Janssen Pharmaceutical Pitch Contest Creating a future where disease is a thing of the past

Your opportunity to pitch ideas in a three-minute presentation that could help us reach a world without disease.

Your opportunity to pitch ideas in a three-minute presentation that could help us reach a world without disease.

The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, together with The University of Tokyo Center of Innovation (COI) and Tokyo University of Science is calling on students to participate in a pitch contest aimed at incubating new ideas that could help us achieve the ambitious goal of a disease-free future.

As a member of the Johnson & Johnson Group, Janssen has established partnerships with many people, including researchers at universities and research institutes, as well as venture capitalists and large corporations. We extend the opportunity to benefit from these partnerships to the best and brightest students here in Japan – as we look to support and encourage the innovators of tomorrow.

The winners of the pitch contest will be invited on a two-week trip to the United States.

*The timing of this tour will be decided in consultation with the winner

*If a team entry wins the contest, the team must nominate two representatives to participate in the trip to the United States

*The tour is subject to change due to the COVID-19

Trip to visit a premier life science incubator network

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The winners of the pitch contest will be invited on a two-week trip to the United States to visit a number of Johnson & Johnson JLABS, a network of life science incubators empowering and enabling innovators to deliver life-enhancing health and wellness solutions to people around the world.

The trip will include a variety of activities, including meetings with resident companies, laboratory tours, interviews with lab operators, and participation in networking events.

*Please note that these activities will be held in English, and no interpretation service will be available

Our hope is that through the Janssen Pharmaceutical Pitch Contest we will inspire students to actively pursue careers in the life science industry and help to address future health challenges here in Japan and around the world.

Overview of the Pitch Contest

Entrants must prepare a three-minute video presentation, during which they introduce an innovative idea on how together, we could achieve a world without disease.

Ideas can involve art, science, medicine, engineering, architecture, information technology, education, policy, finance, philosophy and communication, or any other area that could help treat, reduce or eliminate the impact of disease, strengthen health systems and elevate awareness of the health challenges facing Japan and the world. Ideas should be aspirational and challenge conventional thinking. Since this event is not a business contest but an idea contest, we will judge the entries based on originality of the idea, but we also ask that you take into account its feasibility.

Selection process Please pitch your idea to create a World Without Disease in a three-minute video.
Up to 10 entries will be selected as finalists and invited to make a three-minute presentation, in person, at the final event held on November 22.
Two winners will be announced at the event.
Who can apply The pitch contest is open to all university students in Japan above the age of 18, regardless of nationality or subject being studied, and includes both graduates and undergraduates.

Monday, September 14th – Thursday, October 29thPreliminary contest – submit your idea with a three-minute video via the entry page.*The deadline has been changed.

Early NovemberUp to 10 entries will be selected as finalists, and all entrants will be notified whether they have been successfully shortlisted or not.*The schedule has been changed.

Sunday, November 22ndUp to 10 finalists will be invited to make a three-minute presentation at the final event and two winners will be announced.

Program Co-Sponsors The University of Tokyo COI
Tokyo University of Science
Janssen Pharmaceutical K.K.

Preliminary Contest - Video Submission

Entrants must present their ideas in video format (maximum three-minutes) – submitted via the entry page here.

  • Please explain your idea clearly for the judges.
  • There is no right answer for this contest - we are expecting creative ideas.
  • Tools such as smartphones, musical instruments, PowerPoint and keynote are permitted, but the video should contain a clear voice explaining the idea and feature the entrant(s).
  • Videos can be submitted in English or Japanese.
  • Infringement of copyright is prohibited.
  • We will not use the collected personal information for any purpose other than the use of this event.
  • Videos must be 600MB or less and in one of the following formats: mp4, mov.
  • Entries can be from an individual or from a team of students. If a team is chosen as the winner, they must nominate two students to participate in the trip to the United States.
  • The competition will remain open for submissions until 23:59 on Thursday October 29, 2020. *The deadline has been changed.
  • Up to 10 finalists will be selected by nominees of the co-sponsors. All entrants will be notified of the result by the early November.
  • We will not respond to requests for an explanation of the contest outcome.
Further guidance can be found here.

Final Contest

  • The final contest will take place on Sunday, November 22 from 10:30 – 15:00 (approximate end time) in Tokyo. Details will be shared with the finalists.
  • During this session, finalists will be invited to make a three-minute pitch of their idea, in person, to the judges and an audience.
  • The idea should be the same as the one submitted in video format, but you may modify your presentation.
  • The submitted video will not be played at the final contest.
  • Your presentation can be made in Japanese or English, but the final contest proceedings will be conducted in Japanese, and no interpretation service will be provided.
  • Judges will deliberate and announce the two winners during this session, with a presentation ceremony to follow.
  • The event secretariat will cover the transportation and accommodation expenses for up to 10 finalists (please note only one representative will be covered per team).

The universities and majors of contest entrants will not be disclosed to the judges until after the winners have been announced.

Our Judges

photo: Dr. Chiaki Mukai

Dr. Chiaki Mukai

Japanese physician and JAXA astronaut (1994/1998). Vice President, Tokyo University of Science, and Director of the Research Center for Space Colony.

photo: Yuichi Tei / Ung-il Chung, MD, PhD

Yuichi Tei / Ung-il Chung, MD, PhD.

Deputy Director, Center of Innovation & Professor, Graduate Schools of Engineering and Medicine, The University of Tokyo; Dean, School of Health Innovation, Kanagawa University of Human Services.

photo: Mr. Mitsuru Miyata

Mr. Mitsuru Miyata

Life science journalist and CEO of Miyata Research Institute.

photo: Mr. Sameshima Masahiro

Mr. Sameshima Masahiro


Janssen Pharmaceutical Pitch Contest Secretariat

If you have any questions regarding the entry process or the competition, please contact