WELCOME TO THE EPSON INNOVATION CHALLENGE!

"At Epson, our vision includes using our technologies and range of products to work with innovative partners to solve societal challenges by improving usability and co-creation, collaboration and investment.

We believe that by using our technology resources effectively and combining them with other technologies, we can create new and greater value together with our partners, thereby developing solutions to meet customer needs.

We’re very excited to launch this year's Epson Innovation Challenge series as part of our Open Innovation Program efforts and are welcoming global innovators, developers and startups to join this unique opportunity! 

Since 2019, Epson has been very actively engaging with the startup community not only with our “HackTrek” hackathons in Japan, but also with our global strategic programs to uncover emerging technologies, trends and cutting-edge technology startups."

Junkichi Yoshida, 

COO of Epson's Printing Solutions Division and Chairman of the Epson Innovation Challenge Executive Committee

Get Creative and make an Impact! Open Call for all Innovators, Developers and Startups to participate in the Epson Innovation Challenge #3

Date: Oct 26th - Nov 3rd, 2023 

Location: Remote or on-site at one of the locations below.

Galvanize Innovation Hub San Francisco

Epson Silicon Valley Office, San Jose Office

Fostering Communication and Collaboration

We've been innovators since 1942. We developed the first electronic printer for the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and we launched the world's first mini-printer in 1968. Since then, we’ve never stopped innovating and have built a global reputation for user-friendly precision hardware products.

Our core focus is to develop products that are enriching lives and help to create a better world. In 2019, we launched our Open Innovation program to actively invite creative innovators like you to join us in developing cutting-edge technology solutions,offerings and user experience using our secure cloud service Web API called Epson Connect™ with a focus to foster communication and collaboration.

 

Join the Epson Innovation Challenge #3 

We’ve arrived at an exciting frontier of technology innovation and designed the Epson Innovation Challenge for developers, product designers and cutting edge startups to rapidly test their creativity and skills developing innovative solutions with the Epson Connect API on top of world renowned hardware products. Epson offers an attractive platform of over tens of millions sold printers and scanners across more than 150 countries. This is a very unique opportunity where innovators could get a rocket boost by partnering with a trusted brand with global reach.

Epson is especially interested in solutions that compliments customer needs of sizable user populations in consumer and B2B markets, leveraging technologies such as Generative AI, ML, or OCR. Desired solutions are those that create a clear competitive advantage for the user experience compared to a standard print or scan function. Participants should bundle print or scan services to create a digital to analog to digital information flow. For instance:

  • Automated printing workflows on top of photo management applications (i.e Google Photos) or social media (i.e Instagram, Pinterest). Allowing users to create tangible photo albums from their memories and interests at home.
  • Customized media printouts based on topics of interests identified through user preferences from media applications (i.e Apple News, news blogs or coupon websites for seniors)
  • Using AI to generate automated personalized greeting cards for every moment including birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries of loved ones.
  • Provide on-demand distributed printing and scanning services at strategically located facilities such as libraries,coffee shops, hotels, co-working spaces,office printing centers, and transit hubs, enhancing accessibility to printing solutions.
  • Integrate a comprehensive printing and scanning solution that bridges disparate system interfaces, converting output data into physical and subsequently digitizing it. Enhancing value and enriching the user experience across diverse sectors, including education, healthcare, and government.

Innovation Challenge ideas must leverage Epson Connect™, the secure cloud service for scan and print workflows and will have to look beyond a simple print or scan function in their solution. MVP solution demos will also use the Epson EcoTank series, an excellent IoT printer producing high quality prints at a more affordable price point than the competition. Desirable ideas will demonstrate a creative mix of scanning, data processing, and printing to address untapped opportunities in both consumer and commercial use cases. 

Get creative on how we can simplify and enhance information sharing and collaboration. There are no limits in innovation! We’re looking forward to your application and joining us to enrich lives and help to create a better world! Should you have any questions feel free to email hackathon@foundry415.com for any queries.

