From TechCrunch50 in San Francisco: Japanese company Rinen presents Opentrace

I am at the TechCrunch 50 conference in San Francisco right now (you might know I am a writer for the TechCrunch network). The Wifi was off so my report is a little late, sorry:

Yesterday, a start-up from Tokyo called Rinen presented their product, Opentrace, to the 1,700-people crowd. Rinen has neither a company web site nor is Opentrace online now (it says “Coming soon” on the home page).

It’s a “green” web site, which can help you to determine the CO2 impact of certain products you buy and things you do. Asiajin reported about Rinen being selected as a TC50 company here.

I must say the presentation was not as good as those of the American companies. Three disadvantages Japanese companies usually have compared to their competitors: The language barrier, lack of experience in speaking publicly and general presentation skills.

Americans (and to a lesser degree Europeans) are used to deliver presentations and speak to a group of people (they begin in school). Japanese people usually don’t, which puts them at a disadvantage in conferences like this. I must say I didn’t understand about 20-30% of what was going on during the 8 minutes.

But the Rinen guys were very calm (given the quantity and quality of people present here) and fought through the presentation without any hiccup. And two of the four judges called the site “killer”, which is great.

Here is more information on the company and Opentrace. Please watch the official TechCrunch video of the presentation (plus Q&A) below:

Two Japanese startups launch at TechCrunch50

OpenTrace is a service that “Traces items through the supply chain and adds them together to show the impact of products on the environment” (from TechCrunch). OpenTrace is run by Rinen Inc, which is owned by Hirofumi Manganji and Hiroaki Shimachi.

Rinen has received a Japanese government grant called Exploratory Software Project which is given to independent software developers who creates an original product or technology.

GazoPa (Crunchbase), a site operated by Hitachi Ltd, is “an image search engine by Hitachi that uses features from an image to search for and identify similar images” (from CrunchBase). Hitachi (TYO: 6501, NYSEHIT) is a large multi-national IT company group headquatered in Japan.

I’ve met two Hitachi senior management guys at TechCrunch 40 last year. We (Akky and Arai) have decided to start Asiajin at TC40, and probably they’ve decided to launch their product at TC50.

See Also:

  1. SiliconValleyWatcher: Tokyo Diary Day 2 – A Japanese Garage Startup . . .