Out of the 10 startups, seven were startups from Japan while the others came from Singapore, Indonesia and Hong Kong. In no chronological order, below is a brief introduction to each of the 10 startups that are making a scene this 2012.
A crowd-source based translation service that is available at a lower price compared to other human-powered translation services, Conyac has been popular since it allows users to get results quickly and at a cheaper cost.
During the showcase, Naoki Yamada, announced that a new community feature will be able to further encourage participating translators to get connect and exchange their ideas. Users will be segmented into two groups of translators and translation requesters. When a requester post an original post, participating translators will start working on it, making services faster and more efficient.
Trippiece allows you to arrange a travel plan with someone and go for it together. Entrepreneur and university student, Ian Ishida launched it with his colleagues who have studied or worked abroad. Integrated with SNSs, the service allows users to share their plans and travel experiences, and thereby encouraging user with similar interest to travel together.
Heading straight to a travel agency is definitely a convenient thing to do, however, Trippiece will solve issues such as not being able to customize travel itineraries, not being able to find travel companions or simply not having enough time to arrange everything.
To date, it has acquired 20,000 users and presented various plans such as visiting Bolivia and skydiving.
Clinching the first price at Startup Weekend Kyoto 2011, Coworkify is a C2C service that connects events and co-working spaces. The service aims at solving many problems caused from unused work spaces by renting and monetizing the spaces through the Coworkify platform.
Their web and mobile app, which allows you to find events and work spaces nearby, was also released recently.
Similar to apps such as Pair (US) and Between (Korea), Pairy is a communication app specially designed for lovers and couples. With the new release of its iOS app in June this year, Pairy differentiates itself with its timeline feature that allows users to be able to browse Facebook activities. It also has LINE’s stamp-like features and can allow users to record interesting things such as their anniversary dates, ring and clothing sizes.
A new feature called Pairy Album will also be added soon. The app is available in English and Chinese.
kanshin! is a Fukuoka-based startup and their service allows users to be able to receive filtered get news updates according to their own interests. Contrary to receiving trending or latest news updates, their services focuses on the individual preference.
This service was handed over from its inventor and has been managing a community website called Kanshin Kukan. The community site allows you to connect your interest with that of others and share comments by registering interests beforehand.
Along with the community site, Kanshin! also aims to be a service that enables users to discover new things and cultivate new interests.
A service started by Reevo,a Fukuoka-based startup, Codekake aims to revolutionizing traffic systems. Their service Codekake allows user registrations, payments and rental reservations for using electric vehicles.
After installing the app, it requires only three steps for your car rental – user registration, finding the location of the vehicle and processing rental procedures. Its web app notifies users where the vehicle is located and how fast it travels in real time. The service’s potential users include local governments, sight-seeing spots and universities.
Intraix is a Software-as-a-Service that allows households and SMEs to save their energy consumption. Founded by Darrell and Bryan Lee who are both the alumnus of NUS Overseas College, Darrell used to be working with a local electric company as an engineer, and has also founded a company called Optiras for providing solutions on the efficient power consuming for buildings.
By tapping into raw data from energy meters, the service lets organizations see trends and patterns regarding their consumption, and make adjustments accordingly. For example, a telco with a transmission tower in a remote area could conveniently monitor energy usage from its main office thanks to sensors installed on site. Or, if you manage a lot of servers you can use Intraix’s individual rack monitoring interface and keep tabs on your usage.
Darrell, who is a certified energy manager, showed that buildings can have ‘green corner’ displays that show energy consumption, water consumption, and carbon emission each month, as visual reminder to everyone of the impact that a building has on the environment.
Demand Analytics provides a tool that visualizes realtime data. The mission is in helping people determine what to do next.
With visions to revolutionize the social commerce industry, this startup previously worked with Groupon to provide them a variety of analysis for their global business.
Demand Analytics has been studying data collected from Groupon and advising them on business development plans and how to solve their problem of having too many categories and shop profiles. The company is also currently hiring.
Launched in Apil 2012, this service allows users to measure social media effects in Indonesia. Part of a Indonesia social media consultancy, Salig Silang, the founding of sxIndeks was inspired by a campaign that a local milk company was running. That is – Indonesians are active users of social media because they place high importance in their conversations.
Thereby, analyzing a bunch of conversations can allow businesses to see what their competitors are doing and help create a more effective business strategy.
Hong Kong has more than 60,000 fashion retailers and 42 million international visitors. 50 billion US dollars are consumed on their local fashion business annually. Therefore, Butterboom aims to enable people to have better fashion-purchasing experiences.
By allowing users to comment and evaluate retailers, users also able to receive special invites such as promotions or having a “virtual concierge” to reserve their favourite clothings prior to the purchase.
Currently available in English and Chinese only, Casey Lau of Butterboom mentions that there are plans to add more languages in the near future and expand their business to cities such as Tokyo, Seoul, Bangkok and London.
The judges’ favourite
After all the 10 startups completed their pitches, the judges decided that Conyac was the best, followed by Codekake, who was given the privilege to attend the AWS startup challenge championships. Mr. Katsuya, one of the judges at the session, also commented that watching the pitches made him feel like he was standing at the heart of Asia.
Other than showing the potential of the startups that pitched, Myojo Waraku also revealed that the startup scene in Japan is exciting, vibrant and full of potential. It could be then, that Japan is a place for tech startups.