Developers + Epson: Opportunity Snapshot 

Epson is on a mission to provide an attractive platform for innovative partners to develop new solutions and user experiences on top of Epson’s print and scan products that will foster communication and collaboration.

Key Value Insights

  • Leader in scan and print technology
  • Installed base of 10s of millions of printers and scanners
  • Reaching across more than 150 countries

Top Verticals

  • Healthcare Industry
  • Education 
  • Food Services
  • Financial Services
  • Insurance
  • Government
  • Legal
  • House of Worship
  • Real Estate
  • Retail
  • Developers want to integrate with Epson’s redefined Secure Cloud Scan & Print solution to offer value added services to their applications and for their customers.
  • Epson Connect™ acts as an additional secure cloud-based interface to process data and trigger scan & print workflows across your applications and services.
  • Create new value-creation opportunities and re-imagine how to automate workflows to increase productivity and provide new user experiences throughout the enterprise, in education or at home.

Why you should join!

Prizes

  • One Epson EF12 projector for the top 3 winning teams
  • Cash Prizes
    • 1st Prize: $5,000
    • 2nd Prize: $2,000
    • 3rd Prize: $1,000
  • All selected participant teams receive EPSON Challenge merch for up to four team members + an Epson printer or scanner used for the Challenge can be kept!

Test yourself

Challenge your skills at the Epson Innovation Challenge! Use the Epson Connect API to create and build innovative UX solutions for Epson’s connected printer and scanner products.  

Mentorship

Each participating team will be supported by dedicated mentors of the EPSON America Digital Innovation Team throughout the event. Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to participate in several insightful workshops facilitated by our experienced partner and program operator Foundry 415 Innovation Group. Details on workshop and facilitators can be found in the Agenda page

Partnership Opportunities

The most promising ideas may be selected for future partnership opportunities and product rollouts. EPSON has a strong established global footprint which can help startups get traction and to succeed internationally. 

Pitch to Top Management

Unique opportunity to get exposure to EPSON’s top management and be awarded with direct feedback from key decision makers and industry experts. 

Silicon Valley Landing Pad Opportunity

Silicon Valley - San Francisco region is the leading global innovation epicenter for thousands of emerging disruptive startups and venture capital firms. Be on the ground, get introductions (investors, customers) and build your network to succeed with your startup. Come and join us on-location during the Challenge week.

Epson Connect API

The Epson Connect API allows developer applications to control print and scan functions through Epson Connect, (Epson’s cloud service). This creates an additional layer of interface that could enhance user experience. The Epson Connect API could provide functionalities such as:

  • Print remotely from any major operation system (Windows, macOS, ChromeOS, Android, and iOS device)
  • Send and share scanned documents across various cloud services
  • Enhance user data protection by deleting files uploaded to Epson Connect instantly after printing

These are just some examples of what functionalities the Epson Connect API could bring.

Timeline Challenge #3:

The duration of the Challenge is one week to give participants enough time to come up with creative and high-quality ideas and to allow everyone to participate alongside their regular job. 

  • Application deadline: October 15th, 2023, 11:59pm PT
  • Selection of participants: October 18th, 2023
  • Kick-off: October 26th, 2023 at 5pm PT
  • Demo Day: November 3rd, 2023 at 5pm PT

About Epson:  

Epson is a Japan-headquartered manufacturing company which provides printing solutions, visual communications, wearable products, and industrial solutions. Since 1942, Epson's DNA has continued to embody the idea of efficient, compact, precision technology, and now their IoT hubs enable customers to access this whenever and wherever you are. Epson is helping their customers in education, tourism, healthcare, and disaster prevention tackle the challenges. By providing timely solutions to issues, they create customer-centric long term relationships, offering continuous support in solving social issues. Learn more at https://corporate.epson/en/about/

About Foundry 415 Innovation Group (program operator):

Foundry 415 is a Silicon Valley - San Francisco based innovation company accelerating the success of global corporate innovators and technology entrepreneurs.  Our team has worked with 40+ global corporations to drive innovation results by uncovering new trends and opportunities, scouting cutting-edge startups for strategic partnership, investment or acquisition, and successfully piloting new business concepts. Alongside its consulting practice, Foundry 415 powers the growth of startups through impactful acceleration and landing-pad programs and offers custom executive education programs with a focus on innovation. Learn more at https://www.foundry415.com/

 

Requirements

How can you create an impact?

