As we gear up for what is going to be the 4th SF New Tech Japan Night on April 25th, one of the Japan Night alums caught the eye of many at SxSW. What Americans think of Japanese culture is quite interesting. From Sumo wrestlers, Sony Playstations and Samurais, our view of the Japanese come from books, games and movies.
So, on flip side, it is interesting to see how the Japanese App makers want to market themselves here in the US.
My Gengo was founded based on needs its founders saw as a gaping hole in the translation business: too expensive and too slow. So they did what entrepreneurs do: they solved the problem by filling that void.
Mygengo.com founders Robert Laing and Matthew Romaine knew the need was there for a consumer service, “big project management and set up fees just don’t work for every day content translation”. Plus, Laing added, machine translations were fast but not useful for business applications and to get access to freelancers and agencies, the cost was prohibitive. Gengo means language in Japanese.
At My Gengo, you have access to a wealth of certified talent who must pass a quality test (of 11,000 applicants, 1200 passed their competency test). As a result, you get accurate translations for 5 cents a word, about 70% less than standard translation services, translators get flexible hours plus a reliable income.
It works like this: you post your job at My Gengo, their certified translators will pick jobs they feel most confident completing. Translation requests range from the simple, like a Tweet, to more complex documents.
Their second product, launched Q1 2010, is an API that can be plugged into a site so that users don’t need to go to My Gengo to get access to their services. Currently API partners are Magento (ecommerce site) and Movable (the most used publishing system in Japan, often used for blogs).
Having received seed funding, My Gengo is now moving to their next stage of funding.
“Think of it as a way to say hi,” that’s how Founder, Project Lead & Programmer Takuro Yoshida describes his newly launched social communications site called Drrop. Takuro Yoshida co-founded Drrop with Hiro Kobayashi in September 2010 (barely a month ago!)
Focusing on the need to basically filter or screen people trying to friend you on the likes of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, Yoshida believes Drrop is a way to offer more control and privacy to social media users.
Why does he consider Drrop more private?
“You can’t see the user’s profile unless you reply to the person’s first Drrop note to you, and if you decide to not reply, you just use a feature called “wipe” to rid your screen of the person’s comments and they are gone forever.
The biggest differentiator? According to Yoshida it’s that you see each person’s comments, one by one, and 24 hours after it’s posted, it’s not visible any more!
Coopa, a product with a name derived from cooperation, launched the same day it presented at SF New Tech.
At the first ever Japan Night event (brought to you by SFNewTech and btrax), Coopa was presented by Tsutomu Sasaki, President & Yashuhiro Yamada (Cloud Solutions).
Coopa is a enterprise level, business application development tool for building cloud-based applications, running on mobile devices.
Showing its versatility, Coopa supports creating business applications on iphones for enterprise level applications and for Google’s Android environment.
Their applications integrate smoothly within a Google environment, as they run on top of Google apps. Sasaki noted they believe they are one of few companies developing enterprise level applications for the Google apps platform. To ensure consistency, they are a Google certified partner.