Teclosion 2011 Spring: Wondershake Wins The Grand Prix Among 15 Finalists

Design IT[J], a Tokyo-based UI-focused media consultancy also known for previously maintaining TechCrunch’s Japanese edition (its management was switched to AOL earlier this month[J]), held the first conference in Akihabara on Friday, for discussing the future of Japan tech industry and introducing great start-up stuffs.

In the morning session, CEOs from Mixi, GMO Internet Group, NHN Japan and Evernote made their keynote speeches.   After a lunch, Four venture capitalists, including Taiga Matsuyama (East Ventures, Kronos Fund – known as a seed investor for Zynga Japan) and Masashi Kobayashi (IVP or Infinity Venture Partners known as a seed investor for Groupon Japan) , had a panel discussion to look around Japanese start-up trends and its future.

In the final session, there was a presentation competition titled Startup Battle, where 15 start-ups presented their brand new web services to win the Grand Prix prize.   Let’s see each of them.

http://appict.me

Appict.me by Nobot

Nobot is a smartphone ad optimizer and also work with several major foreign ad networks.   Appict.me is a program for developers to promote their smartphone apps by using social media.   It allows users of a smartphone app participating the program to recommend the app to their friends via social media. (see these Asiajin articles for more about Nobot.)

i.ntere.st by tattva

Tokyo-based Tattva just introduced an object-based check-in service called in.ter.est.   I wrote about it here on the Startup Dating website.

zaim by Takako Kansai (The Excellent Award Winner)

Takako is a well-known female system developer working with a Tokyo-based tech start-up UserLocal[J].   Apart from her job at the company, she individually developed this social app that helps you keep household accounting on the iPhone.   She introduces it can be also considered as a money stuff version of popular document sharing app Evernote.

Musavy by Musavy, Inc.

The company is named after Mutual Savvy.   This web app helps you to learn more about a topic by having a debate on the topic online.   It has a feature to recommend users to take another topics that they may be interested in.   They intend to launch the service in North America prior to Japan.

forkN by Seesaa[J]

Seesaa is a blog platform company, and they developed a e-publication platform called forkN that allows users to convert documents to ePub/PDF formats and publish them online for PC, smartphone and tablet users.    You can share several experiences with other users on the service, such as writing, reading, commenting and purchasing the publications.

(The Excellent Award Winner)

MoSo by MoSo

MoSo is a desktop app for Macintosh that helps you create your videos instantly.   It allows you to publish the videos on FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube without any additional procedure.   The app ranked in the first place in the free app section at most AppStores within just three days after the release.

(The Excellent Award Winner)

Midonet by Midokura

Earlier this week, the company fundraised JPY100M (USD125M) in its seed round from some VC firms including NTT Investment Partners[J], 1st Holding[J] and datacenter company Bit Isle[J].  They are a cloud enabling tech company, and currently planning to introduce the alpha version app very soon.

shopping+ by Insight Plus

Shopping+ is a smartphone app-based object check-in service that helps you learn realtime quotes and check inventories for what you are about to purchase by sharing them with the other users.   Users can communicate with the others who have the same interest in buying something.   Insight Plus was founded by Takeo Yagi, he previously co-founded TrafficGate[J], a Rakuten-backed affiliate provider and now LinkShare Japan.

4-Treasure by Alpha Do

4 Treasure is a location-based service that allows you to check in restaurants, diners, cofee shops etc.   Unlike other location-based services such as Foursquare, users can gain experience points corresponding to how much you have paid at a specific location.  For shop owners, it allows them to collect information on what kind of customers visit, and to issue discount coupons to potential customers that they wish to invite.

tabeni.co by MyNet Japan

Tabeni.co is a social app for smartphone and helps you find companions who can hang out and dine with you.   MyNet Japan is known for having developed a variety of restaurant supporting services, and the app is expected to integrate with them.

kizna by Kizna

Kizna is a social CRM (customer relationship management) app that Hitoshi Nakamura has developed.   He is currently running several restaurants in Tokyo, and he has developed it to interact with his customers more often more easily via social media.   The app includes a key feature that shows you a list of interactions with your customers via Twitter and Facebook.

(The Excellent Award Winner)

Livlis by kamado

Our buddy Serkan wrote this story about Livlis.

fmob

fmob is a fashion-focused social app that allows you to shoot pieces of clothing when you find them while walking on shopping streets, and share them with your friends online.   They intend to extend their global reach through the mobile app.

(The Grand Prix Winner)

Wondershake

Wondershake is a social app that allows you to learn what the people around you are interested in, and helps you start talking with them very easily.   They plan to launch the service in the US.   Wondershake was founded by Satoshi Suzuki who previously worked with Tonchidot, the inventor of Sekai Camera.

 

Caffein / Nota Inc.

Nota Inc., a Silicon Valley-headquareted Japanese tech start-up known for its library book search service Calil[J], has developed a video communication service called Caffein, which allows you to communicate with multiple users in a virtual room.

