“ESG Tech Battle 2022 powered by NEDO” is now accepting applications from startups & researchers! ESG Tech Battle 2022, a pitch contest for R&D oriented startups and researchers, is now accepting applications. The winner of the contest will receive a prize of 1 million JPY and the chance to apply for a NEDO grant with a special treatment.

We are now accepting applications for the pitch contest for startups that utilize technology seeds from local areas, startups that solve social issues including energy and environmental fields, and researchers. Awards will be given to those who achieve excellent results. The winner of the contest will receive a cash prize (1 million JPY) and an award from the Director-General, Industrial Science and Technology Policy and Environment Bureau, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, while other top performers will receive business growth support along with the NEDO Award and the CIC Tokyo Award.

In addition, the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) is inviting applications for the “Research and Development Oriented Startup Support Project / Project to Promote Commercialization of Startups Utilizing Technology Seeds in the Energy and Environment Fields and Technology Seeds in Local Communities (研究開発型スタートアップ支援事業/地域に眠る技術シーズやエネルギー・環境分野の技術シーズ等を活用したスタートアップの事業化促進事業)” Course 1 (hereinafter referred to as “the Project”) and will give special treatment to applicants who have achieved excellent results in this contest.

This is an opportunity for R&D oriented startups, researchers, and entrepreneurs in ESG-related fields to win cash prizes, awards, and R&D funding from NEDO. Please apply!

(1) Eligibility

  • Stage: Pre-seed / seed stage R&D oriented startup companies, and researchers and entrepreneurs who are interested in business utilizing their research outcomes.
  • Target area: Business plans that utilize technology seeds from local areas or plans that have the potential to solve social issues, including those in the energy and environmental fields.
  • Target countries: All over the world. Not limited to startups and researchers located in Japan.
  • Pitch contest: Must be able to join and speak at the pitch event to be held on Friday, March 18, 2022, 4 – 9 pm JST.
  • Compliance: Companies must be in compliance and not belong to or associated with any antisocial organizations.


(2) Prizes

① Awards

The following prizes will be awarded to the startups that achieve excellent results.

  • Grand Prize: Awarded by the  Director-General, Industrial Science and Technology Policy and Environment Bureau, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan (1 company/individual)
    Awarded to the company/individual who receives the most outstanding evaluation by a selection committee of experts.
  • Excellence Award: NEDO Award (2 companies/individuals)
    Awarded to the second and third most outstanding entry after the Grand Prize by a selection committee of experts.
  • Honorable Mention: CIC Tokyo Chairman’s Award (2-4 companies/individuals)
    This award is given to the winner who has received the wonderful evaluation after the Excellence Award by a selection committee of experts.

② Cash prize

The winner of the Grand Prize will receive a cash prize of 1 million JPY.

③ Business Growth Support

Startups/Individuals that win the Grand Prize, Excellence Award, or other prizes will be able to receive support for growth of their business from CIC Tokyo until the end of March 2023, depending on the situation and needs of the company/individuals awarded. For example, the following support is expected:

  • Pitch opportunities
  • Matching with business companies and investors
  • Holding seminars and study sessions on intellectual property, legal affairs, fundraising, etc.
  • Mentoring by senior entrepreneurs, investors, startup supporters, and professionals
  • Support for developing overseas connections


(3) Screening criteria

The selection committee, consisting of experts, will select the most highly rated business/projects from among the applications received, taking into account the following evaluation items in a comprehensive manner.

Evaluation items & Evaluation details:

① Growth potential: Can the business be expected to grow and continue? etc.

② Technological capability and innovativeness: Does the company possess unique and highly feasible technology originating from the region? Does the business plan have a high degree of novelty? Does it have a competitive advantage? etc.

③ Team: Is there an attractive team (ability, background, resource procurement, diversity)? etc.

④ Market attractiveness: Is there a need for the business and is there a large business opportunity? Is it an attractive market? etc.

⑤ Challenging nature: Is there enthusiasm and determination for the new business? etc.

⑥ Social issues: Is the company addressing social issues such as energy and the environment? etc.


(4) Screening

① Document screening

Each application will be screened by the secretariat based on the above screening criteria, and about 20 applicants will be selected to proceed to the pitch contest.

② Pitch contest

On Friday, March 18, 2022, 4 – 9 pm JST, the pitch event will be held at CIC Tokyo in Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo, and judging will be conducted by a selection committee, consisting of experts. Those who will take the stage will be judged on their 3-5 minute pitches (depending on the number of applicants on stage), followed by a short Q & A session.


(5) Schedule

① Application period

February 4, 2022 (Friday) – March 3, 2022 (Thursday), 5 pm JST

② Document screening

March 3, 2022 (Thursday) – early March 2022

③ Pitch Event

Friday, March 18, 2022, 4 – 9 pm JST

(6) How to apply

Please Fill in the required information and submit the relevant documents via Google form.

Application form: https://forms.gle/pQZm9JzBTqQ7ss738

○If you are unable to submit your pitch materials via Google Form, please submit them via email.

○Pitch materials: 1) Outline of the business, 2) Social issues to be addressed, 3) Market, 4) Services and technologies, 5) Team, 6) Business plan, etc. should be included (PPTX format slides or a PDF version for the other formats is acceptable. Number of slides is limited to 20 pages. If the number of pages exceeds this limit, please attach it after the main text as an appendix or reference. There is no limit on the number of pages for appendix or reference. However, if the file size exceeds 15MB, please send it to env-startups@cic.com and confirm receipt by replying to the secretariat.

※This document will also be used for the document screening, and the review will be conducted based on the contents of the document, so please note that even if the secretariat cannot read the contents of the above items from the document, it will not be subject to review.

※Please do not include confidential information in the materials.


<Please note the following points>

  1. No fee will be charged for application.
  2. Please note that applications with incomplete information may not be reviewed.
  3. The secretariat may contact applicants to confirm the contents of their application or to request additional materials.
  4. Notification of the results of the document screening will be carried out via email.
  5. Please note that submitted application documents will not be returned.
  6. We will not be able to respond to any inquiries regarding the status or details of the screening process, or any objections to the screening results.
  7. Award-winning companies/individuals will have their activities publicized in various media such as newspapers, magazines, and the Internet. We may also ask for the cooperation of the press in covering the event.
  8.  The contents of the events in (5) ③above are subject to change without notice.
  9. The application or granting of this award may be canceled in the event of any act or false statement that may undermine the purpose of this award, failure to provide the necessary cooperation in the screening process, or violation of laws and regulations or other socially acceptable reasons that make it inappropriate to name this award winner.


(7) Contact for inquiries

For inquiries regarding application procedures, application guidelines, and other matters, please contact below.

CIC Tokyo Contact: Masaru, Lisa

Email: env-startups@cic.com

The application requirements can be downloaded here.