Event Report: San Francisco Japanese Tech Entrepreneur Night

As reported last month and a video link presented on October 14, 2010, the SF New Tech Japan Night event was held in San Francisco(SF). The event was sold out with over 260 on-line tickets sold with an additonal 40+ at the door.  Enduring a little jet-lag and some tech culture shock, six start-ups from Japan successfully completed their introduction to the SF Tech community on Octorber 13, 2010.  Here is a summary of the Japanese tech presenters:

Spysee – CTO Hironori Tomobe demonstrated how Spysee’s people search engine extracts information about people from the web and provides links that are related to the person organized in a visual search results page with items like their network connections and a summary of articles written by or about the them.  Spysee’s revenue model is advertising based and will offer premium subscription services in the future.

Lang-8 – Founder Yangyang Xi demonstrated his new social networking service for learning a language.  Basically, one can meet people and learn a language all in one site.  A person posts an entry that they want corrected and a native speaker then interacts with you–correcting your writing on-line. Very simple.  Their mission is to help learners with the written nuances of a language, something you can’t totally get from formal classes.  Lang-8 currently has users from 200 countries, representing 80 languages.

GazoPa –  Hideki Kobayashi introduced a unique image search engine which is more of a semantic search using image features like colors, shapes, objects to complete its search to give one a more relevant way of searching for the images you want. Kobayashi said that this product is not only useful for images but can be applied to other typical searches like shopping.  Their project  was developed by funds from by Hitachi Corporation.  Launched just 2 months ago, the service has about 70K visitors a month.

Coopa – Tsutomu Sasaki, President & Yashuhiro Yamada presented an enterprise application development engine using HTML or Java script. It allow for quick development of custom applications to enterprise software like Oracle or even Google apps.  Their development engine allows for quick development of iPhone to Enterprise Software applications for viewing, accessing enterprise software data or using the iPhone as part of an in-line business approval process.

Drrop – Founder Takuro Yoshida and Hiro Kobyashi describes their newly launched social communications site as a new way to say “Hi”.  A “Drrop”, as they call it, is a random message from around the world, that the user chooses to reply to, let it “evaporate” in 24 hour or “wipe” it immediately to move onto the next “Drrop”.   They feel this is a more efficient way to manage the social clutter.  Launched just last month, they are in the testing phase with over 150 users and exploring their company’s growth strategy.

My Gengo – Robert Laing and Matthew Romaine presented a concept which will transform the translation service, called My Gengo.   With My Gengo, you have access to certified translators for as little as 5 cents a word for basic translations which is about 70% less than standard translation services and faster. An API launched in early 2010, is an API that can be plugged into a site so that users don’t need to go to My Gengo to get access to their services.  They have experienced non-linear year-over-year user growth overs its few years of existence and have received seed funding and exploring the next stage of funding.

Brandon K. Hill, CEO of btrax, Inc, the co-organizer of the SFNewTech Japan Night event, said “We were excited to see these Japanese companies present at this event. We feel this event was a great success and hope to do this event with SFNewTech twice a year.”  All in all, it was a great to see a great introduction of Japanese IT technology to the to the SF tech community.

Asiajin Seoul meet up on October 16th

We proudly announce that the first Asiajin meetup in Seoul will be held on 16th, October (Saturday). Asiajin co-founder, Shunichi Arai, will visit the city and talk about the situation of the Japanese web and startup industry.

This will be a great opportunity to meet new friends, and learn about the differences between Korean and Japanese web market.

Feel free to join us. Everyone is very welcomed.

Please register from this Eventbrite page.

* Date: 2010 October 16th (Saturday)
* Time: 16:00-18:00 (including Q&A session and networking)
* Topic: Current situation of Japanese web and startup industry.
* Language: English
* Fee: 10,000won
* Place: Mindoole yongto, Shinchon branch (민들레영토 신촌점)

Japan Internet Tech Entrepreneur Event In San Francisco

A first of its kind event is being held in San Francisco featuring Japanese Entrepreneurs on October 13, 2010.  This event named SFNewTech Japan Night is the vision of Brandon K. Hill, President/CEO of btrax, Inc – a San Francisco based digital consultancy agency.  “I wanted to help Japanese Entrepreneurs extend their market outside of Japan and broaden their market reach.  It is important for Japanese companies to have this kind of forum here in the US.  I have attended many SFNewTech events and decided to approach the organizers to collaborate on this event.  I am very happy to help partner with SFNewTech on this event” said Brandon K. Hill.