 

Finally, on behalf of all judges who have chosen the award winners at the event, Mr. Allen Miner from Sun Bridge Partners commented on what 15 finalists had delivered.  He pointed out all they have potentials to achieve their success not only in Japan but also in the world, encouraged them to develop more new services from a global point of view.

 

April Fools’ Day Jokes On Japanese Websphere

On the day when all we are permitted to wag the dog, many companies devoted themselves to create attractive pranks on their websites.    I wrapped up what had happened on Japanese web scene.

For pursuing the journalist’s perspective to be honest on the facts, we Asiajin report no prank nor joke, but do the fact covering what people have made.    We appreciate your understanding.

Company / Website Main Business Pranks & Jokes
Tsuburaya's Logo
Tsuburaya Production
A well-known movie production for its special effects, and the father of Ultra-Man Kanegon or coin monster, which is appeared in Tsuburaya’s TV serials, restarted blogging.
ImpressWatch's Logo
Impress Watch
Japan’s oldest e-mail newsletter covering IT business matters The company started publishing a daily newsletter called “Cat Watch” that day.
DPZ's Logo
Daily Portal Z
The editorial team introduces useful tips for our daily life on the country’s popular portal site every day. The editorial team investigated the following supervisions.- A mermaid can be seen when you have the eyes opened in bath water.- In order to receive the appropriate signal from the radio station far from you, and to listen to your favourite program more clearly, how do you assume a pose to use your body as an antenna?
Irem's Logo
Irem Software Engineering
A famous pachinko game developer The secret society called “Black Irem” jacked the company’s website.
Google's Logo
Google
Unnecessary to explain A senryu or a humorous Japanese poem may be inserted to some search results.  The popular children’s TV program characters, Gachapin and Mukku were invited to GoogleMap advisory board[J].
SixApart's Logo
Six Apart
The world’s famous blog platform developer It showed an interview with Yaruo, the ASCII art character born on the “2ch” BBS, and asked him the reason why he had upgraded his blog platform to Movable Type 4.
MagMag's Logo
Mag Mag
Japan’s largest e-mail newsletter distribution platform provider The website’s top page turned to be a Google-like.
YouTube's Logo
YouTube
Unnecessary to explain Some videos are seen upside down.
NicoNicoDouga's Logo
Nico Nico Douga
Japan’s popular video sharing site Subtitles overwrapped on the video run through much faster than usual.  President Obama will join the program.
KokubanIn's Logo
Kokuban.in

(blackboard in)
Draw a picture on the virtual blackboard with your mouse, and share it with the other users on the illustration SNS The title has been changed to Sukebu.in, meaning “sketchbook in”.
Pixiv's Logo
Pixiv
An online illustration community for artists The company’s office is registered in Tokyo, but their data center facility is reportedly located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which causes reponse delay for browsing the website.
Yahoo Japan's Logo
Yahoo! JAPAN
Japan’s most famous search engine and directory service Planning on-the-spot filming of Evangelion drama movie, which is originally known as an animation.
Hatena's Logo
Hatena
Japan’s most popular social bookmark site Hatena has the service allowing its users to give rewards to interesting blog post, which is called “star”. Inspired by the supplementary income payments that Japanese government distributes to the national, the company also distribute “star” to all the Hatena users as to give it to their favorites.
Kayac's Logo
Kayac
Developing a number of entertaining and weird websites and projects As the substitute to the supplementary income payments, Japanese government will distribute Kayac’s product encouraging your fidgeting.
Interlink's Logo
Interlink
ISP, web hosting provider and domain registrar President Obama applied for “.obama (dot obama)” domain.
Himote SNS's Logo
Himote SNS
An internet forum for unpopular people, in response to the torment caused by St. Valentine’s Day The forum founder Ega-chan got his girlfriend finally, and he shut the website.
Vector's Logo
Vector
Japan’s largest library having shareware and freeware applications More than 100,000 software titles are available for free of charge.
Eiga.com's Logo
eiga.com
The portal site introducing new movie lineups The top page shows you no listing of movie titles, but a bunch of stupid news.
Paper Boy & Co.'s Logo
Lolipop
A famous website hosting provider Their business has been changed to an Indian curry restaurant.
WebKare's Logo
Web-kare
A role playing game on the website, for having dates with your virtual boyfriend Web-kare (web boyfriend) has been changed to the e-commerce shop selling curry (web curry).

GoogleSmileCompany's Logo
Good Smile Company
The company making and selling a number of cartoon character clay works. It shows you the preview of a movie titled Nendoroid Deka, a story about the detective girl with a clay doll.
MyNet Japan's Logo
MyNet Japan
Running a “Digg”-like social news site and mobile site integration. Their power source turned to naturally generated type, and the employees need pedaling bikes to keep their servers running.

Web-kare sold a fake product of “web curry” retort pouch on the website.Web-kare's Web Curry

Good Smile Company made a fake announcement that they intend to release a movie of the detective girl with a clay doll.
Nentroid Deka - A Detective Girl with A Cray Figure

MyNet Japan CEO & employees couldn’t stop pedaling bikes for generating power to feed their mission-critical servers.MyNet Japan Pedalling