12 Tech Start-ups Present At NICT’s Annual Business Plan Contest



(Source: National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Japan)
Earlier this week, NICT, an ICT arm of Japan’s telecommunication authority, held the award-presenting ceremony of their annual contest to choose the best from business plans nominated.   Mr. Takeshi Natsuno, the inventor of NTT DoCoMo’s mobile web service i-Mode, started the ceremony with his keynote speech, he pointed out Japanese start-ups should take advantages of our potentials, that are, the Japanese have USD17 trillion-worth personal financial assets, the world’s top-class IT infrastructure, good education level, high will to work, and superior technologies that have not yet been implemented.   But he didn’t forget to advise we should overcome the weakness such as low second-language skills, neglecting personalities/debates and living in the self-indulgent society.   He motivated the award-winners and an audience to do their best and aim not only for making money but to make something happen in our society.
Seven start-ups were chosen as nominees from the contest’s regular application process, and five start-ups were recommended by local venture supporting authorities across the country.
(The Grand Prix Winner)

<for spreading the name out> Conit is a Shibuya-based start-up specializing in developing smartphone apps.  The company recently introduced an in-app purchase platform for smartphone content providers.   Refer to this my Asiajin story for more details.
(The excellent award winner)

<for spreading the name out> Fusic, a Kyushu University-backed tech start-up based in Fukuoka City, has developed a service that allows flipping embedded slides  in synchronization with Ustream video playback.  Projecting slide images on Ustream is sometimes too low-resoluted for the viewers to read.   The company’s service, which is called ZENPRE[J], allows you to embed a Ustream video clip and slides on a page and let them play in sync.

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(Finalists)

<investment wanted> Infinitegra is a Yokohama-based hardware manufacturer specializing in developing USB devices.  The company are developing the USB 3.0 solutions enabling transferring high-volume images for high-definition cameras for engineering and medical usage.

<more sales channels wanted> Questetra is a Kyoto-based start-up presenting a series of SaaS-based BPM (business process management) tools.  It is integrated with Google Apps, and the company is intended to expand their business in partnership with Google App users/resellers and BPM-related consulting firms.

<partnerships and sales channels wanted> Supre[J] is a company presenting three hobby-oriented portal sites.   The company is intended to support further education schools and private academies by making it easier to reach out potential hobby students online.

<for spreading the name out> SyncPower[J] develops a lyric captioning system that works in synchronization with song playback, which is intended for PCs, featurephones, smarphones and MP3 players.  The company has a technology that enables the synchronized captioning, a database to store a bunch of lyric data and know-how to clear copyright license terms.  They would like to partner with record companies, artist agencies, labels, music data distributors and ad agencies.

<investment and partnership wanted> Small Bridge is a Shibuya-based start-up presenting a platform introducing foreign language teachers to students online, which is called Cafetalk.   Language lessons are made on Skype, which allows teachers and students to join the lesson from any part of the world.

<investment wanted> Mooncake[J/C] developed a portal site providing Japanese creative workers with the production work for Chinese ad market.   Although this long-term recession have shrunk the market size of their jobs in Japan, but Chinese ad market has an insufficient number of experienced art directors and editors. From the company’s database of Japanese creative worker profiles,  they choose a professional who may fit the production work ordered by a Chinese client, and arrange a job for him or her.

<investment wanted> Able Computer[J], an Ishikawa-based tech start-up, developed a location-based voice tagging service.  The app allows you to leave your words in your voice at the location and the time you wish to.   The company expects the app to be used for sharing impressions among an audience of sport games, and for sharing word-of-mouth updates at shopping malls etc.

<investment wanted> GClue plans to develop an interactive language learning environment called Smart Education System, SES for short.   By implementing the system consisting of 100-inch Android TV and cloud-based backend systems to Karaoke box chains, the company expects to develop a new market which earns USD140M a year.

<business partnership wanted>  Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology has developed a system that detects the state of someone’s feeling by analyzing a video that has shot his/her behavior.  It may contribute for companies to manage the health of their employees.

<investment and sales channels wanted>  Pharma Science[J] is a Kyoto-based start-up developing a compound analysis engine to help inventing scent products.   The company basically earns profit from their recipes defining what fragrance oils should be compounded to get a specific scent.

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One of the judges for the contest, Mr. Shinji Morishita from NTT Investment Partners praised Conit since their smartphone purchase platform has a high potential in terms of expanding the business in the overseas.

Via: CNET Japan[J]

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