M-Lab: Enabling Innovation at Mitsubishi Corporation
M-Lab's founding goals were to infuse an innovation mindset into Mitsubishi Corporation; to catalyze new business opportunities; and to enable a dialogue between Japanese business and Silicon Valley. M-Lab housed representatives from each of Mitsubishi Corporation's verticals who were joined by executives from other prominent Japanese corporations. While M-Lab was still early in its history, its leader, Tsunehiko Yanagihara, was pleased with its progress: the ecosystem was fertile with research on cutting edge technology; resident executives collaborated across industries on a daily basis; several investments and proof of concept projects were underway; staff had launched an innovation learning program; and soon, an on-site retail-tech accelerator would welcome its first participants. As some of the projects born out of M-Lab now evolved to commercial businesses, Yanagihara saw yet a new role for M-Lab - that of startup advisor. How might he harness Silicon Valley insights on scaling technology ventures and feed them back to the young ventures made possible by M-Lab? And how might he help those now responsible for implementing and executing at these new businesses apply these learnings to the hurdles they faced?