Event Wrap-up: Asiajin Readers Meet-up in Akihabara, Tokyo

On Saturday at Ustream Studio Akiba[J], a livecast facility in an Internet cafe in Akihabara, we had a readers meet-up in Tokyo for the first time in approx. 2.5 years.

The meet-up started with Asiajin co-founder Akky’s presentation about our current state.   It described Asiajin contributors are always shortstaffed to cover what are happening in the tech and social media scenes in Japan and Asia.   We’ve been making our effort to invite new contributors as the areas to be covered are getting wider, but basically those who have command of English as well as understand technical and media aspects of  innovative services are usually busy for their money making job.   In order to keep on bringing our readers hot tech news from this region, we need to invite more people.   If you’re interested in joining us for write-ups, please drop us a line.

Secondary, bringing you news coverage in good quality requires some expenses.   Asiajin aims at encouraging Japanese and Asiajin start-ups to go to the world arena “by our selfless love”, we hope not to ask them to be our sponsor.    Several people says, we should ask the Internet tycoons like DeNA, GREE and Rakuten who became no longer start-ups.   Asiajin stories are often quoted by popular tech blogs and major news resources, as you know, we’re proudly one of good exposures for IT companies and services to get a global attention.

Yoski Akamatsu, a Japanese techpreneur who has developed a series of useful and interesting web services, also made an appearance at the event.  He presented what his company is concentrated to and demo-ed his dangerous but funny gadget as he did at our Singapore meet-up.

Some of the attendees suggested that we should have more meet-ups on a monthly basis, a quarterly basis or whatever — anyway, more frequently.   As Akky mentioned in this announcement, we would like to do more things to accelerate our tech-related activities including community development, but we’re unfortunately shortstaffed.   By having new guys for developing new things just like this meet-up, we’ll keep trying to find a new way to give our readers what they want.

Finally, we appreciate all your continuous support for Asiajin.

Event Wrap-up: Asiajin Readers Meet-up in Singapore

I was visiting Singapore in late-September for attending Accelerate 2010 and meeting with great techpreneurs.   Thanks to Bernard Leong from Chalkboard, a Singapore-based start-up providing retail promotion solutions for several smartphone platforms, and Justin Lee from Tech 65, a Singapore-based gadget-focused tech blog, we could have a readers meet-up at the country’s geek hub, Hackerspace.SG, which is located at a very convenient location near Arab Street where we can take a variety of Arabian foods at any time and hear the holy Qur’an from a mosque nearby throughout the day.

If you have any chance to visit Singapore, I strongly recommend you to visit Hackerspace.SG to meet attractive people after checking out the event calendar on their website.

Japanese techpreneur Yoski Akamatsu (@yoski), who was visiting the country for Accelerate 2010 and enjoying watching the Formula One Grand Prix night race, also joined the meet-up, and he demo-ed his service TwitCasting with a prototype of a combination of his mobile livestream service with a R/C car equipped with the iPod.

Video image captured with the on-board camera is available live on his laptop.   During his demo, a small dinner party was underway in a room next to our meet-up.   He threw the car into the room stealthily and let it crawl into the group under the dinner table.   We could what happened in that room without coming down to the room.   They were so amazingly surprised and commented that it looked like a scene of a secret agent movie.

The camera of the iPod is laid on the car and faces up to the ceiling, that’s why there’s a mirror attached to the camera pinhole to change the angle and let you see the car’s ahead.   “Without this mirror, I’ll get busted”, he says with laughing.  (If no mirror, unexpectedly it could be a molester’s tool for peeping inside someone’s skirt.)

Miss Yan Phun (@yanphun) joined the event, she is a Singapore-based techpreneur and co-founded an event management tool called FlickEvents.   Her service is still in beta test, not opened to the public and I’ve not tried it out.  But it seems like a combination of Eventbrite, Amiando and Plancast.   She’s studying on what kind of additional features attract users more than other competitive services.   If you’re interested in using the service, visit FlickEvents’ website and ask them for a beta invitation key.

Attendee Mr. Guyi Shen is the founder of Lobangclub, a Singapore-based price comparison portal and now in Beta (available with your Facebook account).   Mr. Shen says, retailers in Singapore would not like to be listed on price comparison portals as well as the other nations, neither they don’t like to expose their retail prices of merchandise on the Internet because it may cause a harder competition on discounting among them.   He’s interested in how Japan’s largest comparison portal Kakaku.com persuade Japanese retailers to be involved and why they have made such a success.   He requested me that Asiajin should have such analysis stories.   We’ll try it.   (I just answered him for the question from my point of view.)

The meet-up was an amazing experience for me.   Thank all coming by despite traffic in the city was strictly controlled due to the car race and hard to get to the venue.    Let’s keep in touch and see you soon again.

