SF New Tech Calls For Entries To Present At Japan Night

Brandon Hill, the CEO/founder of San Francisco-based web consultancy btrax, gave us an invitation to potential presenters and attendees at a must-join tech start-up demo event that will take place next month.

As of this writing, four start-ups of KayacChatworkJ-Grab, and Conyac have passed the first screening.   Entries to present are acceptable until May 20.

Here’s some of what we have covered the previous event. (including Ustream video)

Who’s Brandon Hill:

Born in Hokkaido, Japan.  He has a Japanese mother and a American father.  Prior to founding web consultancy btrax in San Francisco in 2004, he was attending San Francisco State University where he started his carrier as a designer and programmer.

SF New Tech:

It is literally a tech start-up’s demo and presentation event that takes place monthly at a nightclub in San Francisco.   The event celebrated its 5th anniversary last month.   Some events in a year feature start-ups from outside the US., which are titled like Belgian Night and Japan Night.   btrax is deeply involved with organizing Japan Night.

In light of the Japan’s worst disaster, web tech startups are giving the nation of Japan some hope for normalcy and economic recovery with their efforts to go global. In fact, the entry point for web tech globalization seems to be San Francisco.  In a local SF article, San Francisco was named as the second-fastest growing city in high-tech employment, with 65 percent growth over a five-year period.  The whole region which includes San Jose, Oakland and San Francisco supports over $48 Billion in payroll.

Last year we wrote about a first of a kind tech event featuring Japanese start-up web tech companies called SF Japan Night. This year, the organizer, btrax, Inc. a multicultural Web agency, is going to hold the event again this year.

Last year’s SF Japan Night event was the capstone of a week of Japanese tech events and was a huge success. Over 500 people attended the week long event with over 300 people just showing up for SF Japan Night alone. One of the presenters, myGengo received seed funding after the event from the Dave McClure’s incubator program 500 Startups.

This year’s event hopes to be even better with many start-up companies from Japan showing great interest including a company including Kayac. Kayac Inc. is a Japanese digital agency with a strength on developing games and apps and plans to go public within the next year.

In partnership with SF New Tech, btrax hopes to continue the theme of helping Japanese web start-ups go global. Brandon K. Hill, president/CEO of btrax, said “We are again excited to help organize this event and with the great interest in sponsorships we hope to defer the web start-up expenses.”  In fact, Mr. Hill told us that the event just received a sponsorship from NTT Investment Partners deferring a portion of the event’s costs.

This is one of the better platforms for Japanese web start-ups to begin their global journey. btrax works on coaching the start-ups in various aspects of the event, from developing a presentation style to coaching on how to answer business model questions that the SF Tech community audience typically asks. This gives Japanese start-ups an opportunity to interact with the SF Tech scene which is debated to be the hottest tech venues in the world. The btrax team helps the applying companies by providing a free feedback report on their services and if selected the presenting companies will get a more comprehensive feedback from the event’s audience.

Mr. Hill is also planning to hold “International Startup Night” in 2011, and a couple popular companies from SF Japan Night could get a chance to present and compete with other global start-up from around the world.

If you are willing to sponsor please contact them at sfjapannight@btrax.com and if you are willing to apply for demonstration please do so from here.

Japanese And Korean Start-ups Hold Presentation Event In Seoul For Potential Partnerships

As noticed on this story, Japanese four tech start-ups and Korean two start-ups five Japanese tech start-ups and six Korean tech start-ups had jointly a presentation event in Seoul on Wednesday.  I just wanted to join them for covering what happened onsite, however, I couldn’t make it because of my another assignment in Malaysia.   Alternatively, I tried my best for making a wrap-up of the event by checking out a Ustream video and a series of tweets by those who were attending.

The event took place at a hotel near Teheranno St., known as the epicenter of many tech start-up movements in the city.   Presentations were made in English, Japanese and Korean with simultaneous interpretation.   Let’s start with a presentation made by Korea’s start-up Mindsquare.

Presenter: Park Hongwon (박홍원), Mind Square[K]

Mindsqaure provides a variety of foreign language learning apps.  They employs app developers in Korea and are doing business in Korea, Japan and the US.   Most of their revenues came from Japan, and intends to the US market.  Mr. Park says,

  • Shares of the iPhone apps by category: entertainment 47% and education 35%.   No iPhone game app is unavailable because of restriction by the Korean government.  In Japan, entertainment shares 9%, education 9% and game 68%.
  • An average price for the iPhone apps on the Korean AppStore is USD1.96.
  • The most popular paid iPhone app records 1000 downloads a day, which is one-third of that of Japan.   There are more free apps than paid apps in Korea.
  • A series of their iPhone apps is available here.

Revolutionizing Digital Entertainment by advanced video search technology
Presenter: Jonnpyo Lee (이준표), Enswers Inc.

  • The Company has developed a video search technology that allows users to find an expecting result from YouTube and other video sharing services.
  • They have head-hunted many talented engineers from all across the country.

Big trends in Japan – Optimization and Personalization Technology
Presenter: Takashi Uemura(上村崇), ALBERT Inc.

