Akimoto Award

The Akimoto Award for Excellence in Fostering Innovation was initiated in 2017 in memory of Mr Shin Akimoto, whose passion and commitment to Free Electrons and its members was unsurpassed.

Free Electrons wishes to recognise the value of the individuals who strive to foster and cultivate new ideas through encouraging and inspiring those around them.

The recipient of the Akimoto Award has embodied these ideals throughout their time in the program and will go on to act as a mentor to startups participating in the Free Electrons program in the coming years.


About Shin Akimoto

Shin Akimoto was born in Japan, but lived in Iran from age 3-5 and Sweden from age 7-11. He returned to Japan and years later attended the prestigious University of Tokyo. Following graduation in 1993 he joined TEPCO and was assigned to international affairs. He was later seconded to Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and spent 3 years in Vienna. Upon returning to TEPCO he was involved in creating TEPCO’s data center business and later led the smart meter program.

In 2011 Shin was the manager in charge of TEPCO’s efforts to compensate victims of the nuclear accident and was transferred to Fukushima immediately following the accident. A cause he was extremely passionate about.

In 2015 Shin became Director of Innovation and led TEPCO’s efforts to collaborate with innovative global startups. Even after leaving Fukushima he often said that TEPCO has a responsibility to innovate and grow profits in order to repay the victims. He repeatedly reminded his team of this responsibility and encouraged them to be more innovative and customer centric. As a result, he was able to build strong relationships with numerous startups to bring innovation to TEPCO. His efforts culminated in TEPCO joining the Free Electrons program as a founding member.

Shin passed away on March 10, 2017 at the age of 48. He is survived by his wife and their 3 children.


Dr. Tom Algie - Co-founder and CEO of Grid Share



Lauren Kuntz - CEO and Co-Founder at Gaiascope



Puneet Jaggi - Founder of Prescinto Technologies



Chris Law - Co-founder and CEO of Future Grid



Julian Lee - Founder & CEO of Ambi Labs



Louise Rogerson - Chief Operating Officer of Howz



Derek Roddy - Founder of Climote

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