KDDI Mugen Labo is the incubation arm of Japan’s second largest telco, KDDI. It recently unveiled five startups that qualified to participate in the fifth batch of its incubation program. They will receive mentoring in residency at the incubator as well as free rental of smartphone or tablet devices.
Here’s a quick rundown of the startups and what they will be working on.
Zukan.com is a consumer-generated photo curation site that aims to create a variety of encyclopedias. The platform was developed by two engineers from Kyushu University’s graduate school. One example of how it works is a curated picture book that introduces 2,700 species of fish shown in 34,000 pictures.
Some of our readers may recall that we recently featured this personal finance data entry solution that simply scans your receipts. Dr. Wallet does not use OCR (optical character recognition) but instead depends on human-powered data entry to ensure accuracy, sorting and classifying your purchases as well. With this human element, the company can achieve data entry accuracy of up to 99.98%, likely enough to ease users’ concerns of erroneous input. The startup is backed by Incubate Fund.
SmaOku, a Japanese portmanteau of ‘Smart’ and ‘Auction’, is a mobile auction app focused on second-hand clothes for females. Users can create their own store in as little as three minutes using a smartphone. The service was developed by Tokyo-based startup Zawatt, which has been developing notable web services like WishScope and Ohaco. CEO Daisaku Harada believes conventional auction sites don’t fit with user behaviors in the smartphone era, and so he is aspiring to develop a more simple auction platform.
PEDALRest is a finalist from a recent Startup Weekend Tokyo event. In Tokyo, illegal bicycle parking near railway stations is a big problem for many local governments. But from the commuter’s point of view, it can be hard to find a parking space. This service connects you with landlords who have idle spaces, allowing you to easily find a space for your bicycle. It makes our communities a marginally easier place to live in, and it eliminates the danger of costly parking fines.
Aoi Zemi (‘zemi’ here means ‘seminar’), is a live-streamed online lecture service for junior high students. Their focus is to provide informative live programming as well as opportunities to interact with other users by sharing something they’re calling ‘timelines’. Live-streaming is available for free, but you will be charged for watching recorded lecture programs.
This 5th batch of 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.