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 in elementary school and started his own company while still in high school and was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 1998 (by Ernst & Young, NASDAQ and USA Today). As one of the world’s leading authorities on cybersecurity.

After selling his business to Microsoft, he moved to Tokyo in 2005 and founded InTecur, a venture capital firm. In 2011, he served as the Chief Technology Officer of the National Diet’s (Parliament) Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission. Later that year, he was named as both a Young Global Leader and Global Agenda Council member for World Economic Forum (WEF) and subsequently been named to its Foundation Board. In 2012, Saito was appointed to a council on national strategy and policy that reported directly to the Prime Minister of Japan.

Saito also advises several national governments around the globe. In Japan, he has served as an advisor to Japanese ministries; the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science; the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST); the Information Technology Promotion Agency (IPAS); the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, among others. He is currently the Special Advisor to the Ministry of Economic Trade and Industry (METI) and the Cabinet Office for the Government of Japan.

He went to medical school at UCLA and Harvard Kennedy School; serves on various boards of Global 2000 companies; frequently appears as a commentator on TV and is the author of seven books in addition to writing several weekly newspaper columns. His management book, The Team: Solving the Biggest Problem in Japan, was published by Nikkei BP and became a best-seller in 2012. In 2016, Saito received the Medal of Honor from the Government of Japan for his work in the field of education.

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