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  NEC, a Japanese multinational technology firm, is organizing an innovation challenge for startups. It is looking to receive applications from founders and teams from across the world who work within specific industries in the global tech ecosystem and reward the best of them with prizes of up to $15,000. If you’re a startup that meets the company’s criteria, you should consider entering this competition.
Read more about Opportunities
This competition takes place annually. This year’s theme is ‘Global Co-Creation’. Besides the prize money on offer, the NEC Innovation Challenge also promises winners a chance to expand into the Japanese market through collaborations with its partners. Together, the organizers say, they will develop and roll out innovative solutions that are globally relevant.
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The following awards are up for grabs in this year’s competition:
  • NEC Awards: Up to $15,000 for Proof of Concept (PoC) development
  • NOFF: The chance to get funded by NOFF
  • BIRD Initiative Award: Get support from BIRD Initiative to enter the Japanese market (get connected with Japanese developers, incorporation support, etc.)
  • AgriTech Innovator Award: Gain access to the experimental farm field in Kawasaki City

Register to attend the CN Business Mixer


  • This competition is open to startups that are developing innovative solutions in one of these areas: Large Language Models (LLM), Healthcare, Smart City (especially Smart Retail and Child Safety and Protection), and Urban Agriculture.
Applications will remain open until November 2, 2023. If you would like to enter this competition, you can do so HERE. Featured Image Source: PR Times
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This article was first published on 21st September 2023


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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