TOKYO, Japan, June 11, 2021 – Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has begun expanding its new business creation program, IGNITION, to the entire company. IGNITION is a program that gives shape to the original technologies, ideas and designs of Honda associates and contributes to solving social issues and creating new value for people.
The IGNITION program was initiated in 2017 by Honda R&D Co., Ltd., a Honda research and development subsidiary. Since it began, IGNITION has received many applications with new business ideas, and several proposals that have a high degree of compatibility with Honda business are already being pursued at Honda with an eye toward commercialization.
In the meantime, there also were proposals that could deliver value to society more quickly if they were pursued through a startup business venture, taking advantage of the unique characteristics of startup companies; therefore, in 2020, IGNITION added an option to strive for commercialization of new business ideas through business ventures, in addition to commercialization inside Honda. Ashirase Inc., whose establishment was announced today, is the first business venture to originate from IGNITION.
Moreover, in April 2021, Honda began evolving IGNITION as company-wide program which enables all Honda associates in Japan to take on the challenge of creating new businesses. By realizing the ideas and dreams of not only engineers, but also associates from various divisions including production, sales and administration divisions, Honda will create products and experiences that do not yet exist in the world, generating a “fresh breeze” in society.
IGNITION is collaborating with a venture capital firm which participates in the final round of the evaluation as one of the jurors examining each proposal from the exacting perspective of an investor. Moreover, the proposers have access to advice and support from the venture capital firm during the evaluation process.
■ About IGNITION
- All full-time Honda associates in Japan are eligible to submit proposals regardless of their length of employment and assigned divisions.
- Ideas that pass the final evaluation process will be commercialized within Honda or by establishing a business startup company.
- In principle, the decision on commercialization will be made within a 6-month period, during which a taskforce team consists of internal specialists to be formed to support each proposer.
- The venture capital firm will provide advice and support to each proposer throughout the evaluation process.
- In order to ensure independence of the startup, the ratio of capital contribution by Honda will be limited to no more than 20%.
■ Comment by Yasuhide Mizuno, IGNITION Chief Juror / Managing Officer of Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
“At Honda, there are many associates who have a passionate desire to help people and contribute to society using their original technologies and ideas. IGNITION is a program which fosters and gives shapes to such technologies and ideas of Honda associates and enables them to create new value that contribute to solving social issues. We are now expanding the program to include all associates in Japan, offering an option to take on a new challenge to start up their own business ventures. There are an extremely high hurdles set to start business ventures, however, we are hoping that IGNITION will trigger the further energizing of Honda’s challenging spirit and enable us to generate a fresh breeze by going beyond our existing business to create new products and experiences that do not yet exist in the world.”