See the original story in Japanese.
TECH LAB PAAK in Shibuya, Tokyo is a community space only for member IT creators, established by Recruit Holdings (TSE:6098, hereinafter called Recruit) in November of 2014. The facility is managed by Recruit’s R&D headquarters, and works as an incubator to support tenant startups.
The tenant teams are roughly classified into ‘community members’ and ‘project members’ according to maturity of their developing services. Last month, a Demo Day was held for four teams from community member and six teams from project members to exhibit a half year’s outcome since they moved in.
Below, we introduce what kind of services were or are going to be born out from TECH LAB PAAK, with a focus on prize winners. The following are judges for the pitch competition in the event.
- Yohei Sawayama, Managing Partner, 500 Startup Japan
- Kotaro Chiba, Co-founder and Executive Director, Colopl
- Ken Nishimura, Editor-in-Chief, TechCrunch Japan
- Shinichiro Isago, Evangelist, Microsoft Japan
- Yoichi Aso, Head of Media Technology Labs, Recruit Holdings
TECH LAB PAAK award winner: RE:GAIN
Supplemental prize: Amazon gift card worth 30,000 yen (about $270)
RE:GAIN is an online matching platform for rehabilitation. By summarizing information about diagnosis or healthcare of employees in companies, it matches those having a disorder and physical therapists. It has already been running in the US and yielded $6,000 as a net profit just in two months since launch last October, under which 170 rehab specialists have been registered.
Based on a B2B2E (business-to-business-to-employee) business model, it targets 4,000 US companies providing health plans with more than 1,000 employees, or 1,500 Japanese companies having an internal health insurance association. It has been used by Hawaii Pacific Health or sports club members at the University of California. In Japan, DeNA (TSE:2432) is going to start utilization from March as well, and other IT or healthcare companies are also considering adoption.
Microsoft Japan award winner: LandSkip
Supplemental prizes: choice sirloin of Oumi beef for BBQ and Microsoft Azure credit worth $120,000
LandSkip is a video distribution platform providing scenery videos from all over the world with 4K high-definition. Gathering video content owned by tourism industries including local governments or resort owners, this service distributes such online. User companies can display three-minute endless video clips on a large screen in office as an interior object.
The team plans to construct a system capable of distributing to more than 30,000 clients by cooperating with Japanese signage ad network company Microad Digital Signage (MADS). With most of the content being purchased from freelance filmmakers or others, alongside consumer plan users can utilize HD video distribution for free but are charged with that of 4K videos. As for a business plan, only 4K video distribution will be offered and be charged 30,000 yen (about $280) for monthly fee. In the future, it will enhance collection of overseas scenery videos.
TechCrunch Japan award winner: Lifilm by aba
Supplemental prizes: a pair meal ticket for the Azure 45 restaurant at Ritz Carlton Tokyo and an exhibition right at the TechCrunch Tokyo 2016 conference
Lifilm is an excretion sensor device designed for the elderly or the handicapped in need of nursing care. Most of bedridden people receiving nursing care wear diapers. However, caregivers cannot change diapers whenever necessary because excretion timing of care receivers cannot be known, so that caregivers do so at an undetermined time regardless of presence / absence of excreta. It has not been excreted (missing) at about 20% of the regular changing of diapers, and the loss time is a heavy burden on caregivers.
Lifilm detects the presence / absence of excreta using its own unique algorithm and notifies caregivers via tablets; it was developed by diverting inexpensive sensors from existing air cleaners, wherein the electrical resistance changes in accordance to odor or gas component changes. This device had been chosen for James Dyson Award Top 20, in addition to IoT Lab Selection by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry. The team has already tied up with product manufacturers, and plans to start selling the products by early 2017 (the current expected price is about 50,000 to 60,000 yen, or about $500).
500 Startups Japan award winner: DAncing Einstein
Supplemental prizes: three meal tickets at house-boat Funasei; boarding with participants of Geeks on a Plane East Asia tour in April
DAncing Einstein, a startup focused on neuroscience, aims to develop more effective learning methods through clarification of the brain mechanism. Also, it has been holding seminars for enterprises or educators about learning based on MPS (memory platform system).
Colopla award winner: MagicPrice
Supplemental prizes: two coupons for choice portion of unfarmed tunas and boiled snow crabs
MagicPrice is an AI-powered strategic pricing platform which enables hotels or airline companies to propose optimal pricing at the time, neither too high for providers nor low for customers. Importing client companies’ data such as reservation history and crawling competitors’ data such as those of neighboring competitor hotels, it learns and computes the prices in real-time. The prices will be reflected on companies’ website or ticket reservation / OTA (online travel agent) website via ‘site controller’ systems.
The service eliminated functions requiring tech literacy, and was designed to automate operations as much as possible, for workers in hotels or airline companies are extremely busy. Leveraging the founder’s AdTech knowledge from previous positions, it provides the service in form of API (application programming interface). Currently, four companies are considering adoption.
Audience award winners: MagicPrice and Subot
Supplemental prizes: membership of TECH LAB PAAK as project members (tenant right for half a year) and AppleStore gift card worth 10,000 yen (about $93)
(MagicPrice explanation omitted since it has already been provided above.)
Subot is a scheduling robot that can be integrated with the Slack business chatting tool. When scheduling of a meeting is needed, you will need to search Google Calendar for participants’ spare time and present several choices. But this new tool improves working efficiency 2 to 10 times more compared to conventional manual scheduling with Google Calendar.
The beta version will be launched in early April. Although it supports only the combination of Google Calendar and Slack for the time being, further integration with other calendar and communication tools is planned for future.
TECH LAB PAAK has started accepting the 4th batch of tenants, and will start recruiting the 5th membership batch soon. Regardless of whether a corporation or an individual, and presence / absence of products, one can apply. Please check out the details at the TECH LAB PAAK website.
Translated by Taijiro Takeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy