SOURCE: Japan Society of Northern California

Japan Society of Northern California

June 29, 2011 13:22 ET

Tesla Motors, SanBio Win First Japan-US Emerging Leaders Awards

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - Jun 29, 2011) - Japanese biotech innovator SanBio and US electric vehicle pioneer Tesla Motors will receive the first Emerging Leaders Awards in Japan-US Innovation in Business and Technology, the Japan Society of Northern California (JSNC) announced today.

SanBio Co-CEO and Co-Founder Keita Mori and Tesla Motors CTO and Co-Founder JB Straubel will accept the awards and discuss their companies' work in an interactive panel discussion at the first Japan-US Innovation Day conference at Stanford University on July 15th.

The Japan-US Innovation in Business and Technology Awards, a new JSNC initiative in collaboration with Stanford's US-Asia Technology Management Center and other Northern California partners, highlights innovative US and Japanese companies whose business models transcend the Pacific. Steve Jurvetson, Manager Director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, will deliver the inaugural keynote on "Meaningful Innovation."

"It is an honor to be asked to share my thoughts on 'Meaningful Innovation' with such an auspicious group of award winners," says Jurvetson. "I congratulate the outstanding companies from both countries that have achieved such noteworthy innovation in their business or technology.", an industry leader in cloud-based CRM with a strong presence in Japan, is sponsoring the Emerging Leaders Awards, one of three awards to be presented at the conference. The Emerging Leader Awards spotlight dynamic, young entrepreneurial companies in existence 5-10 years whose founders and innovations set them apart from their peers.

Japan winner SanBio is a biotech firm developing new stem cell products to spur regeneration of brain cells damaged by strokes, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis and other ailments. Established in the US with Japanese investment and building on innovative research by Japanese universities, SanBio demonstrates a new model for trans-Pacific US-Japan business linkages as it opens the door to potentially revolutionary therapies for healing crippling diseases of the brain.

US winner Tesla Motors, founded by Elon Musk and other Silicon Valley engineers, put electric vehicles on the map when it released the Tesla Roadster, a high-performance supercar that flipped conventional wisdom about electrical vehicles. The company, with production facilities at the Tesla factory in Fremont, California, [former Toyota-GM NUMMI plant], is preparing to release its Model S premium sedan. Tesla works closely with Japanese auto and battery companies and has its Asian headquarters and showroom in Tokyo's fashionable Aoyama district.

An advisory council of 30 experts from business, academe and the non-profit sector in Silicon Valley and Japan selected SanBio and Tesla from a field of six finalists based on trans-Pacific videoconference pitches. Battery maker SEEO and biotech Seattle Genetics were the US runner-ups, together with robotic limb developer CYBERDYNE and image processing software firm Morpho from Japan. "It was a close vote among six truly outstanding candidates," says Japan Society President Dana Lewis. "They are all companies to watch in the future."

Winners will be announced soon in the other two award categories: World Changers and Intrapreneurs. See for details and registration.

Contact Information

  • Dana Lewis
    Japan Society of Northern California
    Email Contact
    Office: 415-986-4383
    Mobile: 510-520-0995