FedEx Supports Innovation and Entrepreneurialism among Students
Three Student Teams to Represent Japan at the 2020 International Trade Challenge Regional Finals
TOKYO, December 15, 2020 – FedEx Express (FedEx), a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and one of the world’s largest express transportation company and Junior Achievement (JA) Japan, hosted the qualifying round for the Japan teams at the 2020 FedEx Express/Junior Achievement International Trade Challenge (FedEx/JA ITC) on Sunday, December 13. The following three winning teams were announced and will represent Japan at the FedEx/JA ITC regional finals to be held online in March 2021.
- Team Mofu – Keizo Kuriyama and Atsumu Akazawa from Hongo High School. Team Mofu invented a mosquito net called “MosWall” that uses the Miura folding technique, which was developed from space structural engineering research. The net is lightweight, easy to carry and assemble, and targeting backpackers and young travelers to Cambodia.
- Team Aquarius – Kaho Yoshikawa and Isa Hamamoto from Hiroo Gakuen High School. They invented “Tach Sc2an”, a bendable bottle with a filter that can sterilize 99.9% of tap water. By filling up the bottle and scanning the barcode at water stations in the city, users can receive points that can be used at nearby stores.
- Team Haseyama – Alyssa Yamashita from N High School and Shinsei Hasegawa from Hiroo Gakuen High School invented “WOLIDAY”, a hotel booking application for Japanese people who want to go on workcation in Cambodia. The app aggregates vacancy information provided by local hotels and allows users to book and use hotels of a certain price range on a subscription basis by paying a fixed fee.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s FedEx Express/ JA ITC Japan competition was held virtually for the first time since the competition began in 2008. This year, 49 teams (in teams of two students per team) participated in the competition by submitting their innovative business ideas on “Travel products and services for Cambodia”. Out of these, eight teams were selected for the next round and invited to present their ideas and strategies online to a panel of judges comprising executives from FedEx and the industry.
Marking its 13th year in Japan, the program encourages entrepreneurialism in young people by providing a stimulating opportunity to develop innovative business ideas for overseas markets. It broadens students’ knowledge of global trade and provides them with an opportunity to interact with other students from the Asia Pacific region, thus enhancing possibilities for their future.
“FedEx is very honored to support the International Trade Challenge competition. Through this annual program, we hope to inspire our next generation of entrepreneurs to learn about teamwork, the value of global trade, as well as effective communication skills, which are all necessary in building and running a successful cross-border business. We hope that the experience will benefit these future business leaders and we look forward to seeing students do their best in the reginal finals,” said Yoshinori Matsumoto, Managing Director, Japan Operations.
FedEx employees supported students by providing mentorship and advice on effective ways to develop business plans and prepare presentations. They also held an online session to help students overcome common challenges by sharing tips and techniques to improve their communication skills.
Participating students commented “It was very challenging for us to come up with a market entry strategy for Cambodia, a country we didn’t know a lot about. Creating a business plan for ITC has made us more inspired about business and how it can give back to the society.” The winners said, “We wish we could meet the other students from the other countries face to face, but we are still really looking forward to interacting with them online at the regional finals in March next year and sharing our business idea with them.”
About FedEx Express/ Junior Achievement International Trade Challenge
Since 2008, FedEx Express has sponsored the FedEx Express/Junior Achievement International Trade Challenge (ITC) in Japan in order to educate and inspire young people to better understand entrepreneurship and think globally. This program was designed to foster business knowledge through practical teamwork exercises and classroom learning. The program includes three key activities – the local international Trade Workshops, the Japan ITC finals and the regional ITC finals. To date, 679 students in Japan have benefitted from the program and 60 students have represented the country at the Regional Challenge. The Asia Pacific Regional Challenge was held in Malaysia (2008, 2019), Singapore (2009-2010, 2015, 2017, 2018), Thailand (2011) and Hong Kong (2012-2014, 2016). 2020 will be the first year for ITC to be held online.
About JA Asia Pacific Limited
JA Asia Pacific Limited is a member of JA Worldwide®, one of the largest global NGOs dedicated to addressing fundamental social and economic challenges of young people by educating and empowering them to transform their future and own their economic success.
JA Asia Pacific Limited is dedicated to enabling and empowering youth to benefit from the region’s economic development, and to create a positive impact in their lives and communities. Through a dedicated volunteer network, JA Asia Pacific Limited provides in school and after school programs for students which focus on three key content areas: work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. JA Asia Pacific envisions a future that young people dream big and, as a group, drive productive social and economic change.
The 18 Members JA Asia Pacific network is powered by over 30,000 volunteers and mentors from all sectors of society, reaching more than 650,000 students around the region.
For more information, visit www.jaasiapacific.org.