ZENMONDO Supports New Business Creation at Mitsubishi Electric Corporation

The Business Innovation Division at Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (“MELCO”) held an internal idea contest, “GEMstones” (polishing diamonds in the rough to solve global social issues), and engaged ZENMONDO to design an internal incubation system and support the commercialization of the ideas of the top three teams selected in the contest.

Based on their knowledge and experience, ZENMONDO professionals with diverse specialties worked for about six months until the end of June on strategic planning and system design for Mitsubishi Electric’s innovation creation. We worked from various angles, from a medium-to-long-term vision of what the world of the future will be like and what Mitsubishi Electric wants to be in that part of the world, to specific plans and steps worked out with the vision in mind, such as what systems and measures to incorporate and how and by whom they are implemented, and for what results.

ZENMONDO’s commitment to providing support and the characteristics of the cross-border accelerator program developed by ZENMONDO are as follows:

  • Deep dive into business insights with serial entrepreneurs and other business development professionals with a proven track record of supporting various types of business creation.
  • Casting of cutting-edge, on-the-ground experts from Japan and abroad.
  • Not merely provide consultation services, but work on commercialization together as if it were our own business.
  • Provide support for the development of new business models and systems, with a commitment to pursuing results.
  • A cycle of incorporating feedback from issues learned through the commercialization support into the company’s internal structure (system design).



Comments after the first phase

Comments from three internally-selected team members of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation’s “GEMstones”:

(1) Idea for improving the efficiency of emergency medical services using voice and image recognition technology:  Ms. Maeda

“We learned a lot from the guidance and facilitation provided by each of ZENMONDO specialists, which was tailored to our level as amateurs at the start-up of a new business.  We are very grateful for the support in preparing materials and providing information on our behalf, which we could not have done without ZENMONDO.  In the first month, I was completely dependent on ZENMONDO because I did not fully understand my role, future plans, and what I could ask ZENMONDO to do.  I thought that we could have moved with more speed had I understood that this guidance and facilitation was supposed to encourage us to be able to work independently,” which actually is a great concept.

(2) Idea for Plastic Recycling Technology:  Mr. Nakamura

“During the period from April to June of this fiscal year, we further fleshed out our business idea through interviews with customers and by other means, while also digging deeper into the value we could offer.  In this process, ZENMONDO took the initiative in leading the team and fully supported us by deciding the direction of the activities, instructing the team members on the division of work, and organizing the content of discussions.  As of the end of June, the resolution of the business plan had improved to a level unmatched at the time of our proposal at last year’s GEMStones, and the motivation and confidence of the members increased even more.  We are very grateful to Mr. Kawahara and the other professionals at ZENMONDO, and we look forward to continuing to work together in the future (phase 2) toward the commercialization of the project.”

(3) New business idea to approach solving social issues by combining electric power business and air conditioning technology in Africa:  Mr. Hatakeyama, Mr. Shimizu, and Mr. Taniyama

“Although we had no experience in commercialization, ZENMONDO provided us with clear procedures in advance and a friendly response to our feelings, which allowed us to proceed with the exercise with peace of mind.  In addition, ZENMONDO’s abundant experience and personal connections in the unknown country of Africa enabled us to accelerate the exercise by offering proposals beyond our imagination and setting up hearings with leading experts in the industry.  We learned a lot through this exercise, and I think our team members grew a lot.  We highly appreciated ZENMONDO’s support.”

Introducing a new system within a large organization and promoting it with the involvement of all related departments is a very challenging undertaking.  However, we at ZENMONDO are very happy and are honored to have been able to accompany and support MELCO in their endeavors.

We, ZENMONDO, will continue to work together with all those with passion and enthusiasm, to realize their dreams into future businesses.