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Mr. Arvin Lapiz Valderrama got the poster award at the second business competition

Mr. Arvin Lapiz Valderrama, who is a second year student of a Ph. D program in Human Biology (HBP), got the poster award at the second business competition for a leading doctoral program.

On February 27, 2017, the second business competition(1) for the leading doctoral program was hosted at Belle Salle Tokyo Nihonbashi by Tokyo Technology Institutes. Five groups from our program attended the competition. One of the teams, Technology for Broader Dimensions, which is composed of Mr. Arvin Lapiz Valderrama (2nd year student) and Mr. Kotaro Sakamoto (1st year student) got the poster award. HBP has gotten the award twice in a row since this completion was set up last year.

They came up with the idea to take Appropriate technology (organizer: Pro. Kenji Irie) out of the HBP curriculum courses. Please see the briefing comments about what they did.

Using HBP travel grant support, last summer they visited the Philippines, Vietnam, and Fukushima, which has suffered due to the Japan Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. While they communicated with the local people, they found problems unsolved in each place, and tried to solve them by producing new products made up by local goods.

The Second Business Competition(1):
Organized by Tokyo Institute of Technology, this competition calls for business plans from students who will solve the problems in the society and can be commercialized. The selected applicants will be given an opportunity to polish and realize the plan with business experts.

From left: Pro. Kenji Irie who is an organizer of Appropriate Technology course and Mr. Arvin Lapiz Valderrama
They made a poster presentation during competition.From left: Ms. Sumire Matsumoto, Ms. Tran Thi Thu Ha, Ms. Kanako Oyama and Mr. Arvin Lapiz Valderrama
Fieldwork at Philippines
Fieldwork at Fukushima
The center of a picture: Mr. Kotaro Sakamoto


Comments from Mr. Arvin Lapiz Valderrama

During the competition, there were a lot of interesting projects like advanced AI robots for communication and low-cost life support system, where some have existing patents already. With these kind of competitors, I am a bit surprised that my project won the award because it was initially designed for the Appropriate Technology course so it was meant to be just simple and implemented without cutting-edge techniques. I wanted to improve public transportation, avoid unnecessary haste, and long waiting time of commuters by using a notification device to give real-time location of transport vehicles without using the internet.
This simplified system aims to help even those who can't read Japanese language, designed to be implemented before the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, where an influx of people (both foreign nationals and Japanese) is expected. Business experts asked tough questions that made me think critically and they pointed out some improvement that could be implemented. Despite being simple and somewhat “low-technology”, the reviewers commended the idea's uniqueness and affordability. One reviewer mentioned that from his long time of experience in a tech- company he never heard something like my idea and it can have many applications aside from transportation. It was quite a challenge to communicate as some of the reviewers requires translation, so I tried my best to simplify and organize my explanation, also the prototype demonstration helped a lot on making the judges understand what I wanted to do. Overall, the experience was very exciting and productive at the same time as some of the people we knew from the network of mentors and businessmen contacted us after the event for a possible collaborative project in the near future. I really believe that business plan competition is not only about winning the awards but ultimately making the business happen in real life.

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