Develop a working MVP (minimum viable product) concept during our Challenge week using the Epson Connect API and an Epson printer or scanner. 

Never worked with an Epson product before? No problem. Your dedicated Epson Mentor will support you. You will also receive a technical resources guide and a briefing during our Challenge kick-off. 

You also don’t have to wait until the Challenge and can register already today for an Epson Connect™ account!

How to Apply

We welcome domain experts from all industries, not just software development and consumer products industry. Successful solutions require a combination of technical expertise and domain knowledge. Coding experience is recommended.

Interested Developers and Startup Teams can submit their application via Challenge Application Form. Each application will be screened and an Epson selection committee will choose the candidates to be invited. Applicants will be evaluated based on description of solution area(s) and previous project experience including software and application development or UX design. Applicants that are considered best fit will be invited via email.

Submission of an entry does not guarantee participation in the Epson Innovation Challenge. Admission to the Challenge is at Epson’s sole discretion. Epson and its hackathon operator are not responsible for incomplete, lost or misdirected entries or entries received after the deadline.

Getting Ready for Demo Day 

At Demo Day, you will pitch your concept and showcase the MVP in front of our judging panel, consisting of Epson’s top management and innovation team. 

To be accepted for Demo Day, participants have to: 

  1. Register a developer account on https://developer.cp.epson.com/ecapi/ and obtain a license  
  2. Develop solution that integrates with Epson Connect API
  3. Demonstrate that MVP solution is using Epson Connect API linkage to print out or scan a document, 
  4. Demo pitch deck must be submitted one day before demo day. 

We’re excited to see you!

Hackathon Sponsors

Prizes

$10,997 in prizes

First Prize

For the top scoring entry, the team or individual participant wins $5,000.00 in cash as well as an EpiqVision Mini EF12 Smart Streaming Laser Projector The EF12 projector has stunning picture quality up to 150" — Delivers an immersive viewing experience for TV shows, sporting events, gaming and movies by accepting content up to 4K – for an amazing Full-HD HDR picture.

Second Prize

For the second top scoring entry, the team or individual participant wins $2,000.00 in cash as well as an EpiqVision Mini EF12 Smart Streaming Laser Projector The EF12 projector has stunning picture quality up to 150" — Delivers an immersive viewing experience for TV shows, sporting events, gaming and movies by accepting content up to 4K – for an amazing Full-HD HDR picture.

Third Prize

For the third place scoring entry, the team or individual participant wins $1,000.00 in cash as well as an EpiqVision Mini EF12 Smart Streaming Laser Projector The EF12 projector has stunning picture quality up to 150" — Delivers an immersive viewing experience for TV shows, sporting events, gaming and movies by accepting content up to 4K – for an amazing Full-HD HDR picture.

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

Judges

Yoshida Junkichi

Yoshida Junkichi
COO of Printing Solutions Division / Seiko Epson Corporation

Jack Rieger

Jack Rieger
Director Digital Innovation / Epson America Inc.

Nils Madden

Nils Madden
Director of Product Management / Epson America Inc

Agnes Pak

Agnes Pak
Former Head of Commercial and Corporate / Github

Jay Onda

Jay Onda
Director, Venture Investments - Marubeni Ventures

Judging Criteria

  • Customer Value
    Does the solution address a significant need of the target audience? How important is the issue to be solved? How unique is the solution? Can it be replicated?
  • Business Viability
    Does the solution demonstrates a workflow that addresses untapped opportunities or services. Is the value chain to be involved clearly defined, including channels and partners? How large is the total addressable market?
  • Technical Viability
    Is the solution based on Epson Connect API integration? Demo provided shows a clear linkage with Epson Connect API Functionalities. Any new capability requests are reasonable and feasible.

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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