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ACCJ The Journal - 2016 JMEC AWARDS - The A-Team


The A-Team By Thomas Beecher

On June 7 at the Tokyo American Club, months of rigorous preparation officially came to a close for participants in the 22nd annual Japan Market Expansion Competition (JMEC).

JMEC, which is backed by corporate sponsors and 18 foreign chambers of commerce—including the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ)—provides support and incentive for aspiring business innovators to produce real-life business plans for companies in or entering the Japanese market. This year’s competition saw 58 participants across 12 teams plan and present their ideas to JMEC judges Rike Wootten, Debbie Howard, and Georg Loeer.

Tensions were high as JMEC chair Tom Whitson announced the winners to a packed house. “How many of you have given up sleep?” Whitson quipped, referring to the grueling seven-month process, which includes lectures, mentoring, and five months spent preparing a business plan on topics typically not familiar to participants.

The Journal spoke to Cory McGowan and Satoshi Ohashi, members of “Team A,” which won first prize with a potential new venture project for Fusion Systems, as well as Whitson and program director Trond Varlid.


The ACCJ - 在日米国商工会議所


JMEC - Japan Market Expansion Competition


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