Tokyo-based startup incubator Open Network Lab (OnLab for short) held a demo day event earlier this week, showcasing five startups from the eighth batch of its incubation program.
A “Best Team” and “Special” award were presented to two startups who have shown solid growth in the last six months of their incubation period. Let’s take a quick look at those two, and take a look at the other startups that graduated from the program as well.
ShouldBee (‘Best Team’ award winner)
It is said that typical software development requires that you spend almost 50% of time just testing. What the ShouldBee team provides is an automated testing process for web-based systems that are under development.
By using this solution, developers can automate the process of filling and submitting forms on their web app, and it can complete testing 12 times faster than human testers, and reduce cost to one-sixtieth of what would normally be required for conventional human-based testing.
Since its launch several months ago, it has acquired 105 companies as users without any significant promotional effort.
Jidoteki (‘Special’ award winner)
There are many convenient SaaS-based tools out there, such as DropBox or Evernote. But often many corporations resist using such tools because of their internal guidelines or security reasons. Jidoteki lets SaaS vendors to create a virtual appliance having their apps. It encourages enterprise users to adopt a such SaaS tools by setting up such an appliance behind their firewall.
Orange Magazine is a mobile content platform that targets relatively older female users. In contrast with many mobile services that go after the younger generation these days, this team learned that senior women are having difficulties finding information about things like movies, health, travel, and much more.
To address this, they have developed a mobile app that is easy to use, and comfortable to read even for seniors. In order to provide a good user experience and content likely to fit their preference, they asked several older women to curate news articles as well.
For their monetization strategy, they considered partnering with existing book or magazine publishers to distribute their content to premium users through the app.
Astero is a notification-focused news delivery app that aspires to bring you what you want to know at the right time. Typical users subscribe to many resources or visit many websites to collect things you want to know about. It could be things like appointments, weather updates, public transit updates, or when your favorite publication is on sale in stores.
In order to keep you from missing something important, they have developed an app that focuses on following three factors:
- Curation – Opt out of updates likely to be unnecessary to you.
- Recommendation engine – They’ve developed an engine using own original algorithm
- Notification management – Users can adjust the frequency of notification updates, or even receive a single ‘digest’ of many notifications at once.
They are considering monetizing their service by partnering and integrating with third-party apps.
Our readers may recall that we told you a bit about StudyPact during our recent coverage of the HackOsaka event. It is a service that lets users set a study goal with monetary stakes as a sort of bet with themselves. For example, you can set a goal of studying English for two hours a week, and then set the target stakes at $5. If you reach that goal, you get $5, but if not, you have to pay $5. In the event that you have to pay, the fee is split in half among users who supported the goal and the rest will go to StudyPact.
To realize more effective learning platforms, the startups plans to tie up with other educational platforms and services like like Duolingo, Anki, Memrise, Coursera and Edx. They launched an Android version of the app several weeks ago, and they have learned their users’ completion rate for online courses has reached 85%. Typically the completion rate for MOOCs is somewhere around a lowly 5%.
Open Network Lab is now inviting applications from startups looking to join the next batch of its incubation program starting in July. The application deadline is May 19th.