Eight Japanese start-ups in a fierce battle – greetings from Reaktor Tokyo!
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Eight start-ups had six minutes each to convince a judge panel in Slush Tokyo. The first prize was an exclusive trip to the Slush 2014 main event in November.
The past year has been an amazing ride for Reaktor in Tokyo, and Friday the 3rd of October was one of the highlights of the Nordic presence in Japan. An enthusiastic crowd gathered in the vibrant Shibuya to follow a pitching competition between 8 promising Japanese start-ups at Slush Tokyo. We had an energetic yet cozy event and had some of the traditional after-party pizzas replaced with sushi – this is Japan, after all.
I had the honour of being a part of the superb judge panel with Daniel Saito of FlyData, Shin Iwata of Atomico, Barry Lachapelle of IDEO, Adam Gries of OKpanda and David Corbin of Tech in Asia. The host of the evening was Boris Friedrich Milkowski from our good friends at Goodpatch, who kindly hosted the event at their office.
Deciding on the winner wasn’t easy. The top of the bunch this time was Capy, a Tokyo-based startup developing an alternate security technology to replace CAPTCHA. The first price winner now moves on to the main event in Helsinki: they receive free flights, accommodation and exclusive access to Slush on November 18th and 19th. Masahiro Morishita and his colleagues will get their chance to capture the attention of a global audience on the big stage in Helsinki. Congratulations, Capy!
The other seven competitors were interesting, too. The runner-up was Live3, a mobile app to alert users about nearby events which have last minute tickets left. Another interesting participant was Yunomi.us, offering delicious tea directly from Japanese small farmers to the global market.
Next step in Reaktor and Slush collaboration will be Slush New York, hosted at the Spotify office. Judges in New York include, for example, Peter Vesterbacka, the Mighty Eagle at Rovio. I won’t be there myself, but be sure to deliver my greetings to our Mikko Kiesilä.
We are glad to be a part of these great events which highlight Helsinki as what it is: the start-up capital of Eurasia. When you’re heading over to Slush, make sure to ping our people at Reaktor Polte – we’re going to be there as well.
Reaktor Japan – In English
リアクタージャパン – In Japanese
(Photo courtesy of Boris Friedrich Milkowski, Goodpatch)