Madrid’s IE Business School and the Graduate School of Media Design at Keio University (KMD) jointly held their second Venture Day event for entrepreneurs in Tokyo. This year’s event took place at Keio Mita Campus and attracted a large audience of investors, entrepreneurs, and mentors from Japan and Europe.
While 10 teams from Europe, Japan, and KMD students competed in a pitch session, Tokyo-based MakeLeaps, a startup that provides a cloud-based invoicing solution, won the top prize. As we have seen familiar faces of MakeLeaps’ people at many events in the local startup scene, it would be better to call them an authority rather than a startup. However, in view of the small number of B2B startups providing SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions in Tokyo, MakeLeaps has been boldly challenging and aiming to better serve local businesses, which won over the judges.
MakeLeaps fundraised $600,000 from 500 Startups and AngelList in August. MakeLeaps CEO Jason Winder said they are planning to integrate other services like customer relationship management next year.
Makeleaps’ won two roundtrip tickets between Tokyo and Madrid from Turkish Airlines, as well as a complimentary three-month residency at Venture Generation, a co-working and incubation space near Tokyo station.
2nd prize winner: Wovn.io
According to co-founder Jeff Sandford, almost 70% of Internet users in the world are non-English speakers. Operators of websites in English can reach almost double the number of users by turning their website into a multilingual environment. Wovn.io has translated six million web pages to date. Some 30% of their users are in the US and 29% are in Japan.
Wovn.io won a roundtrip ticket between Tokyo and Madrid from Turkish Airlines, as well as a complimentary three-month residency at Venture Generation.
3rd prize winner: Breezy not Wheezy
The Breezy not Wheezy team was selected from a KMD session. Asthma is a common affliction among children around the world. One of the co-founders of Breezy not Wheezy has suffered from it since she was a child, and this inspired the team to develop Breezy not Wheezy.
A peak flow meter is a device used to measure lung air flow and is effective for asthma management. The Breezy not Wheezy team connected a peak flow meter to a smartphone to record peak patterns on the cloud. This information will help parents to better manage their child’s asthma by leveraging a med companion connected to the solution.
Breezy not Wheezy won a complimentary three-month residency at Venture Generation.
IE Business School is headquartered in Mardid, Spain, and it is counted as one of top five business schools in line up with other institutions like INSEAD in France. Their Venture Day events have seen a rapid worldwide expansion, being held in over 20 countries to date, with 16 events in 2014 alone.