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From the Teclosion 2011 Spring Event In Tokyo: 15 Demos From Japanese Startups

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On Friday, I attended Teclosion Spring 2011 in Tokyo/Japan, a one-day web industry event (backed by DESIGN IT! LLC, a media company in the UI/UX information and startup business) that was very much focused on the local startup scene. The largest chunk of the schedule was reserved for 15 Japanese start-ups, which presented their services onstage to a panel of judges and a crowd of around 300 people.

Here are thumbnail sketches of all the services that were shown at the event’s so-called “Startup Battle”.

Teclosion Spring 2011: The Winner and Four Runners-up

Wondershake [ENG] (winner of the Grand Prix)
Best of show went to Wondershake, a location-based iPhone app that wants to help connect users in the real world based on their “inner tastes”, for examples through Likes pulled from Facebook and “interest tags” users can add themselves in order to create a social profile. The idea here is to visualize these items so when you start the app in a restaurant for example, you can scan what interests the guests there have and strike a conversation with people you wouldn’t have met otherwise. Wondershake is due out next month.

Midonet [ENG] by Midokura
Tokyo-based startup Midokura, which develops “cloud enabling technologies”, pitched Midonet, the company’s virtualized networking platform. Midonet will soon become available through MidoStack, Midokura’s own distribution of OpenStack, or as a standalone product supporting virtualized and physical hardware. Midokura just raised $1.3 million in a seed-funding round from a number of big-name Japanese investors.

Livlis [JP] by Kamado
Launched in December 2010, Livlis is a Twitter-based barter service: just log in with your Twitter account, list up the items you don’t need anymore and wait for other Livlis users to indicate what they want. The site now counts thousands of items, for example computer accessories, clothes, books etc. Livlis is free to use (more information on the service in English can be found here).

zaim [JP] by Takako Kansai
zaim is a “digital” household account book that will soon be available in the form of an iPhone app (Android and web versions are planned to follow thereafter). Developed by the only individual taking part in Teclosion’s Startup Battle, zaim’s main selling point is that it makes managing money and expenses social, for example by letting users share (and compare) certain data points via Twitter and Facebook.

MoSo [ENG] by MoSo
MoSo is a free (and actually very popular) video editing software suite for Mac users (download) that lets you create and share video in a hassle-free way. Pitched during Teclosion as a “social video communication tool”, the desktop app lets you record (through the web cam) and edit video in real-time, add effects (music, sound, graphics, text etc.) and then share your videos via Twitter, Facebook or YouTube (or save them on your Mac). A MoSo version for the iPhone is in the works.

Here’s a “MoSo’d” Charlie Sheen video pulled from YouTube:

Teclosion Spring 2011: The Best Of The Rest

Here are the nine services that didn’t make the cut at the event:

  • Musavy [Eng], which makes it possible to start a “debate” on any given topic online, for example by clipping content from a website and asking a question about that content
  • Appict.me [ENG] by Nobot, a solution for developers that lets smartphone app users recommend apps to friends through social media
  • Caffein [ENG] by nota, a free and browser-based video communication service that lets you instantly create video chat rooms for up to 15 users
  • fmob [ENG], a smartphone app that will soon make it possible to share fashion items you discover in magazines or the real world with other users worldwide
  • i.ntere.st [JP], a web service that wants to connect users based on what personal belongings (interests) they have listed up on the site
  • Shopping+ [JP] by Insight Plus, a social shopping app for smartphones that lets users “check in” objects found in stores in the real world and share price and other information with others
  • 4 Treasure [JP] by Alpha Do, a location-based smartphone app that uses game mechanics to motivate users to go out and find special deals in restaurants and similar places
  • tabeni.co [JP], a smartphone app that makes it easier for friends to organize meetups, especially when going out for drinks or food
  • forkN by Seesaa [JP], a cross-device e-book publishing platform
  • Kizna [JP] by MyNet Japan, a social CRM tool that helps businesses manage conversations they are having with customers on social networks

Teclosion’s website can be found here (it’s in English).