The first ever JapanNight ( twitter hashtag #SFJN ) is just a day away! Are you as excited as we are? SFNewTech and Btrax are jointly hosting this event featuring top startups from the Land of the Rising Sun.
Late last week, I caught up with BTrax CEO and founder Brandon Hill and asked him to tell us more about this unique cross-cultural tech event.
What inspired you to start Japan Night?
Brandon: I have attended many of the SFNewTech events before and observed how you were doing French Night that showcased French Companies and then Belgian Nights that featured Belgian Startups. So that really inspired me to see if there could be a Japan Night for showcasing up and coming Japanese tech companies.
We also thought that we (Btrax) were a pretty good company to organize the event. Besides that, there are so many Japanese companies who try to get exposure overseas but there is no single event for them to present their apps or services in front of the US tech audience.
Is this a one time event or do you plan on doing Japan Night with SFNewTech regularly?
Brandon: Initially we thought this was going to be a one time thing. But, we got so much attention from both the United States and Japan, that we have decided to do this regularly. Hopefully twice a year, so one Japan Night every 6 months.
Who will we be seeing in the first Japan Night?
Brandon: There are 6 companies presenting at Japan Night. Coopa, Drrop, GazoPa, Lang-8, myGengo and Spysee!
Were you aware of what these companies were doing before you established a connection with them?
Brandon: I was aware of only a couple of companies because they are friends of mine. For the rest of the companies, when we publicly announced the event we got over 40 applications. We auditioned these companies and then chose the remaining four.
Do you have any surprises for the SFNewTech fans that you would like to share right now? Or, do you want to keep it a surprise?
Brandon: We actually are in the process of getting the surprises. We did, however, just receive an event prize from one of our clients. Movies.They have donated a Japanese DVD package for us.