Tech people from the local area and from the West Coast gathered on Thursday November 15 for a full day of information and mingling. There were speakers and sessions on many trending subjects.
The convention opened with the COO of Yahoo! Japan speaking. There were sessions on hacking and other topics but the big story of the day was the Startup Competition.
A hardware startup beat out software competitors to take home the grand prize of $12,500. Whill is a company that designs two products and was founded two years ago. The winning design was an add-on that turns regular wheelchairs into powered chairs to help them go longer distances. The first product was the original add-on and this one is the new version that will be ready for retail later this winter. The company has designers from Nissan and Sony and they created the product with the help of a rehabilitation center in Kanagawa.
The Runner Up
Sparta was second place for their animation software. This product allows animators to easily edit 3D graphics by turning the image into a flat cloud of points where they can add or take away little bits of those points.
Other Start Ups Worth Mentioning
There was quite the competition, which made it hard to select just one winner. Here are a few of those who didn’t win.
• Meetrip – Users can sign up and find local guides from the places they are visiting
• Smakul – Small businesses can enter their phone numbers and generate a website designed for smart phones with information from their regular website
• Videogram – Takes still shots from a video to create the best still images to represent the video
From this small sample, you can see how much variety there are in startup companies and the ideas they generate. There is always room for one more new idea and you just never know when it might win $12,500. Just ask Whill.