Sassor Urgently Introduces Power-saving Support Device To Meet Consumer Needs On Time

Due to the tragedic accident of the Fukushima nuclear power plant that was caused by the massive earthquake on March 11, Eastern Japan and the Tokyo Metropolitan Area are still afraid of unpredictable and large-scale blackouts.  In town, or at railway stations, we see many digital signboards that shows us a real-time statistics of power consumption (data provided by power companies) for encouraging power saving.   A hot season will come next month, to save energy and avoid possible blackouts, we will be severely required to refrain from turning air conditioners on unlike the past summer.

Many companies have announced countermeasures including switching their power source to solar systems, extending summer vacations, deploying daylight saving time, time-shifed working etc.   What about households?   We also experienced the energy crisis about 35 years ago, which has contributed a lot to improving the fuel efficiency of Japan-made automobiles.   The power shortage that we are currently facing may also work positively to make our technologies and lifestyles much better.

Sassor, a Kanagawa-based tech start-ups specializing in interactive and service design, just announced their first product for encouraging reasonable power use and started accepting orders for it this week.   That is named ELP lite[J], the first entry version of the Energy Literacy Platform, and shows you how much each of your home appliances are consuming power on a web-based interface.   The service is a combination of a receiver that is set up between an appliance and a powerpoint to deliver measured consumption data to a server, an easy-to-see website that shows you a realtime statistics, and a smartphone app that allows you to check it out at anytime anywhere.

The company has planned to introduce it later this year, but advanced the schedule to serve our society better by providing solutions on time.  Starting at 19,500 yen, their pricing varies on which type of the service you choose by considering how many convenient features are additionally provided.

Sassor was founded in September 2010 by two young men graduated from Keio University, Shuichi Ishibashi[J] and Takayuki Miyauchi[J].   They got mentoring at Open Network Lab[J], the Tokyo version of Y-combinator-like incubator, and fundraised several million yen (exact number not disclosed) from Samurai Incubate Fund.

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Samurai Incubate Holds Annual 1-Day Camp For Young CEOs

Samurai Incubate, a Tokyo-based seed accelerator aiming to bring up many tech start-ups, had the second edition[J] of their annual showcase event in late November, which is called Samurai Venture Summit (for short, SVS) and showed us their investing portfolios and pitch presentations by CEOs of tech start-ups.   It was an one-day event using a several-story office building located in the heart of Shibuya, Tokyo, a number of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, media reporters and more came together to see the team’s presentations and discuss the future of Japanese start-up scenes.

Picture: Taizo Son(left) (@taizoson[J]), a serial entrepreneur and the chairman of GungHo Online Entertainment[J], making a keynote speech and Kentaro Sakakibara(right), the founder/CEO of Samurai Incubate.

Their pitch presentations, each of which is ruled to be completed in a few minutes, are called “shout”, and start-up executives literally present very loudly what they are doing on their businesses and services.   It’s a funny experience and might look so strange for Westerners, but shouting something in front of a large audience means the expression of presenter’s hell-bent determination to make things happen.   35 start-ups pitched their presentations, I cannot cover them all but just pick up three excellent award winners in this story.

For those who are interested in watching the 35 presentations, check out our YouTube channel via this link.

3rd award winner: Granma

Tokyo-based start-up Granma, named after the yacht that was used to transport the fighters of the Cuban Revolution from Mexico to Cuba in 1956, develops a business for resolving poverty-related issues (causes) in South Asian countries and the rest of the world.   They recently launched a lodging facility called “Cause Village[J]” in Tokyo’s suburb, where start-up companies can have their brainstorming camps for developing future business plans.

2nd award winner: Sassor[E/J]

“Sassor” is a Tokyo-based group specializing in interactive and service design.   They are working on developing the Energy Literacy Program, ELP for short, that can help control daily electric power consumption of each home appliances.  The service consists of modules, receiver and website, and it can visualize the electric power consumption of each home appliances for grasping data easily.

(Sassor also presented at Infinity Venture Summit 2010 Fall in Kyoto as Serkan Toto reported here on Asiajin.)

Energy Literacy Platform from sassor on Vimeo.

1st award winner: Aiia Corporation[J]

Aiia is a Tokyo-based company publishing puzzle magazines and managing apparel brands.  They introduced their brand new magazine “Chakra[J]“, that earns more than USD100,000 ad revenue for an edition and brings readers their peace of mind, dream and happiness.   They’ve got a number of complaints from the readers that it has not helped to be happier. Aiia is currently seeking someone who is good at handling complainers. (Kidding us?)

Samurai Incubate was founded in 2008 by Kentaro Sakakibara (@samurai_ken[J]) who has previously worked with Shibuya-based web service conglomerate EC Navi (previously known as