Okayama University


Okayama University Students Won Top Prizes at Okayama Innovation Contest!

December 01, 2020

The final stage of “Okayama Innovative Contest”, a local competition that evaluates creative business plans, was held on November 29. Okayama University students, KUBO Shunki (4th year, Faculty of Science) won the grand prize and MIYAMOTO Taiki (4th year, Faculty of Engineering) won the semi-grand prize.

Mr. Kubo winning the grand prize for his proposal of “ABABA”, a platform that can increase the hiring potential of job applicants who fall out at the final round interview for a particular company by recommending them to other companies who are looking for exemplary candidates. Both companies and hopeful applicants can benefit from the platform, which aims to create a more efficient hiring process.

Mr. Miyamoto designed a matching app called “Skitte” that helps shy men and women avoid getting directly rejected by their crushes. The app allows LINE users to select up to 3 people from their friends list that they are interested in pursuing a romantic relationship with, and if the users “match”, they receive a notification from Skitte.

Upon receiving their award, Mr. Kubo commented, “To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to win the grand prize, so I am quite surprised. Of course, I am happy to have won, but I am even more pleased by the fact that my platform was scrupulously evaluated by the judges. It is estimated that only 69% of recent graduates receive job offers, and that number is expected to fall in coming years. Therefore, I think that it is important for companies to collaborate with each other to share their knowledge on human resources and develop a more efficient hiring ecosystem. I hope to live up to the grand prize title by building on my current momentum and accelerating the implementation and growth of ABABA.”

Mr. Miyamoto commented, “I feel extremely honored to have won semi-grand prize. However, I see this contest as a checkpoint. Now that my concept has been validated, I want to ensure that it does not end as a mere business plan. I plan on pursuing its fulfillment wholeheartedly after entering graduate school.”

This year marked the fourth iteration of the contest, which is a part of “Okayama Innovation Project” that aims to foster local entrepreneurs. There were 92 entries, and it is the first time that a university student managed to win the grand prize. Mr. Kubo and Mr. Miyamoto both intend to improve their business ideas and implement them in the near future.