Translations startups targeting non-tech Japanese SMEs


This is a guest post authored by “Tex” Pomeroy. He is a Tokyo-based writer specializing in ICT and high technology.

Image credit: Tokyo Business Summit

Translations startups like Shibuya-headquartered Gengo and anydooR, the Conyac crowdsourced translations operator, took part in Tokyo Business Summit 2014 held late last week at the waterfront Big Sight convention facilities. This year’s event had more tech-related firms showcasing their wares than ever before, including those related to use of the space environment.

This was the first time for Gengo to set up a booth at the event, which in the past brought together non- and low-tech Japanese small and medium-sized Enterprises for the most part. Gengo’s marketing manager Nozomi Umenai said,

Gengo is expanding to mass market, as exemplified by Tokyo Business Summit participants. We wanted to showcase how easy and affordable it is to use Gengo API.

Many of the participants are currently looking to expand overseas business dealings, both outbound as well as inbound (especially those related to the free trade agreement with Australia, as exemplified by meat products, and Trans-Pacific Partnership), so the venue provided a ready pool of Japanese SMEs for contact by translations outfits.

Conyac — whose operation is based in Kanda, Tokyo known for its many low-tech SMEs — also had a booth out at the event, which was held for the 28th time since 1988.

The Conyac booth staff also noted,

We just released a website translation management tool called ‘Conyac Front‘ last month. At the summit, we’re looking for the testers for the Conyac Front(β).

Other firms of interest this year were those focused on Business Continuity Planning (BCP) and other emergency-related businesses.

Further info on Tokyo Business Summit is available at