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NEC Innovation Challenge awards South Korea's DeepBrain AI with the NEC Prize

- Working with startup companies from around the world to create revolutionary innovations for the future -

Tokyo, Japan, March 15, 2023 – The NEC Innovation Challenge, a global business contest sponsored by NEC, invites startup companies from around the world to submit innovative product and technology concepts under the three themes of "Healthcare & Life Science," "Metaverse," and "Carbon Neutrality." During the application period from October 14 to December 4, 2022, 324 applications were submitted.

10 start-up companies that passed through the primary screening, interview and mentoring phases participated in the final event held online on March 10, 2023. As a result of the final judging after each company's pitch, the winners of the NEC Prize, NEC X Prize, NOFF Prize (NOFF: NEC Orchestrating Future Fund), and BIRD INITIATIVE Prize were decided.

1. NEC Prize

Providing opportunities to collaborate with NEC and a $20,000 USD prize to accelerate collaboration

Winning startup

  • Company name (country): DeepBrain AI (South Korea)
  • Theme: Metaverse
  • Overview: A platform service that automatically generates human avatars by learning video data of real people

2. NEC X Prize

Providing opportunities to participate in the NEC X Venture Studio program (NEC's advanced technology, funding, and hands-on support by various experts in business, technology, and fundraising)

Winning startup

  • Company name (country): WeWALK (UK)
  • Theme: Healthcare & Life Science
  • Overview: A smart cane that provides obstacle detection using built-in ultrasonic sensor technology

3. NOFF Prize

Opportunity to discuss investment from the NEC Orchestrating Future Fund (NOFF), an ecosystem-type corporate venture capital (CVC) fund

Winning startup

  • Company name (country): Threedy (Germany)
  • Theme: Metaverse
  • Overview: A platform service that models CAD data in 3D and manages it on the cloud


Hands-on support (business, technology, intellectual property, fundraising, etc.) by experts from the co-creative R&D startup studio

Winning startup

  • Company name (country): Energiency (France)
  • Theme: Carbon Neutrality
  • Overview: Energy visualization service for the manufacturing industry that can visualize in real time and suggest energy/CO2 reduction measures

Going forward, using the "NEC Innovation Challenge" as an opportunity, NEC will further promote co-creation with startup companies and accelerate and promote innovation on a global scale.


NEC Innovation Challenge site

About NEC Corporation
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