See the original story in Japanese.
Tokyo-based startup incubator Open Network Lab last week held Demo Day for its Seed Accelerator Program 16th batch. From among 84 teams including 17 applicants from overseas, six teams were chosen to receive mentoring and support during a three-month period.
Five of the six teams excepting one disclosed team gave pitches within the event, then awarded by votes of major mentors and the audience.
The judges for the pitch session were as follows:
- Kaoru Hayashi (CEO / Group CEO, Digital Garage)
- Shonosuke Hata (CEO, Kakaku.com)
- Atsuhiro Murakami (Director, Kakaku.com)
- Rei Inamoto (Co-founder / Creative Director, Inamoto & Co.)
Best Team Award winner: Dr. Fellow by Fellow
Dr. Fellow is a clinical case-sharing platform for medical doctors. It is common to share clinical cases by case presentation through academic journals or academic conferences but these conventional methods are inefficient for busy doctors. By creating a non-anonymous doctor community, Dr. Fellow enables clinical case-sharing among doctors in the open for a wider range of medical fields.
For example, although 200,000 stroke events are estimated to occur annually, only 2,000 cases (1% of the total cases) have been reported in the form of academic articles. In the conventional online doctor communities, information sharing based on Q&A style between doctors is available, but the strength of Dr. Fellow is that direct clinical case-sharing using images or text information of clinical cases.
The team aims to monetize through fixed-amount charging by issuing their official accounts targeting companies / academic societies and rate charging by in-feed ads targeting doctors.
Audience Award winner: ReShape by Navier
Navier, the team consisting of three engineers, develops AI (artificial intelligence)-driven image-editing service named ReShape. To edit digital images including shake correction, exposure correction or trimming, image-editing tools are commonly used but requires specialized skill or labor and cost.
ReShape enables easy use of advanced image-editing techniques by applying Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) technology. Not correcting target image but creating new one by GAN, ReShape can provide higher quality images rather than ones corrected by professionals. The team expects to charge 20 yen (about 20 cents) per edited image for individual users and a monthly flat-rate fee for amateur photographers or photo productions.
Brushing up the service as providing it through web or app during the early stage, the team will provide the service for business operators through cloud API (Application Programming Interface) in the future. Also it plans a quality improvement service of videos using GAN.
Hale by LINK
Hale, developed by LINK, is a nursing-care concierge service to realize wishes. Some persons in care have much wealth but cannot enjoy their hobbies such as going on a trip to an island, dining at a three-star restaurant or going to a favorite singer’s concert which require constant nursing care.
At Hale, its staffers conduct arrangement of welfare vehicles or preparatory investigation of facilities to visit, while interviewing users’ requests and confirming physical / disease conditions. Partnering restaurants, hotels or travel agencies, the team provides the service in two charging systems: a fixed rate system with the service of nurse under an exclusive contract with Hale and an optional charging system for each matter.
Pickupon by Pickupon
Generally, 64% of functions implemented in software have not been used on the average, although a great amount of labor was spent for the development. The Pickupon team thought the cause of this gap was that engineers did not collect users’ comments or impression directly so that they could not analyze user demands quantitatively, and the team developed a SaaS (Software as a Service) for transcribing / analyzing / recording users’ utterances.
Pickupon records primary information as is and enables sharing among several people to realize correct information, preventing missed information. By analyzing multiple utterances integrally, it enables acquisition of tendencies and consideration of measures too. The team provides the service in a freemium system allowing users to hold data up to six hours for free.
ShareTable by ShareTable
ShareTable is sitter / nursery teacher matching service targeting households in which both partners working that have elementary school children. An investigation by the team conducted through interviews of 70 households showed that most of them use private childcare support services, private schools or Family Support Centers, the childcare support service run by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare during work-hours. However, these services have drawbacks such as limited locations or requiring labor to pick up and drop children off.
To solve these problems, ShareTable offers an afterschool class to study home economics centered on food. The team offers situational learning at teachers’ home close to users’ home on weekdays and somewhere outside on holidays or during long vacations. ShareTable matches households needing childcare and individuals / companies providing classes and charges 20% as commission fees.
According to Masahiko Sarukawa, Director of DG Incubation organizing Open Network Lab, the accelerator has produced 91 startups in total with the completion of this 15th batch. The rate of successful fundraising by startups being produced through 15 batches reached 57.5%.
Coinciding with the holding of this 16th Demo Day, Open Network Lab has started accepting applications to the 17th 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 17th batch is noon on May 21th (Japan Standard Time).
Translated by Taijiro Takeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy