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Mitsui to Establish Voice Service Business for Senior Citizens: The First Project from its In-House Entrepreneurship Program

Jul. 18, 2018


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Mitsui & Co. Ltd. ("Mitsui", Head Office: Tokyo, President and CEO: Tatsuo Yasunaga) has selected a voice service app business for senior citizens that utilizes a smart speaker, and has established Voistart! Inc. ("Voistart") as the first project from its In-House Entrepreneurship Program(*). Shareholders of Voistart are Mitsui and the AI (artificial intelligence) and voice Internet service provider Change Inc. (Head office: Tokyo, President: Hiroshi Fukudome), as well as the Mitsui employee, in accordance with the rules of the In-House Entrepreneurship Program, who proposed the project.

Technological innovation in voice-recognition and AI has made it possible to access a variety of services, such as listening to music, finding information, and shopping, by voice alone using a voice-controlled smart speaker without the need for a PC or smartphone. The corporate philosophy of Voistart is to use the potential of voice control to enrich and bring greater enjoyment to the lives of senior citizens by providing an easy-to-use voice service app that will help users maintain their physical and mental health and support their leisure and other activities, while at the same time help them maintain links with their local communities.

Mitsui introduced the In-House Entrepreneurship Program in 2017 with the objective of strengthening the individual capabilities all employees, who are the company's diverse pool of unique, talented professionals. The program is designed for its employees to take the lead in creating business while pursuing "challenge and innovation" in a culture of open-mindedness to bring about an evolution in business models from "connecting" to "creating". Following this initial project, Mitsui will continue to support employees who are willing to take on the challenge of creating startups to bring their own ideas to fruition, in order to support its corporate culture that encourages its employees to tackle the development of projects that lead to new business for the company.

(*) In-House Entrepreneurship Program: A program under which employees propose new business projects to the company, and if a proposal is approved, the company provides a certain level of assistance, including financial support. The employee also invests personally in the project. The proposer of the project is assigned to the new company as the seconded president, and may be installed as president permanently after a certain period if so approved by Mitsui.

Profile of the new company

Name of Company Voistart! Inc.
Head Office Tokyo, Japan
Establishment July 18, 2018 (Wednesday)
Shareholders Mitsui & Co., Ltd. 77.8%, Change Inc. 11.1%, Other 11.1%
Representative Shingo Kaiya, CEO
Business Activities (1) Voice services
(2) Sale of voice equipment, etc.
(3) Consulting services related to voice services
(4) Information processing and provision
(5) Any and all lines of business relating to any of the foregoing items.
URL

https://www.voistart.co.jp

Information

For inquiries on this matter, please contact

Mitsui & Co., Ltd.
Corporate Communications Division
Takaya Kimura
Telephone: +81-3-3285-7540
Facsimile: +81-3-3285-9819