KDDI Mugen Labo, the tech startup incubator from Japan’s second largest telco, recently unveiled five startups which qualified to participate in the fourth batch of its incubation program. They will start further development and receiving mentoring very shortly. Let’s see what kind of services were chosen, and learn a little about the folks behind them.
Class is an alternative social network that lets you experience a sort of virtual reunion by creating a network of ten strangers from the same generation as you. When you sign to the service, you’ll be requested to enter your date of birth. From there, the system will randomly choose someone whom you’ve probably never met but will likely get along with. The service aims to help adults experience the sort of friendships they’ve experienced back when they were students. To help break the ice, the app presents a discussion topic of the day. But interestingly it is a time-limited experience, so the network will be completely gone one month after you create it.
Class is being developed by Tokyo-based startup We-b, which is also known for having developed a film or book-oriented Pinterest clone called Log. The app is still in beta but has acquired more than 2,000 users in three days since the launch.
Kawaii Museum JPN ¶
Inspired by Tokyo Otaku Mode (a subculture media service that has more than 11 million Facebook likes) Kawaii Museum JPN aspires to be a news source about Japanese characters for global audiences. So far it has 3.6 million likes. For monetization, they plan to develop an e-commerce platform specifically for selling character products, and to lead users to stores where they can buy them.
Kawaii Museum JPN is currently being developed by Ruby programmer Taketo Tanaka who previously worked with DeNA.
Canvas creator ¶
Canvas Creator is a tool that helps developers easily design a HTML5-based web app without the need for any coding skills, although the prototype is not yet finalized. The app is being developed by Wataru Miyazaki and his team who are still attending the University of Tokyo, but have won many awards at hackathons or business plan competitions in Tokyo.
Mygrow.jp is a tool for teachers which allows them to share and record the growths of their students. The app is developed by Tokyo-based startup Life is Tech, which has been running a bootcamp program for elementary and junior school students to master IT skills. The app visualizes how each students progresses on his or her learning path, helping teachers do their job a little better equipped with this new insight.
Trapro aims to solve big social issues such as the low birth rate or global warming. According to the platform’s developer Toshiki Abe, the biggest factors that prevent us from trying to solve social issues are: very few people are interested in it, there’s no information hub about such things, and few people have a solution readily at hand. Trapro allows you to post an article about social issues which you are conscious about, and then invite other users to work on it together.
Mr. Abe is attending the University of Tokyo and organizes a study community called Ridilover. It encourages university students to pay more attention to current social issues.
This 4th batch for the incubator program will start very shortly, and we can expect to see the results of their efforts at their presentation event three months from now.