Voistart! Inc. ("Voistart"; shareholders: Mitsui 77.8%, Change Inc. 11.1%, Other 11.1%), the first project to receive capital investment from Mitsui & Co. Ltd. ("Mitsui", Head Office: Tokyo, President and CEO: Tatsuo Yasunaga) as part of its In-House Entrepreneurship Program, has signed an agreement with Kamakura city relating to a proof-of-concept trial utilizing its smart speaker to enrich the lives of senior citizens. The trial will begin on October 1, 2018.
The target of this trial will be senior citizens living in Kamakura City. Voistart is aiming to launch a full service in 2019, and will utilize the results of this trial to further improve the service, adapting it to the lifestyles of seniors and making it more user friendly.
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 on from this first 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.