A Trojan Horse to Spark Innovation and Globalization (part 2)

Continued from last week, we discuss implementing an effective and wide-reaching scholarship fund for Japanese students. In order to do this, creating an organization that helps coordinate the various requirements becomes a critical necessity.

The second (of three points) is the type of scholarship organization needed.

2. Scholarship organization
Regarding a coordinating organization to run such a scholarship program, I helped setup an organization called IMPACT Japan, a non-profit created for supporting events such as Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) and TEDxTokyo. An organization such as this could be used to coordinate and do the following (not in any particular order):

    • Coordinate with government agencies and ministries, since this issue overlaps with what many of them do very well;


    • Vet appropriate target universities and curricula and make sure the participating students are placed in an appropriate curriculum/environment;


    • Vet the student applicants to ensure they are motivated and have the required knowledge and maturity;


    • Help with visa processing;


    • Help with handling money (living expenses/tuition) for the students;


    • Assist in finding host families, dormitories, apartments and other housing issues;


    • Coordinate and receive funds from sponsors;


    • Help with job placement for returning students;


    • Send out solicitations for scholarships;


    • Issue certificates – which may become important for job hunting;


    • Assist with coordination and networking of program alumni.


Next week, I discuss the final point of getting private industry involvement and why that is critically important for the success of a vibrant and sustainable scholarship program. Your comments are always welcome.

William Saito
Special Advisor at Cabinet Office (Govt. of Japan)
Named by Nikkei as one of the “100 Most Influential People for Japan,” Saito began software programming at an early age and started his own company in high school. By the time he was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 1998 (by Ernst & Young, NASDAQ and USA Today), he was recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on encryption, biometric authentication and cyber security.

After selling his business to Microsoft, he moved to Tokyo in 2005 and founded InTecur, a venture capital firm and consultancy that identifies innovative technologies, develops global talent and helps entrepreneurs become successful. In 2013, Saito was appointed a Special Advisor to the Cabinet Office for the Government of Japan.

Similarly, in 2012 he served as a council member on national strategy for the Cabinet-level National Policy Unit, and prior to that, was named as the Chief Technology Officer for the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC). He is a Foundation Board Member at the World Economic Forum (WEF), and has been named by the WEF as both a Young Global Leader and Global Agenda Council member.

Saito also advises several national governments around the globe. In Japan, he has also served as an advisor to METI, MIC, MEXT, MLIT, AIST, IPA and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), among others.

He teaches at multiple universities, serves on several corporate boards, appears as a commentator on national TV and is the author of numerous publications in addition to writing a weekly column for a prominent Japanese business newspaper. His best-selling management book, The Team: Solving the Biggest Problem in Japan, was published by Nikkei BP in 2012, his follow-on book, Is Your Thinking up to Global Standards?, was published by Daiwa Shobo in late 2013 and his autobiography, An Unprogrammed Life: Adventures of an Incurable Entrepreneur, was published in 2011 by John Wiley & Sons.

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