Event Wrap-up: 400+ Geeks Applaud Web Innovators At WISH2009

WISH2009 Venue

More than 400 Internet users joined the event on Friday evening in Tokyo.   Tokyo-based blog marketing agency Agile Media Network (AMN)[J] held Japan’s first conference having a number of tech start-ups in comprehensive perspective, titled WISH2009 (Web Innovation SHare)[J].   More than a dozen of innovators had opportunities to present their works, and Japanese tech media journalists and GREE‘s CEO Yoshikazu Tanaka(@tanakayoshikazu) were invited to serve as award judges.

Here are wrap-ups of the event and award winning results.   Each presentation is almost five-minute long and given in Japanese language.

Award winning presenters:

Company / Service / Desc. Video (Presented by AMN)
Grand Prix Winner & AMN Award Winner:

JokerRacer

Akky Akimoto wrote this in-depth story about the service here on Asiajin.

Presentation by CEO Yoski Akamatsu[J] (@yoski)

Nikkei BP Award Winner:

Dressphile Online Closet[J]

For city dwellers having no affordable space at home to keep unseasonable clothes, you may ask Dressphile on the web to pick up unnecessary pieces and to keep each piece of them in the company’s storage for an approximate monthly cost of USD3.

Presentation by CEO Hiroshi Nishi[J]

Impress Award Winner:

Cerevo's Logo

Cerevo[J]

Cerevo provides a double-sided solution for people wanting to send and share pictures online by not only developing a new photo management site but also manufacturing an originally-designed digital camera.

Presentation by Takuma Iwasa[J]

IT Media Award Winner:

Lang-8[J]

Hiroumi Mitani wrote this in-depth story about the service here on Asiajin.

Presentation by Youyou Ki

CNET Japan Award Winner:

Logo of Action*Pad

ActionPad[J]

Gen Taguchi is well-known since he introduces the world’s innovative web services every day on his website.   He is also a system engineer and developed an easy-to-use web-based “to-do” management system requiring no user account registration.

Presentation by Gen Taguchi
a.k.a. 100shiki.com

Gizmodo Japan Award Winner:

Xtel[J]

A team of 10 laboratories of Keio University SFC jointly developed a number of digitized contents and media derived from our daily utilities, and also invented a platform allowing them to develop ubiquitous products in a more efficient way. (E/J intro PDF to the project)

Presentation by Yuichiro Katsumoto[E/J]

Other participating presenters:

Company / Service / Desc. Video (Presented by AMN)

KokubanIn's Logo

Kokuban.in[J]

(blackboard in)

Kokuban.in is an illustration-sharing SNS allowing you to draw a picture on the virtual blackboard with your mouse.

Presentation by Yoshinori Munehara

Logo of 30min.

30 Minutes[J]

30min. (pronounced as “San-Zero Minutes” in Japanese) develops a location based town guide portal and allows users to see a listing of shops located near where you are, based on the database of information aggregated from blogs that people write.   Its iPhone app is available from here.

Presentation by Motoaki Tanigo[J] (@tanigox)

UserLocal[J]

User Local[J] (led by Masao Ito[J], he founded Japan’s most popular bulletin board site for job hunting students[J], and handed it over to Japan’s e-commerce giant Rakuten. He got a degree from Waseda University Graduate School)   This tech start-up incubated from Waseda University developed several services focusing on web access statistics and analysis. (Read other Asiajin stories tagged with this company)

Wataru Yamaki wrote this in-depth story about the company here on Asiajin.

Presentation by Masao Ito (@itomasa)

yonda4.com

Yonda4.com[J]

Asiajin’s founder Akky Akimoto also entried this work titled Yondayo!, which allows you to publicize a list of books you’ve read by posting a Twitter message and to share its review with other avid readers.

Presentation by Akky Akimoto[J] (@akky)


SonyBank[J]

Sony’s subsidiary in online banking service introduces a service titled “Lifetime Online Passbook”, which was launched in March 2008.   It aggregates billing details of credit card transactions etc., and shows you them on a web-based calender.  Probably it will make you easier to manage your personal expense and family budget.

Presentation by Toru Kawarazaka and his colleague Mr. Shimohara

Nissan Carwings[J]

The world-class motor company introduces an RSS-enabled car navigation system allowing driving users to collect information from third party’s websites such as expressway info portal (kosoku.jp[J]), station-by-station basis gas price comparison site (gogo.gs[J]).

Presenter’s name unconfirmed


San San[J]

The company provides consultation services in CRM(customer relationship management) and SFA(salesforce automation) business segments, specifically by focusing on delivering solutions to arrange information collected by business cards being exchanged among Japanese businessmen everyday.  (Read other Asiajin stories tagged with this company)

Presentation by Naotake Hibiya (@naotake_hibiya)

Conit's Logo

Conit[J]

A Shibuya-based tech start-up and iPhone/iPod touch app developer has introduced its brand new line-up following Samurai Chess, Melody Bell and Tapnext.  The company unveiled a new service providing an iPhone app content distribution platform on ASP basis, acting for iPhone app content providers.   With the service, the content providers need not to set up a content server to start subscription-based content distribution service requiring in-app payment transactions.

Presentation by Kentaro Hashimoto (@conit)