Open Network Lab BioHealth
Dementia Innovation Challenge 〜Co-creation to actualize a Dementia Inclusive Society〜

Onlab BioHealth Dementia Innovation Challenge – Application Closed.

Thank you for your applications.


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Co-creation to actualize a Dementia Inclusive Society

Open Network Lab BioHealth, which has been supporting the growth of startups in the biotechnology and healthcare fields,
is holding the “Open Network Lab BioHealth Dementia Innovation Challenge” with Eisai Co., Ltd.
This program will promote open innovation between dementia-related startups, Eisai and Digital Garage,
and contribute to the actualization of a Dementia Inclusive Society through technology and science.


Businesses that open up all kinds of possibilities to solve issues related to dementia

Maintaining and supporting health

Maintaining good health through information management and advance prediction of dementia risk.

  • #Disease prediction
  • #Wearable devices / Sensing
  • #PHR
  • #Lifestyle

Disease prediction, prevention and testing

Promoting the understanding and prevention of dementia through disease prediction, disease awareness, and simple and accurate testing.

  • #Disease prediction algorithms
  • #Prevention program
  • #Consultation site
  • #VR/AR
  • #Genetic screening
  • #Consultation encouragement
  • #Medical checkup
  • #Early Screening / Early examination

Accurate diagnosis and confirming efficacy

Promoting accurate diagnosis of MCI and early dementia and its efficiency, as well as rapid efficacy assessment and monitoring of side effects.

  • #Biomarkers/Digital biomarkers
  • #Diagnosis
  • #Online medical practice
  • #Imaging
  • #Confirmation of efficacy/Monitoring
  • #Data science

Medical treatment

Updating the treatment of dementia through drug discovery, medical equipment and digital devices.

  • #New drug discovery concepts / Techniques
  • #Drug delivery technologies / Systems
  • #Medical equipment / Digital treatment
  • #SaMD / Program medical equipment


Supporting the lives of dementia patients and their families.

  • #Care support
  • #Comprehensive care
  • #Communication support
  • #Observation
  • #Fall detection
  • #Disease, medication, going to hospital management / Patient Support Program (PSP)
  • #Measures against delirium


Solving a variety of problems directly or indirectly related to dementia (finance, real estate, insurance, etc.).

  • #Clinical trials
  • #Asset management / Inheritance
  • #Recreation
  • #Household support
  • #BMI
  • #Medical interpretation
  • #Telemedicine
  • #Regional medical care cooperation
  • #Cross-cutting solution for the themes/stages
  • #ESG

#Any other technologies or services that fall under the theme are welcome to apply.


The program aims to grow and collaborate on
dementia-related businesses with Eisai and Digital Garage

There are two types of this program;
The Open Innovation Program is to aim for collaborative business development, business tie-up, and equity investment by combining the technologies and services of startups with the resources of Eisai and Digital Garage, examining ideas for collaboration and testing hypotheses through PoC study; Accelerator program is to provide support for seed and early-stage startups to grow their businesses through mentoring by the specialists.

Open Innovation Program

alt text for all sources

Accelerator program


*The program is subject to change according to the situation and needs of the participating startups.



Experienced professionals in business development and collaboration in drug creation and digital business will work closely with the participating startups to support open innovation management, hypothesis validation, product brush-ups, and pitch practice.



Eisai and Digital Garage will support the participating startups by utilizing our resources. We will also collaborate and cooperate in various aspects of toward business creation, including PoC study and Business tie-up.



Eisai and Digital Garage may each consider equity investment to the participating startups based on the needs. *Note that the participation of this program does not guarantee equity investment.


Various experts from Eisai and Digital Garage provide support
tailored to your business growth

Specialized Support for Dementia and Startup Businesses

Eisai, which has numerous accomplishments and experiences in the field of dementia including drug creation, and Digital Garage, which is strong in business support and investment activities for startups including Onlab, will collaborate to support the growth of startups’ businesses in the field of dementia.
External experts are also available to provide support as needed.