About six or so Internet venture companies from Japan will be presenting and discussing their web/mobile services or hardware in front of over 500 people. Which include venture capitalists, investors, entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts.  The following Japanese startups will be presenting at the event:

  • MyGengo (Social Translation Service)
  • SpySee (People Search Service)
  • GazoPa (Image Search Engine)
  • Drrop (Open SNS Platform)
  • Lang-8 (Social Language Translation Platform)
  • Yubizo (iPhone / iPad development Platform)

This event will be broadcasted live by justin.tv, and updated in real-time from the audience by tweeting out messages from the event using the hash tag #sfjn or #sfnewtech. Media coverage includes NY Times and Mashable.

btrax is looking for sponsors to help these entrepreneurs offset some of their costs.  If you are willing to sponsor please contact them at sfjapannight@btrax.com.

SFNewTech Japan Night is going to be a great chance for Japanese companies that want to expand their business abroad, to gain the necessary visibility in our local tech community. Why don’t you mark your calendar and join us?

Send inquires to sfjapannight@btrax.com

Report Of Asiajin Shanghai Meetup

This is a report of Asiajin Shanghai Meetup which was held on July 24th. The meetup was held at Sunstyle showroom in Shanghai Sculpture Space. Thank you so much to Gang Lu and George Godula for securing a venue.

More than 20 people have gathered to the event on this very hot day in Shanghai.

Five people have talked about country situation and their startup experiences.

  • Situation of Japanese startups by Shunichi Arai (me)
  • Online collaborative drawing tool ‘Cacoo‘ by Shinsuke Tabata.
  • What’s happening in China by Gang Lu.
  • Social game ‘Happy Tower’ for Mixi platform by Yong Zhao.
  • His entrepreneur experiences and his new startup by Mike Cai.
Situation and recent trends of web startups in Japan @ Asiajin Shanghai meetup

I talked about the Japanese situations and trends, but I’ve quite surprised by that many attendees already know about Japanese Web industry quite well. So, we could do a very detailed discussion.

We have a few Chinese speakers to compare and discuss the industry between Japan and China. Gang Lu, the founder of OpenWebAsia workgroup, gave a great talk about Chinese Web industry. Unfortunately I was not good at time management, so we had not many time to discuss about that.

Yong Zhao is a long-time reader of Asiajin, and he has kindly invited me to his company called ‘Kingnet’.

Kingnet is a company providing social games to many platforms including Mixi platform. Their game called ‘Happy Tower’ is very successful in many platforms.

Asiajin Shanghai Meetup Held On 24th

We will hold the first meetup in Shanghai this weekend. On July 24th (Saturday), Asiajin Shanghai meetup will be hosted to bridge startup communities of China and Japan.

Two industry experts from Japan will talk about the Japanese startup industry and his own startup experience. We also plan to have a time to discuss and network each other with new and old friends in the community.

Please feel free to join us, share your experience (we are accepting talk proposal now. Please contact from the registration page), and meet with new friends!

Date: 2010 July 24th (Saturday)
Time: 15:00-18:00
Language: English
Venue: Sunstyle Showroom. 570 Huaihai Xi Lu. 淮海西路570号
Map: http://www.sunstyle.cn/images/shanghai_map.jpg
Registration: http://asiajinmeetupshanghai.eventbrite.com/

* Shunichi Arai: Situation and recent trends of web startups in Japan

Arai is a co-founder of Mogura Inc, a small startup which is providing business contact management system. He is also a co-founder of Asiajin.com, Japan’s leading English media which provides news from Japanese IT and Web industries.

He will talk about the latest situation and trends of Japanese web industry.

* Shinsuke Tabata

Tabata is a co-founder of Nulab Inc. Their new software called ‘Cacoo‘ is a realtime collaborative web-based drawing tool. Cacoo is already featured in many media such as TechCrunch, Mashable and The New York Times.

He will talk about his own experience on starting up in Japan.

Two industry experts from Japan will talk about the Japanese startup industry and his own startup experience. We also plan to have a time to discuss and network each other with new and old friends in the community.

Please feel free to join us, share your experience (we are accepting talk proposal. contact at the link on right bottom of this page), and meet with new friends!

Two industry experts from Japan will talk about the Japanese startup industry and his own startup experience. We also plan to have a time to discuss and network each other with new and old friends in the community.

Please feel free to join us, share your experience (we are accepting talk proposal. contact at the link on right bottom of this page), and meet with new friends!