Japan Trends and Opportunities for Entrepreneurs in Cleantech and Energy

Takashi Tomita and Quaeed Motiwala

Free and open to the public.

Dr. Takashi Tomita, CEO, Smart Solar Inc.

Mr. Quaeed "Q" Motiwala, Venture Capitalist, JAIC America

For many years, Japanese industries have held leading positions in solar cell (photovoltaic or PV), battery, and also waste management technologies. Moreover, consumer markets in Japan have long been highly responsive to environmental concerns. Mr. Motiwala first provides an overview of how these dynamics set the landscape for new business creation in energy and cleantech areas. Then, Dr. Tomita presents his views, including an introduction to Smart Solar Inc., his new venture in Japan, as a representative case study.

After graduating from Kyoto University, Dr. Takashi Tomita joined Sharp Corporation in 1974, moving up through the corporate ranks to become Division General Manager of the Energy Conversion Laboratory in 1996 and ultimately, Corporate Director and Solar Group General Manager from 2004. In 2007, he became Senior Executive Fellow, Corporate R&D group, Sharp Corporation, and also Visiting Professor at Tohoku University. Since 2008, he has been Visiting Professor at the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST) at the University of Tokyo. His activities at the University of Tokyo focus on the GENNAI project, which promotes research, information gathering, and network building in regard to solar energy related technologies and is based on partnership with industry, overseas research institutions, and governmental institutions.

Smart Solar Inc. is Prof. Tomita's newest venture. It has developed a system built around an original multi-junction very high-efficiency PV cell.

Mr. Quaeed 'Q' Motiwala has been an Investment Partner at Japan Asia Investment Co. (JAIC America) since 2008. JAIC America is an early stage venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley. JAIC's early stage fund can invest in IT and Cleantech startups both in US and Japan. Q helped start the Cleantech practice at JAIC Silicon Valley and is responsible for investments in the IT and Cleantech sectors. He brings 14 years of experience in product development, marketing and business development in wireless, semiconductor and software sectors, and international product deployment across the regions of Japan, S. Korea and India. Q serves on the Boards of Innopath Software and Ecrio. Prior to JAIC, Q spent 11 years at Qualcomm in various leadership roles that included deploying 3G in Korea, Japan and the U.S, leading the initiative to embed wireless connectivity in notebooks and automobiles, and leading business efforts at the wireless carriers in India. He also worked at two mobile software startups. Q holds 4 patents in wireless telecom, has an MBA from Anderson School of Management, UCLA, an M.S.E.E from Virginia Tech and a B.E. (Electronics) from University of Bombay.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 | 4:15 pm — 5:30 pm
Skilling Auditorium, Stanford University

U.S.-Asia Technology Management Center