The “Orange Fab Asia” incubation project targeting East Asia, supported by French telecom carrier Orange, held its Demo Day and related events in Tokyo on 25 November. Orange Fab Asia is an incubation program which positions Japan, Korea and Taiwan as Asia, marking its second season; in addition to startups from the aforementioned three, there were those giving pitches from France and Poland, for a total of 22 startups; in addition, there were 13 startups selected by French government-backed financial institution Bpifrance and Ubifrance of the French Embassy in Japan.
- 8 Japanese startups join Orange’s new accelerator program
- Selected startups move on from Orange Fab Tokyo to demo in Paris
On Demo Day, dignitaries like French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron and Orange CEO Stephane Richard attended, indicating the emphasis placed on the event in comparison with the previous Demo Day. Paris-based startup hub Silicon Sentier appears to have formed a private sector-led ecosystem centered on NUMA (formerly “Le Camping”) but Orange Fab appears to have governmental and big business backing in contrast. Since Orange has within its group a venture capital called Iris Capital, Japanese startups such as translation crowdsourcing firm Gengo has gained funding therefrom.
The 35 participating firms cannot all be covered here so we provide a selection from teams selected out of Tokyo Season 2 (second batch of the Tokyo chapter).
Spectee from Euclid Lab is an information-gathering service that covers events and news from social media. THE BRIDGE recently conducted an exclusive interview with CEO Kenichiro Murakami so please check details there.
Some of our readers may recall a product named “FUKUSHIMA Wheel“… an Internet of Things (IoT) based on a bicycle loaded with environmental sensors and LED advertisements. Ad funding is gained by displaying the LED on the bicycle rim. Additionally, thanks to GPS movement regional information such temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide concentration and radioactivity can be collected effectively while cycling. They also took part in the 6th SF Japan Night last November.
Ikkyo Technology developed a deep-learning image analysis API “Categorific” which uses an image-recording engine. The company (named after an Aikodo “move”) improved the UX to provide users with an environment which facilitates content search.
Categorific is a data-mining service using the image recognition technology. Ikkyo Technology, the startup behind the service, initially started their business with providing a content monitoring service for web service companies, helping them eliminating pirated content from their web services using the same technology.
They explained that the new service can be adopted for many purposes. For example, if you sell a sticker for a messaging app like Line, you can help users choose other stickers that they may like, by giving them a recommendation based on the service.
A moving picture analytics tool catering toward mobile app developers, by embedding the Repro SDK into an application, the record of how the users operate the display is made to enable the developers to check this movement visually over their dashboards. According to CTO Akira Miki, they gained a knack for transmitting moving pictures as still pictures sent successively over the cloud rather than as moving pictures, so even in regions with narrow bandwidths the data may be uploaded relatively easily. CEO Yusuke Hirata insinuated that his company may look to overseas markets like North America in the future.
The Mobilous AppExe (pronounced “ap-ex” as in “CapEx” without the C) is a cloud service for Android / iOS / Windows mobile applications, which can be operated via GUI by designers who are not programmers. The codes are superficially black boxes that can be operated as per appearance (WYSIWYG) that enable Google Play or iTunes AppStore registrations as is; output as a compiled file is provided as well. Though similar in concept as Asial’s Monaca, CEO Akira Miyata says that it is a native application which has as the main feature an output which does not use HTML5.
For the Demo Day this time, it was announced that Air Liquide, EDF, Sony, Thales, Veolia, Dentsu, Daiwa House and Alcatel-Lucent among other renowned French and Japanese corporations from a variety of fields had partnered for Orange Fab Asia.
The application for the third batch of Orange Fab Asia was opened on 26 November, to be closed on 26 January, 2015. It is worth a look for startups targeting not only Asia but Europe, focusing on France. Bon courage!