2014 marks the seventh time btrax has held JapanNight–a large scale pitch competition for Japanese startups–in San Francisco. With JapanNight VII coming this fall, now is a good time to check out some of the companies trending in the Japanese startup scene.
Here’s a rundown of ten of the 15 semi-finalists at JapanNight’s Tokyo semi-final on September 27. Only six of the 15 startups will move forward to the finals held in San Francisco on November 5.
FOVE is the first consumer head mount display for interacting with virtual worlds. The wearable device uses eye and motion tracking technology to control the display output, as opposed to existing virtual reality systems that rely on external controllers. Tracking eye movements allows the display to focus dynamically and naturally, greatly increasing realism and visual immersion.
AgIC circuit printers and circuit markers aim to make circuit board creation more accessible. Circuit printers are off-the-shelf home inkjet printers with silver-based conductive ink. Customers can print their own circuit boards in a few minutes in the same way they print pictures at home and in the office.
Photo by: AgIC
Zenfotomatic is batch photo enhancing tool that can take hundreds or even thousands of photos and transform them simultaneously to be professional and e-commerce ready. Photos of items shot in front of a clean background will automatically enhance with no extra work required.
Akerun is a smart lock robot compatible with iPhones. It uses Bluetooth to lock and unlock your door by recognizing your phone. The design is intuitive, easy to install, and secure.
Photo by: Akerun
Voxypad is a virtual whiteboard that allows you to interact with others in real-time. Shared web browsing is also available so you and your friends can navigate and annotate websites in real-time. Finally, you utilize cloud storage to share and review documents with others.
Photo by: Voxypad
Paintone is an app that combines picture and sound to generate unique graphics users can share. The graphics can contain any combination of hand-drawn art, background images, and voice.
Photo by: Paintone
Cafetalk is a service that connects tutors around the world with students interested in their classes. Students can learn to speak new languages or play musical instruments through private video classes conducted over Skype. All students have to do is find a class they like and reserve a time on the tutor’s schedule.
Kaizen Platform is a startup specializing in website optimization through analytical and creative online tools. Their main product is planBCD, a service that helps businesses optimize their websites through precise data analytics, simplified A/B testing, and crowdsourcing top design talent.
KitchHike connects local home kitchens with travelers who want to “eat local.” Users can sign up to be “Cooks” or “Hikers.” Hikers can choose from the menus of local Cooks and if they find a menu they like, they can make a reservation and pay via Paypal. The Cook will confirm the date, time, and location, and the Hiker can enjoy a local home-cooked meal—a great alternative to eating at local restaurants.
Sansan is a collaborative cloud-based contact management service that transcribes business cards and enables businesses to share their network as a team. Through this service, users can transform everyday business encounters into usable data they can leverage. Sansan launched its platform in the U.S. in May 2014.
Photo by: Sansan
The JapanNight VII Semi-Finals will be held on September 27 at Daiwa Securities, Tokyo. You can get tickets here:
Featured photo by: Trey Ratcliff