See the original story in Japanese.
Tokyo-based startup incubator Open Network Lab earlier this month held Demo Day for its Seed Accelerator Program 15th batch. From among 89 teams both inside and outside of Japan which entered this batch, six teams were chosen to receive mentoring and various support over a three-month period.
Of the six teams, two teams were not shown then and four teams gave pitches at the Demo Day. They were examined through voting by major mentors and audiences. The judges for the pitch were as follows:
- Kaoru Hayashi (CEO / Group CEO, Digital Garage)
- Shonosuke Hata (CEO, Kakaku.com)
- Atsuhiro Murakami (Director, Kakaku.com)
- Adam Lindemann (CEO, Mind Fund)
- Naofumi Tsuchiya (CEO, Goodpatch)
Top Award: Famione by Famione
Famione is a platform to support married couples trying to get pregnant. Assisted by staffers of the University of Tokyo and St.Luke’s International University, this service analyzes users’ lifestyle using its own algorithm which received high evaluation by learned societies, in addition to providing a chat-based communication support between husband and wife such as schedule arrangement for having sex.
Famione has been running services focusing on the trying-to-conceive support including the community website Flipp or the owned media Famit, and holds 1,860 users related to these services. The team aims to monetize through charged program for trying-to-conceive, data sales for drug development and user transfer to medical organizations.
Audience Award: Logi-kura by NewRevo
The Logi-kura warehouse management platform tackles excessive stock problems at small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which is supposedly 5.4 trillion yen in scale (approximation) in Japan. Many persons in charge of ordering at SMEs order merchandise depending on their experiences and feelings, and that causes excessive stock. Logi-kura provides a data-driven ordering environment through forecasting demand for merchandise based on economic trends, weather, competitor information or breakage rate.
Since there is no similar service covering from warehouse management to demand forecast in succession within Japan yet, Logi-kura is ensured of its superiority in that point. The team provides this service at 600,000 yen (about $5,200) annually at the lowest according to the scale, aiming at a 30% reduction of domestic excessive stock and the beta version of the service has already been introduced in 11 companies. In the future, the team plans to construct a marketplace function allowing trade of excessive stock / stock shortage between users.
Hideout Club by Hideout Club
Hideout Club is a community app for whisky lovers, where 12,000 users has already been attracted. The app was launched one year before by two whisky experts who formerly worked at Rakuten, aiming to bridge a gap between bars and users.
Users can gain a free drink on a day designated, from registered 80 bars in Shibuya, Shinjuku and Ginza, by paying 1,500 yen (about $13) monthly. For bar users, user retargeting becomes possible by registering new customers to the ledger, and bar information is displayed in users’ search results by registering whisky brands they can serve.
Most of its promotion activities to bars depend on introduction from other bar owners and the rate of successful acquisition of new bar users reaches 50%. Targeting 6.5 million whisky lovers in Japan, the team is going to expand the service coverage range to all parts of Japan, like inbound customers or high-grade resorts, aiming to acquire one million users by 2021.
Better Engage by BtoA
Better Engage supports preventing employees’ turnover by a data-driven approach. Linking with various cloud services and APIs, it acquires employees’ data about attendance, years of service, performance and survey results. Based on these acquired data, the service evaluates each employee’s engagement by five indices: relationship with superiors, relationship with co-workers, degree of satisfaction with work, degree of satisfaction with offices, and growth feels.
Among the five indices, relationship with superiors / co-workers are evaluated not only by surveillance but also communication log on in-house tools. Since its launch back three months before, this service has been introduced into 12 companies as trial and 25% of them indicate their intention to use the paid service. The monthly charge is 800 yen (about $7) per employee.
According to Masahiko Sarukawa, Director of DG Incubation organizing Open Network Lab, the accelerator has produced 85 startups in total with the completion of this 15th batch. The rate of successful fundraising by startups being produced through 14 batches reached 56.7%.
Coinciding with the holding of this 15th Demo Day, Open Network Lab hasstarted accepting applications to the 16th batch. It will provide 10 million yen (about $92,000) maximum as activity funding for this batch over three months. Also it plans to provide the right to use three bases (in Daikanyama of Tokyo and Kamakura, plus San Francisco) gratis for a year, and mentoring by managers of startups that came out of the past Seed Accelerator Program. The application deadline for the 16th batch is noon on November 27th.
Translated by Taijiro Takeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy