All SPICE News News August 24, 2021

Fostering the Entrepreneurs and Innovators of Tomorrow

On August 11, 2021, SPICE honored the top students in the 2020 Stanford e-Entrepreneurship Japan Program in a virtual ceremony.
Stanford e-Entrepreneurship Japan honorees with their instructors
Stanford e-Entrepreneurship Japan honorees with their instructors

Stanford e-Entrepreneurship Japan is an online course offered to high school students from throughout Japan. It is offered annually in spring and fall by SPICE and the Japanese NPO e-Entrepreneurship, led by Yusuke Matsuda. The instructors are Maiko Tamagawa Bacha (spring) and Irene Bryant (fall).

On August 11, 2021, the top students in the 2020 spring and fall cohorts were honored in a virtual ceremony. They are listed below alphabetically.  

  • Naho Abe, The American School Foundation in Mexico City
  • Yasuko Kinoshita, graduate of Akita Senior High School, Akita Prefecture
  • Rion Kurihara, Shibuya Senior High School, Tokyo
  • Sungyeon “Sunny” Park, The British School in Tokyo

The goal of Stanford e-Entrepreneurship Japan is to foster creative thinking and problem-solving skills in students with a focus on innovation to address social issues. During the ceremony, the honorees made presentations that focused on history textbook controversies in Japan (Abe); aging communities in rural prefectures like Akita (Kinoshita); gun control in the United States (Kurihara); and poverty alleviation (Park).

While listening to the presentations, Bacha and Bryant were struck by the diversity represented by the honorees. Bryant, who is a former Coordinator of International Relations on the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, reflected, “As an American who has lived outside of the United States for many years, I have no doubt that Naho’s attendance at a high school in Mexico City and Sunny’s attendance at The British School in Tokyo will have a profound effect on their college studies and possibly careers, just as my overseas experiences have had a profound effect on my life.” Bacha similarly reflected, “As a Japanese national who attended graduate school in California and also worked in San Francisco, I think it’s great that Yasuko, who is from the rural prefecture of Akita, will be enrolling at Minerva University in San Francisco this year, and hope that Rion will fulfill her dream of enrolling in a university in the United States as well.”

Bryant and Bacha are most grateful to the following educators in Japan for their support throughout the 2020 courses:

  • Mana Miura, Curriculum Designer, NPO e-Entrepreneurship
  • Roy Lee, former teacher at Seiko Jr. and Sr. High School
  • Sara Inoue, currently a student at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education

The spring 2020 Stanford e-Entrepreneurship Japan course was generously supported by the Water Dragon Foundation. The fall 2020 Stanford e-Entrepreneurship Japan course was generously supported by Noriko Honda Chen and the Capital Group, Norman Chen, Andrew Ogawa, and Mako Ogawa.

For more information about SPICE’s online courses for students, visit our Student Programs page.

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