The Robot Start site covers the winners of the 2018 Softbank Innovation Program, which picks companies leading in the fields of AI as a Service, AR/VR, EdTech, Home and also in another category called Disrupt.
Eight winners were chosen out of over 300 entries, and one of the Disrupt category winners is aiming to change sake.
Called the Nihonshu Oendan (sake cheerleaders) they are developing products to bring the Internet of Things (IoT) to sake as a solution to the lack of young(er) people willing to take over from the experienced but ageing generation currently making sake through experience and hard-earned intuition. They hope to support sake brewing from a technological standpoint through the use of sensors for activities like temperature control, making production easier and more stable.
Nihonshu Oendan itself partners with small breweries all over the country and provides an umbrella brand to help them market their sake. Each brewery produces one sake for Nihonshu Oendan's line, which is brewed to be representative of their region. There's one thing they all have in common, though - every one is a junmai muroka nama genshu.
- Original article (Japanese, Robot Start, 4 June 2018)
- Softbank press release on 2018 Innovation Programme winners (English)
- Nihonshu Oendan (Japanese)
- Art of Sake site by Nihonshu Oendan (English)
- "Japanese startup finds way to float in sinking industry" (English, Japan Times, 8 April 2017)