Support Tailored to Your Needs

Each startup has different needs for support, such as “I want to see if our service can collaborate with you”, “I want to work with you to develop a business using our technology,” or “I want you to provide an environment for PoC”. In this program, we flexibly provide support to achieve each startup’s purposes and goal.

Collaboration Support by Appropriate Departments and Talents of Eisai and Digital Garage

This program provides support by the appropriate departments and talents from Eisai and Digital Garage toward collaboration.



In the short-term intensive program, the Open Innovation Program aims to achieve specific collaboration, and the Accelerator Program aims to achieve business growth.

* Please note that changes of the contents may be made due to the impacts of COVID-19 or other reasons.
*The application deadline has been extended from December 27 to January 17, and the selection and program period have been postponed.

Co-Organizer Message

In the 1990s, Eisai developed and launched ARICEPT®, an Alzheimer’s disease (AD) treatment, and started delivering it to patients, having make it available in 101 countries worldwide. From them onward, to help us understand and learn the true thoughts and feelings of patients, Eisai encourages all of its employees globally to spend at least 1% of their total business hours with patients, so called Socialization activities. In 2021, Eisai launched ADUHELM®, the first drug that works by reducing amyloid plaques, one of the causative factors of AD, in the United States with Biogen. By leveraging accumulated lessons learned from many failures over the past quarter century, Eisai has been now working on development of novel drug candidates that fundamentally address the underlying cause of AD.

Alzheimer’s is a disease that places enormous burden on people living with the disease and their families, and we recognize how deep their anxieties are. Alzheimer’s begins years or even decades before any symptoms appear. Therefore, it is important for all People to not only have knowledge and awareness about lifestyle considerations, but also improve access to disease information. In addition, health-related information gained from the People can also provide a wide variety of advices and insights based on data analysis that in turn can further help the People live healthier. In line with this, Eisai is planning to develop an ecosystem where individuals and various industries can work together to support the People to “live life to the fullest.” We believe that building this type of the ecosystem should be a top priority, and by combining the vast knowledge gained through our history of drug creation activities with new knowledge from startups and technology companies, we can help the People live their lives to the fullest. We look forward to working with you through this program.


Program Open Network Lab BioHealth Dementia Innovation Challenge
Deadline Noon on 2021/12/27 (Mon) JST → Extended to Noon on 2022/1/17 (Mon) JST
Participation Requirements
  • Applicant must be a corporation, team or individuals who have a business or business plan related to dementia as described in the THEME.
  • If Applicant’s business or project is based on research results, patents or other intellectual property rights, Applicant must have the right to legally use the research results, patents or other intellectual property rights, and must not infringe on the rights of any third party.
  • If Applicant receives investment from a third party, Applicant must have obtained prior written consent from such investor to participate in the Program.
  • Applicant’s business or activity must not be contrary to public order or morality.
  • Applicant, officers and employees of the Applicant, their relatives, stakeholders, etc., do not comprise or represent anti-social forces or have any kind of relationship with any anti-social forces.
  • If Applicant is a minor, he/she must have obtained written consent from a parent or legal guardian to participate in the program.
  • Applicants of any nationality, age or gender may apply, but foreign Applicants residing in Japan must be legally qualified to stay in Japan during the period of the program as specified by Digital Garage.
Terms of Participation
  • Applicant is required to attend all meetings and/or events including meetings between Eisai Co., Ltd. (including its subsidiaries and affiliates; collectively referred to herein as “Eisai”) and Digital Garage, Inc. (including its subsidiaries and affiliates; collectively referred to herein as “Digital Garage”) to be held during the Program period.
  • If you are a team or an individual who wish to receive investment but has not yet established a corporation at the time of the application, you must establish a corporation during the Program period. Please note that a separate contract for the investment is required to be executed.
  • If Applicant wish to discuss investment or business alliance with a third party during the Program period, Applicant must share such information with Eisai and Digital Garage in advance to enable appropriate support under the Program. If Eisai and Digital Garage deem it necessary, Applicant shall have discussions with Eisai and Digital Garage.
  • Applicant’s activities may be published on the official websites of Open Network Lab BioHealth and in the media owned by Eisai and Digital Garage.
  • Applicant agrees that the result of the asset coordination interview with Eisai and Digital Garage will be taken into account in the final screening process.
  • If the event that Applicant is unable to submit the final report on the results of the proof of concept or the co-creation under the Program during the Program period, Applicant agrees to submit such final report in a manner specified by Eisai and Digital Garage even after the Program period.
  • If Eisai or Digital Garage wishes to invest in the Applicant, the Applicant agrees to have discussions with such party.
  • Applicant shall appoint a project manager to participate in the Program. Applicant shall ensure that the project manager is dedicated to the project applied for by the Applicant for the duration of the Program.
  • If requested by Eisai and Digital Garage, Applicant shall submit additional documents for screening or the investment.
  • In addition to the above, Applicant must comply with all other obligations related to the application procedures, and must also agree to the terms and conditions of participation separately specified by Digital Garage.
Application Process
  1. Apply using the official entry form found in this website
  2. Screening by entry Form We will review your entry form and evaluate your business (idea), market, team, and (in the case of the Open Innovation Program) collaboration ideas.
  3. 1st Interview Either an online or face-to-face interview will be set. The 1st interview may be held more than once as needed.
  4. Final Interview Presentation is conducted online to the executives of Eisai and Digital Garage.
  5. Program starts