He explains Japanese ad industry.


Information to collective intelligence LastSupper – spot to intelligent map / mironi – listen, share, enjoy
Presenter: Jongil Yoon (윤정일), Revlix[K]

  • Revlix is an app developer in Korea. They have introduced a smartphone app called Mironi[K] (coming soon), which is called a social music player, allowing you to share your music listening experience with other users.
  • Mostly 50% of all businessmen and students have smartphone handsets.
  • The company has also introduced a social app called Last Supper[K], which allows you to share your dining experience with other users.


Japanese mobile market and Global mobile ads
Presenter: Kiyotaka Kobayashi(小林清剛), Nobot Inc. (see these Asiajin stories for more details)

  • They earned 1.1billion monthly impressions last month, and are planning to partner with major ad networks in Korea.

Evolution of ebook – interactive ebook
Presenter: TaeWoo Kim(김태우), Moglue[K]

  • Moglue is developing a desktop platform that allows publishers, amateur authors and artists a way to create interactive stories and release them as apps for iOS and Android operating systems with one-click publishing.
  • Their apps for iOS and Android are currently available only in closed beta.

Social Monitoring “@hentaiAlert”
Presenter: Yusuke Takahashi(高橋雄介), Individual Company

  • The company is currently developing a social monitoring service called Hentai Alert.
  • The service, literally alerting against suspicious people, helps you find suspicious people around you by analyzing accumulated knowledge about them on social media.   As more vicious crimes happen in these years, the service helps you keep away from possible dangerous people.


Social network meets advertising
Presenter: Josh Jaehong Kim(김재홍), AdbyMe[K]

  • Korea has USD 7billion-worth ad market, however smartphone in-app advertising is not so acknowledged  in Korea.
  • Adby.Me allows you to use Twitter and measure advertising effectiveness on a ad placement basis.

Social translation “Conyac”
Presenter: Naoki Yamada(山田尚貴), Anydoor

Refer to this Asiajin story for more about Conyac services


How to Build a Clean Web
Presenter: Benjamin Beomjin Kim(김범진), CIZION inc.[K]

  • Cizon develops a social comment service called LiveRe[K].Live Re, that allows you to leave a comment with your account of Twitter, Facebook and Korean social networks such as Me2Day[K] and Daum’s Yozm[K].  It’s Korean version of Disqus.
  • Live Re is now adopted by 200 companies for their websites, it shares 80% in this entire web service category.


In app purchaise iOS/Android/Japanese Style
Presenter: Kentaro Hashimoto(橋本謙太郎), Conit

He introduces the in-app purchase system for multiple smartphone platforms that Conit has developed.  Refer to this Asiajin story for more about the system.


Tokyo’s Start-ups To Hold A Presentation Night In Seoul

In the beginning of next month, four tech start-ups from Tokyo and two start-ups from Seoul will jointly hold a presentation evening event in South Korea’s capital, which is called Asia Startup Summit, for expanding their presence in Asia and exchanging their perspectives on the region’s start-up community.

Presentations are:

  • Revolutionizing Digital Entertainment by advanced video search technology
    by Jonnpyo Lee (이준표), Enswers Inc.
  • Big trends in Japan – Optimization and Personalization Technology
    by Takashi Uemura(上村崇), ALBERT Inc.
  • Information to collective intelligence LastSupper – spot to intelligent map / mironi – listen, share, enjoy
    by Jongil Yoon (윤정일), Revilx
  • Social Monitoring “@hentaiAlert”
    by  Yusuke Takahashi(高橋雄介), Individual Company
  • Social translation “Conyac
    by Naoki Yamada(山田尚貴), Anydoor Co-founder (see these Asiajin stories for more details)


Venue: Spaceplus (스페이스 플러스), 810-10, Yeoksam 1-dong, Gangnam-gu.

Time: 7pm-9pm, April 6th (Wednesday), 2011

Admission fee: Free

The organizers are currently inviting techpreneurs and geeks to the event, if you are interested in attending, please contact them from their Facebook page.   According to Mr. Kobayashi, one of the organizers, their entire presentation will be livestreamed.

Social Translation Service Conyac Integrates Facebook And Badgeville

Tokyo-based tech start-up Anydoor announced today that it had completed the integration of its social translation service Conyac with Facebook and social rewards platform Badgeville, which allows potential users to join the service more easily and to motivate participating users to be engaged.

Conyac enables you to request a translation easily.  Users can ask for translations in exchange for a small amount of money and other users around the world can then translate the requests, receiving rewards in return.

Integrating Facebook enables any of Facebook users to become a Coynac user (translation requester or translator) without entering a bunch of user information, and integrating Badgeville enables them to earn rewards when finishing someone’s translation request or evaluating someone’s translation result.

Conyac has some 5,000 users.   The company’s co-founder Naoki Yamada expects this integration will highly contribute to accelerating the growth of the users.   It aims for having 10,000 users in a month, and 200,000 users by the end of 2011.  The newly integrated version is currently running on beta, and it will be released officially in March.

See Also:

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

Mainichi.jp Awards – Paboo

Asahi.com 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