Finland’s annual startup conference Slush held a pitch competition for a number of startups at the Goodpatch office in Tokyo on Friday. CAPTCHA startup Capy won first prize and advances to Slush 2014 to be held in Helsinki, Finland, on November 18 and 19. (These dates incidentally coincide with TechCrunch Tokyo).
Capy is a Delaware-registered and Tokyo-based startup that is developing an alternative security technology to replace CAPTCHA. The company was recently selected by Microsoft Ventures as one of 11 startups that will join its fifth batch of incubation program in Tel Aviv, Israel. They also attended last year’s Slush preliminary competition in Tokyo.
Here is a quick rundown of the pitch competition.
Yocondo is a semantic product search engine that helps users find products when they do not quite know what they are looking for. For instance, a user can find a product by entering a phrase like “gift for girlfriend.”
Okuyuki is a crowdfunding platform focused on 3D printing of character figures. (See also: Japanese service brings manga characters to life with 3D printing)
- Navvi (a project by Rosette Research)
Navvi is a navigation platform for those who can read maps. Instead of presenting a map image, this app guides users by showing arrow signs in 3D over an actual image through a smartphone camera so that a user will be able to reach their destination without getting lost.
Anicool is an anime production-focused crowdfunding platform. It is available in Japanese, Chinese, English, French, and Korean. Campaign backers can watch outcomes from their supporting projects via DVD or online. Anipipo is a competitor.
Live3 is a mobile app that alerts users to nearby events whose organizers have unsold tickets. (See also: Meet the 13 startups from Movida Japan’s incubation program)
Mobingi is an automated cloud environment set-up tool that allows users to create and launch a server instance on Amazon Web Services with just three mouse clicks.
- Matcha Latte Media
Matcha Latte Media delivers Japanese culture to global consumers. As the first of these efforts, this startup launched an e-commerce marketplace called Yunomi.us that gives the global tea market access to Japanese tea producers and farmers.