Meet Japanese Start-ups on Fri and Sat in Singapore

Picture courtesy: Flickr user edwin.11 (used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license)

Singapore is very hot on tech throughout this week, since Echelon 2011, one of the largest tech conference in South East Asia, will be taking place at the National University of Singapore, where the region’s best start-up companies and services will be chosen by well-known authorities. We will join it as a media attendee and bring you live coverage.

Following the event, on the Friday evening (June 17), a Singapore-based blog covering the Asian tech scene, Penn Olson will host a meet-up, and they give Japanese four tech start-ups a chance to pitch their innovative ideas to tech geeks, Internet celebrities and investors who will have come from all across Asia.  Applications for the meet-up have been already closed, but we’re expecting to bring you a live streamcast or a live blogging from it.

Participating start-ups are:

  • Fashion Style Japan: Yoshio Narita, CEO & Founder of Qomune (See this for more)
  • Compath: Hiromichi Ando, CEO & Founder (w/ his colleagues)  (featured in this story)
  • Moso: Shinji Murakoshi, CEO & Founder of Moso (featured in this story)
  • Cacoo: Shinsuke Tabata, Managing Dir. & co-founder of NuLab, Inc. (See this for more)

Furthermore, on Saturday at 7pm (Singaporean time), at Hackspace.SG which is located at the heart of the country’s Arabic district, we will have a casual meet-up with people of the hackerspace and the four start-ups mentioned above. I’m intended not to create an agenda nor time schedule.  But if you are interested in talking with these guys in person, please come and join us. (Plancast)   I’m looking forward to tasting great meals by Meng Weng Wong there, who is the hackerspace’s director and also known for being very good at cooking.

See you all there.

See Also:


YouRoom, Gemediar & Cacoo Demos at AntennaAsia Fukuoka

On Thursday night, AntennaAsia kicked off a 5-day tech event marathon in Fukuoka, followed by Energy Informatic and AIP Cloud 3DAYS this weekend. AntennaAsia vol. 1 showcased two Fukuoka startups and one from Tokyo.


First up, Yoshihito Kuranuki (@kuranuki) from SonicGarden demoed YouRoom, a discussion/communication tool aimed for project teams and private groups. YouRoom’s interface is modeled after Twitter. Timeline view stacked with short messages just like tweets helps flat real-time communication, unlike long-winded mailing list messages.

YouRoom is available as a free service for now. Kuranuki said that they are planning to add an enterprise account option, which provides more features for business use such as an official audit log report.


Kota Sakoda (@cohtan) from Pocketbox team presented Gemediar. Gemediar is a B2B video transcoding platform for sharing videos among various mobile carriers / devices.

Gemediar is best suited for sending videos to someone who is unable to view it in the same format because of cross-carrier incompatibility. Sakoda said they hope to completely eliminate the hurdles and confusion around sharing videos, especially among non-techie users. By offering a stable and affordable video engine, Gemediar helps other startups and small teams host videos without running into headaches associated with different formats.

Current pricing starts at ¥9,800/month with 5GB file storage. According to Sakoda, this translates to 15-50GB net space in comparison to other services with multi-carrier support, thanks to their optimization technology.


Toshiki Agata (@agata) from Nulab wrapped up the demo sessions by announcing the brand-new paid upgrade for Cacoo, their real-time collaborative drawing tool (for more info on the product itself and its past development, check out previous coverage on Asiajin). He said Cacoo has been steadily gaining both domestic and international users since its beta launch in November 2009. Currently 60% of Cacoo users are using the service outside of Japan. The United States and France are the top countries accessing Cacco besides Japan.

Distribution of Cacoo's user location (green = Japan / blue = others)

To grow Cacco into a profitable service, they are planning to aggressively expand their general userbase. The immediate action plan is to expose Cacoo to an existing large pool of users; they will be developing extensions for Google Apps Marketplace, Chrome Web Store, and a Facebook App. Agata added that he’d be happy to share their experiences and tips with startups looking for mentors in expanding their service beyond Japanese users.

AntennaAsia organizers said they modeled this event after SFNewTech/SVNewTech meetups. They want to continue this series of events to foster a similar community in Fukuoka by providing a place where startups can share their ideas and progress. Study meetups (Benkyokai) has became quite common in various local tech communities around Japan – there is a potential for this kind of demo/networking events to spread widely and connect startups, users, business owners, and investors.

WISH2010 Event Report – 15 Presenters And The Winner


After the panel of three key persons in Japanese social networks, there were 15 presenters demo, 10 from organizers’ choice and 5 fans’ vote out of 32 nominees.


A Twitter analysis tool by UserLocal, who provides web traffic analysis services (Nakanohito for PC, Ugokuhito for Japanese feature phone and UserInsight for enterprise). (from fan’s vote)


The first and only Japanese CSS3 Webfonts service supports over 250 fonts. All IE/Firefox/Chrome/Safari are available. Freemium model (you will be asked to pay for multiple websites)



A social translation service supports 47 languages by Anydoor (Asiajin). Your requesting texts will be translated by three different users to keep the quality.

(from fan’s vote) [English available]


A publishing platform for e-books, integrated with their successful book inventory service Bukulog.


A category social network for patients and their families.



A library websites aggregation and search service. Most Japanese libraries (over 5,000) are covered. Alerting when your wishing books are available at libraries you listed.


A social lending service which enables semi-direct lend-and-borrow Yen. [info in English]



a community for creating crowdsourced novels with Twitter account. (from fan’s vote) [English available]


A recording server to save all teresttrial TV channels for 24 hours over for one month. All recorded programs are tagged by using sub data and you may search and watch them remotely on iPhone/iPad/PC/Android.


An iPhone app pulishing system to make iPhone version groumet e-books from current printed magazines. (from fan’s vote)



An online realtime collaboration drawing tool. The English version is getting over 30,000 users from oversea, which is more than Japanese users. [English available]


A Twitter-based content aggregation site. Many users listed, edited and emphasized public discussion threads from Twitter. About 5 million page views per month. (from fan’s vote)


A “social camera” maker announced their coming new device “Cerevo Ustream Box” (tentative name), which sends any input from video line to Ustream.


A community site on where shoppers voice will be reflected to the next products bags and accessaries an online shop for self-designed PC bags and cases



A Possible Foursquare’s Japanese rival by Livedoor. Oriented to non-verbal social communication. Began with iPhone. Just released Japanese feature phones (3 carriers) and Android.


Sponsor’s session – PFU ScanSnap

ScanSnap is a commercial version of their world’s No.1 share enterprise scanner.

Recently many Japanese geeks scan their paper books/mangas, most case their report uses ScanSnap.

@kohmi’s Concert

A popular singer-songwriter Kohmi Hirose, @kohmi, who difinitely spread Twitter to non-geek people since her beginning Twitter last year, came to sing two of her songs for 550 attendees.


Prizes from contestant judge

AMN Awards – Garapon TV

Open Network Labs Awards – Orihime

TechWave Awards – Togetter

TechCrunch Japan Awards – Conyac

Impress Watch Awards – Cacoo Awards – Paboo Awards – Calil

Nikkei Digital Version Awards – Cerevo’s new gadget

The WISH 2010 Grand Prix

And the winner is… Paboo!


Gree CEO Tanaka commented that Paboo can be a platform service like Nico Nico Douga, which he values highly, and (of course) Gree.

Afterparty and WISH mascot character WISH-tan