Tokyo-based VC firm Global Brain this month held an annual startup conference event called Global Brain Alliance Forum (GBAF) in Tokyo.
As a part of GBAF, a startup pitch event called the Global Startups Pitch Battle was held, where 10 startups from Japan and the other Asian countries competed. Japan’s Stellasia LED won the top award.
The judges were:
- Shigeyuki Tsuchida, Senior Executive Officer, Innovation Network Corporation of Japan
- Ken Matsui, Project Manager, Mitsui Fudosan Venture Co-Creation Project, a.k.a. 31 Ventures
- Takashi Shibayama, Director of Content and Media Business, Furyu
- Chester Jungseok Roh, CSO, Reality Reflection
The top prize winner: Stellasia LED (Japan)
Stellasia LED is developing an AC-driven LED lamp for industrial use, in contrast to typical LED lamps driven by AC. Stellasia LED’s design eliminates the use of easily malfunctioning electric components, such as aluminum electrolytic capacitors in AC-driven LED, thus reducing failure rates, energy consumption, and noise.
Although voltage differs by country, the AC-driven LED will enable standardizing circuits in products and unified production lines, thus reducing manufacturing costs. The team is planning to start new businesses, such as smart lighting.
The Global Brain award winner: Kacific (Singapore)
Singapore-based Kacific aims to use communication satellites to provide broadband Internet service to isolated islands of countries in the Asia-Pacific region such as the Philippines, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. Leveraging existing technologies, it plans to provide an internet connection service of 50Mbps at cheaper rates than other services.
The satellites will be ordered in 2016 and launches will commence in 2018. The total investment is estimated to be $182 million. Fees will be collected by the wholesaling of the service to ISP or the government in each country. The control center for the satellites and the service will be in Japan.
The Global Brain award winner: Eatigo (Thailand)
Thailand-based Eatigo offers a mobile app for dining deals and restaurant reservations under the same name, attracting customers by providing discount information in off-peak hours. It launched domestically in June 2014, and is being developed for Singapore.
In comparison with typical customer services such as hotels or airlines having 73% and 74% of the usage rate for each, that for restaurants is only 35%. To lower vacancy rates of restaurants, this service supports user restaurants to shape their customer traffic.
Eatigo is developing a mobile app for Japan and India. Also, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Indonesia are targeted as future markets.
The audience award winner: Axelspace (Japan)
Japan’s Axelspace was established as a spin-off from the University of Tokyo in 2008. The team developed a micro-satellite only 50 centimeters square and 60 kilograms in weight. It will launch satellites for Japan’s weather information service Weathernews (TSE:4825). Starting from three satellites in 2017, it will launch ten satellites every year from 2018, to construct a system of 50 low-earth orbit satellites for data collection of weather or topography. The data will be sold to public agencies or private companies. The launch of a typical satellite can cost several tens of millions dollars, however, the micro-satellite can be launched for about $8 million.
- Japan’s Axelspace gets $15M series A funding to boost satellite and remote sensing businesses
- Japan’s ‘little satellite that could,’ 27cm³, launches into space