Application-Related Questions

Can I apply even if I belong to a university or gainfully employed in a company?
Yes. However, only those who have the right to use the research results, patents or other intellectual property described in the project proposal (or have a plan to obtain the right to use them during the program period) are eligible to apply. In addition, you must be able to participate in online meetings held during the program (which may take several hours per week and scheduled on weekdays).
I am busy with my current research/work and cannot fully commit to this program during the program period. Can I still apply?
Yes. However, you must be able to participate in the contents of the program or events, such as lectures, mentoring and regular meetings, held in Tokyo during the program period. Such contents/events are scheduled on weekdays (approximately 10 hours/week). Participation via video conference is also possible.)

In the case of the accelerator program, it is possible to participate in meetings and other events while you are conducting other research or work for as long as you can commit to promoting the business.

In the case of the Open Innovation Program, it is possible to coordinate with our collaborative partners a mutually agreeable schedule. Please let us know at the time of application how much time you are willing to commit.
Do I have to be incorporated to join the program (i.e. can a research group join the program?)
Yes. However, you will not be eligible to receive seed funds unless you incorporate during the program period. If you wish to incorporate, we can assist you in registering your company.
How is information of the application form managed?
Personal information in the application form will be managed in accordance with the Handling of Personal Information and Applications. Please do not include highly confidential information in your application, e.g. source code, structural formula of compounds, genome sequence, or other core technical information related to your business/project. In addition, highly confidential information should not be disclosed throughout the application, selection process, or participation in the program, unless specifically requested by Digital Garage and agreed upon by both parties.
I am the only member in the team. Can I still apply?
Yes, you can.
Can I submit application documents in English or other languages?
You can submit applications either in English or Japanese.
Can the pitch deck (documents attached to the application) be submitted in English?
Yes. If you wish to get mentoring from an English-speaker, please submit your project outline or business summary and presentation materials (pitch deck) in English.
I don’t speak Japanese. Can I still apply?
You may apply for the program as long as you speak English.
Can a team with multiple services be eligible to apply to the program?
Yes, it is possible to apply with multiple services. However, since we have limited time to provide to each team during the interview, we need to talk about each service within a fixed amount of time. Therefore, the time to promote and appeal each service will be shortened.
Can a company/individual that has already raised seed funding (around 10 million yen) participate?
Yes, there are no restrictions on the amount of funds raised in the past.
Is it possible to apply with the same business idea multiple times during the period?
Yes, you can apply multiple times during the period.
I have applied for a BioHealth program before. Can I apply for this program again?
Yes, you can.
Can I apply for the program if I am receiving or received funding from another company?
Yes, however, you must obtain agreement from the funding company to apply for the program.
Are there any restriction on participation based on fundraising status?
No, there are no restrictions based on the amount of funds raised in the past.
Are there any restrictions on the stage of startups that are eligible to apply?
In the Open Innovation Program, we welcome applications for projects regardless of stage as long as the proposal is in line with the Theme of the call. On the other hand, only seed/early stage startups are eligible to apply for the Accelerator Program.
I have the choice between the Open Innovation Program and the Accelerator Program, can I apply for only one or both?
Yes, you can apply for one or both depending on your needs. However, the Accelerator Program is intended for seed/early stage startups, and startups in other stages are not eligible to apply. In addition, if you are selected, you can only proceed to one of the projects you applied for.
Can I nominate either Eisai or Digital Garage as a collaborative partner for the Open Innovation Program?
Yes, you can nominate either Eisai or Digital Garage. However, there is a possibility to add or change the collaborative partner(s) based on mutual agreement during the selection process.
Which program should I apply to?
If you are interested in collaborating with Eisai or Digital Garage, please apply to the Open Innovation Program. If you are a seed/early-stage startup that is not ready for short-term collaboration and would like support in growing your business, please apply to the Accelerator Program. You can also apply to both programs, and we will direct you to the appropriate program later on.
I have applied to other Onlab programs in the past, can I still apply to this program?
Yes, you can apply to this program whether or not you have applied to, or been selected for, any other Onlab program.

About the Interview Process

Is there a language designation for the interview?
Interview will be conducted either in Japanese or English.
Are the interviews and pitch selection conducted in Japanese?
We do the interview and pitch selection meetings in whichever language you prefer, either Japanese or English.
Do all team members have to participate in the interview?
No, a representative and team members may participate in as long as they are able to describe the service and answer any questions.
Can all or some of my team members participate in the interview and pitch selection?
Yes, it’s possible. However, due to the limited space in the venue of the meetings, we ask that each team limit the number of participants to three members.
Can we make inquiries about the screening results?
Due to the large number of applications, we are unable to respond to inquiries about the application screening results.
Is it sufficient to use the materials attached to my application for presentation during the pitch selection meeting/session?
Yes, please use the materials attached to your application to make the pitch. If you wish to update your materials (pitch deck), please re-submit when you are notified that you have passed the interview, and use those submitted materials for your presentation at the pitch selection meeting/session.
Will the selection process be done entirely online?
Yes, the process will be basically done online.

About Program

Is there a fee to participate in the program?
Participation in the program is free of charge. However, we will discuss the cost of demonstration experiments (expenses for proofs of concept) to be conducted during the program as necessary.
Can I participate in another company’s program at the same time?
As long as you can commit to this program, it is possible to participate in other companies’ programs. Please let us know if you decide to participate in another program.
Can students/minors apply for the program?
Yes. However, if you are a minor, you will be required to submit written consent to participate from a parent or legal guardian.
Is it mandatory for the applicant to receive the funding (investment) to participate in the program?
No, it is not mandatory. Eisai and Digital Garage may each make an investment in the participating startup if we can reach an agreement based on the wishes of the selected applicant.
If you wish to receive investment, please indicate so when you apply.
If my project is selected, is it guaranteed that the PoC, etc. will be implemented?
We will support the implementation of the PoC by coordinating the assets of Eisai, Digital Garage, and our partners, but we may not be able to implement the PoC if a consensus among the parties is not reached.
Is the program to be conducted entirely online?
Yes, the program will be basically conducted online. However, there is a possibility that some events will be conducted offline (in-person) if necessary.

Please contact us for any questions other than the above.

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