

Contact:
Atsushi Fujita
Corporate Communications Department
OMRON Corporation
E-mail: atsushi_fujita@omron.co.jp
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