Smart stethoscope startup AMI wins KDDI’s Mugen Labo accelerator 11th Demo Day

Image credit: Takeshi Hirano

See the original story in Japanese.

Japanese leading telco KDDI (TSE:9433) held a Demo Day for its incubation program KDDI Mugendai Labo last week. Among the four teams newly allowed to participate in the three months-long program, AMI developing smart stethoscope won the KDDI Mugen Labo Award, and Warrantee won the Audience Award (refer to this article for details about Warrantee). The following introduces the content of the pitch competition by the four teams that joined the program from the 11th batch.


Watcha’s Jaeok Lee
Image credit: Takeshi Hirano

Korea-based Watcha, supported by Toppan Printing (TSE:7911) and KDDI, is tackling the problems of the content search system.

For conventional search methods, in particular for entertainment content, recommended information, advertising, review and query are provided with the search results. On the other hand, Watcha provides better recommendation utilizing machine learning and tag analyses. Analyzing the degree of each user’s preference based on rating data, it constructs patterns for machine learning. By combining tags extracted from content outlines and the results of user analysis, Watcha realized the high-accuracy recommendation.

Due to joining the program, Watcha obtained a good result in development; the number of posts with important rating was increased six-fold. Watcha’s rating data is going to be introduced in a video streaming service Videopass provided by KDDI from June 1st.

Smart Stethoscope by AMI

Shimpei Ogawa, CEO of AMI
Image credit: Takeshi Hirano

AMI, behind a smart stethoscope Cho-Choshinki (literally meaning ‘super-stethoscope’ in Japanese) supported by Toppan Printing and KDDI, won KDDI Mugen Labo Award. Shimpei Ogawa, CEO of AMI, is a practicing medical doctor. The firm developed a stethoscope having an auto-assist function for diagnosis, aiming to find out particular heart diseases by analyzing digitalized heart sounds and combining this data with electrocardiogram.

There is no advanced medical instrument in medical care at disaster sites or remote places. Stethoscopes are useful medical devices especially in these situations, seen everywhere and remaining unchanged since invented in France 200 years ago. The firm focused on this point and aims to establish a device-linked type medical service in order to support home, remote and preventive medicine. The firm has been carrying out verification tests for the device and negotiating with medical organizations.


Hideki Kan, CEO of TeNKYU
Image credit: Takeshi Hirano

The TeNKYU team has been supported by Softfront Holdings (TSE:2321), Dentsu (TSE:4324), Hitachi (TSE:6521) and KDDI during the program.

TeNKYU is a light bulb-shaped IoT device capable of automatically notifying online information such as weather forecasts by blinking the light; the device shows whether it will rain or not by the color tone of the light using its motion sensor and color LED. The device can also cover pollen information, rate of exchange, garbage day or lucky color, and is switchable via app, so that users will no longer need to search these information with internet communication devices like smartphone.


Hideyuki Shoda, CEO of VRize
Image credit: Takeshi Hirano

VRize has been supported by Supership, Dai Nippon Printing (TSE:7912), Microsoft Japan and KDDI. The firm offers CMS (content management system) under the same name for development of apps available for VR (virtual reality) platform, enabling distribution of 360-degree videos or 2D videos optimized for VR. This system improves work efficiency of VR app development, shortening a process requiring three months into one-tenth of that.

The firm carried out a test operation of VR videos at lounges in an airport and obtained positive feedbacks in which more than 90% of users answered they would like to use this service again. The firm will commence sales of the product via sales agents and plans to develop its business along with its advertising platform which will also be launched soon.

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Participant startups graduated from the previous 10th batch

Katsunori Shimomura, CEO of Enowa
Image credit: Takeshi Hirano

As for participant startups of the previous 10th batch, namely, Axelspace, Xshell, Enowa and Mamorio, they have been continuously supported and been performing verification tests with partnered companies over half a year.

Axelspace, which is behind a satellite image service, conducted various demonstration tests jointly with KDDI, aiming to turn satellite images into meaningful data available for business utilizing deep learning. For example, the firm has been carrying out tests analyzing images of parking spaces photographed by satellites and utilizing the data for research activities required for setting parking charges, in collaboration with Mitsui Fudosan (TSE:8801).

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Xshell, behind an IoT (internet of things) device development / management platform enabling web service-like management, succeeded in funding and it is the first case to succeed in doing so during program participation.

Makoto Takahashi, Executive Vice President of KDDI
Image credit: Takeshi Hirano

Adding TDK (TSE:6762) and Seibu Railway (TSE:9002), the number of partner companies to jointly develop business with startups will reach 36 from the next 12th batch. The 12th batch will be held over one year from this August to the end of July 2018 and accepts primary applications to entry the program from 18th May to 19th June. It can accept applications after this period but the support term may be shortened.

Translated by Taijiro Takeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy