GINKAN, SynchroLife’s managing company, was chosen this year to join the exclusive MUFG Digital Accelerator Batch 4! This accelerator was established by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and is considered one of the best accelerators for startups in Japan, particularly in the fintech space.
It was a great honor to be chosen and to work with our mentors throughout the four-month program — and it was an even greater honor to take home a triple win with the Grand Prix, Audience Award and AWS Award!
Read about the win in our press release here:
SynchroLife’s Managing Company GINKAN Inc. Wins Grand Prix for MUFG Digital Accelerator’s Batch 4
Also takes home Audience Award and AWS Award in a triple win
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group’s MUFG Innovation Hub also posted an article summarizing the events and pitches from the Batch 4 Demo Day, and we’ve translated it for our international community.
Check out the article in full below to learn more about SynchroLife’s win and the other startups that joined us in MUFG Digital Accelerator Batch 4!
2019.08.27 — Innovation Hub
Eight Companies Participate in DEMO DAY for MUFG Digital Accelerator Batch 4!
The key message of our program is “Working hard, resonating together” —
At this year’s Demo Day, all participating startups gave passionate seven-minute pitches with GINKAN (SynchroLife) taking home the Grand Prix. This was a triple win for GINKAN (SynchroLife) who were also awarded the Audience Award and AWS Award.
The MUFG Digital Accelerator was established by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc (MUFG) in 2015 and is the first startup accelerator program run by a Japanese bank. During the program, MUFG Group puts in all of their resources to help participating entrepreneurs and venture companies in brushing up their business plan, building their prototype, choosing partners based on their business plan, finding business alliances, and provides all-around support for new businesses.
One of the biggest milestones in the program is the pitch contest “DEMO DAY” where all chosen startups take the stage to pitch. Of the over 100 applicants for Batch 4, the final eight companies to be chosen to participate and pitch were: Crowdport Inc, FlyData, GINKAN Inc (SynchroLife), Moxtra, Inc., Novars Inc, Sagri Inc, STOCK POINT Inc., and Wabi Project PTE. LTD. At Demo Day the companies competed with each other through a seven-minute pitch and three-minute question and answer time to show off the results of their participating in the MUFG Digital Accelerator four-month mentor and facilitator support program.
MUFG Learns From Startups Through Partnerships and Alliances
Before the startup pitches began, MUFG’s Representative Executive Officer Group Vice President COO and CDTO Mr. Hironori Kamezawa greeted the auditorium. He introduced the significance of the program, commenting, “This time our accelerator included more industries than ever before, with finance, asset management, social media, farming, IoT and more. The MUFG team has learned a lot working with the startups these past four months!”
Mr. Yasushi Katsura of MUFG’s Digital Planning Department then spoke introducing the program goals and participants, including the professional mentors, advisors, and judges for the Demo Day pitch.
Judges gave out two awards, Grand Prix and Runners Up based on the following categories.
1．Degree of innovation — Novelty of the business or product and how it will change the world of finance
2．Benefit to users — How easy or beneficial it is to users
3．Business —How complete the business model is
4．Synergy with MUFG — The potential for the business to collaborate or connect with MUFG businesses and projects (including in the future after the program ends)
Once introductions were complete, a representative of each participating startup came up to the stage for their seven-minute pitches. Let us introduce the companies in the order they pitched:
STOCK POINT — moneyDash!
STOCK POINT stock price point management service CEO Kiyomi Tsuchiya took to the stage to introduce “moneyDash!”. moneyDash! is a new service that allows teenagers to increase their investment literacy. Teens experience what stock investment is like in a game-like simulation, by managing points linked to stock prices. Teens can become “shareholders” in their favorite companies, and companies can use this to strengthen their brand by providing rewards and encouraging fan communication. Teens can acquire a deeper understanding of finance and economics while having fun.
“Our goal is to manage at least 1 billion yen in our first three years, and reach annual revenue of 6 billion yen in 20 years,” CEO Tsuchiya announces.
Novars — Mimamori Batteries
Novar’s CEO Akihiro Okabe then took the stage to introduce Mimamori Batteries. “The elderly population is around 35 million people. It’s predicted that one in four people will develop dementia, and the medical and nursing care expenses to cover this have already passed 15 trillion yen a year. Early detection is the solution,” spoke Mr. Okabe. Novar’s product “Mimamori Batteries” helps let you know if someone living alone is safe by showing you when they use battery-powered devices. These in-house developed batteries can replace traditional dry batteries used in television remote controls and other technology. Novar also hopes to work and connect with the Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking information bank program “DPRIME” to reach more people. They plan on annual revenue of over 13 billion yen with this subscription.
GINKAN — SynchroLife
GINKAN runs “SynchroLife”, a social restaurant review platform with a token economy that allows diners to earn SynchroCoin (SYC) cryptocurrency for posting quality restaurant reviews and dining at participating restaurants. SynchroLife’s CEO Tomochika Kamiya created this token reward model restaurant review platform after seeing major problems and limitations in current restaurant rating sites and services. SynchroLife is designed to reward cryptocurrency assets to users who post quality reviews and dine at participating restaurants.
GINKAN’s (SynchroLife) business model was already tested last year in conjunction with 21 restaurants in Tokyu Plaza Ginza, and is now live in Japan and worldwide. During the accelerator program, they launched a further proof-of-concept test with Mitsubishi UFJ NICOS to reward credit card users with cryptocurrency assets just for using their cards. This is Japan’s first service like this. “It’s designed so that the more everyone dines out, the more value is added to the cryptocurrency. The SynchroCoin cryptocurrency has already been launched and continues to grow in value,” states GINKAN CEO Tomochika Kamiya.
SynchroLife’s business model has high affinity with MUFG — combining crypto assets, social media for food, and a point service. As a result, SynchroLife received the top prize at Demo Day, winning the Grand Prix. SynchroLife also won the Audience Award and AWS Award, taking home a triple win.
FlyData is a data cleansing service that uses AI to improve the quality of data by automatically detecting and correcting duplicates, typographical errors, and changes in notation. FlyData’s Financial and Planning Manager Mr. Mino took the stage and introduced the need for FlyData, explaining, “It is said that today is an era in which data determines corporate value, but there is a clear lack of data scientists. And of the limited number of data scientists we have, it’s said that 80% of their data analysis work time is dedicated to data cleansing. Data scientists are constantly struggling against data cleansing for more time to analyze.”
FlyData is not the first data cleansing tool available, there have been many cleansing tools for unifying data and correcting omissions over the years. But there are endless patterns that need to be checked for, and humans have always had to get involved in the final review. FlyData is building automatic data cleansing technology through deep learning which allows for a new kind of data correction service. FlyData has two offices working together on this, one in Japan and one in Silicon Valley in the United States. In collaboration with Mitsubishi UFJ Factor, FlyData has built a system that cleans corporate master data and automatically assigns corporate “My Numbers” (similar to Japanese social security number) in cooperation with the Japanese National Tax Agency.
Crowdport — Funds
Crowdport runs “Funds”, a marketplace for loan funding. Their representative Mr. Fujita took the stage to pitch and spoke passionately on the potential for individuals to own corporate bonds, an investment method uncommon in Japan.
“Corporate bonds are relatively low risk because they are less likely to be affected by the stock market, plus their interest rate is better than the typical savings account. And yet this kind of investment is still uncommon for individuals in Japan because corporate bonds for companies without ratings cannot be owned by individuals here. We hope to act as an in-between to help individual investors and companies that want to raise funds to find each other,” spoke Mr. Fujita.
Mr. Fujita shared that they are already in discussion with 10 companies considering joining “Funds” and with their partnership with major securities website Kabu.com the future is looking bright. He adds that they are expecting to receive additional investment soon from Mitsubishi UFJ Capital and are aiming to reach an operating balance of 1 trillion yen by 2026. The success and passion of the Funds team led them to earn Runners Up during Demo Day.
MOXTRA (joining the accelerator from California, USA) is a company that provides customizable on-demand applications. Their software allows users to securely share documents and run their businesses through the cloud. MOXTRA describes its software as “business transaction tools”.
During their pitch at Demo Day, Moxtra introduced a use case of their software for MUFG — building a client portal that allows MUFG staff to do business with outside customers. By linking MUFG services to the software, customers can make requests for market information or assistance fast and easily, and it can even be used for financial service-related transactions. It can help MUFG employees interact not only with clients but with each other as well, sharing documents and information quickly through the cloud.
The Demo Day judges raised questions about security and data governance, especially when it comes to financial data, and MOXTRA explained they have already successfully implemented their services at global financial institutions and utilize strong data protection at each application layer. Their synergy with MUFG was well received, and they were awarded Runners Up.
Mr. Takayama of WABI PROJECT pitched on the importance of preventing counterfeit products. “In China, hundreds of thousands of babies suffered from kidney stones and other health problems due to the distribution of fake baby formula in China. Dangerous counterfeit products are on the market, that can cause harm to us and our families,” he shares.
WABI PROJECT strives to provide a “100% quality guarantee” service using blockchain and RFID (a system for reading and writing RF tag data using radio waves, etc., without contact). A label with an RFID chip is affixed to the product, and all scanned data is recorded on an unforgeable blockchain. With this technology, consumers can check whether the product they have received or bought is real or not just by scanning the label with a smartphone app. Currently, WABI PROJECT is working on some inbound marketing projects and doing joint development with a major printing company. They are working on a project to guarantee the authenticity of Japanese sake products too. The judges questioned the extra price of adding RFID, but Mr. Takayama assured them that “customers are willing to pay more for peace of mind.”
Sagri uses its unique technology to optimize agriculture through the use of satellite and agricultural data. “Agricultural land can be scored by combining microscopic soil diagnostic data (such as microbial content) with macro artificial satellite data such as land humus content”, comments Sagri representative Mr. Tsuboi.
Sagri plans to offer this kind of data to financial institutions in developing countries to help them give more loans to farmers. Sagri can provide financial institutions with a credit score for farmers and their business model is to receive a commission when a loan is successfully made. Sagri has already been using their technology in Japan, they have won 11 awards at domestic startup events and have received subsidies from METI (Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) and Ibaraki Prefecture. They also established an office in Bangalore, India this past April 2019.
Mr. Tsuboi commented, “Our KPI and target for five years from now is to reach 10 million farmers and help issue 200 billion yen in loans.”
All eight startups gave passionate and amazing pitches. Mr. Fujita of Crowdport who took home Runners Up commented, “We really wanted to win Grand Prix so I’m disappointed in the results!” You could tell every company was aiming for the top and considered the MUFG Digital Acceleration an important milestone in their business. Moving forward, accelerator participants can connect with the MUFG global financial network and continue to discuss potential business alliances and investments. Everyone was serious about “Working hard and resonating together.”
The full results of the Batch 4 Accelerator Program Demo Day are as follows:
● Grand Prix
● Runners Up
● Audience Award
● Partnership Award
・AWS Award: GINKAN Inc.
・Microsoft Award: Novars Inc
・DEJIMA Award: Novars Inc
・PR TIMES Award: All Eight Startups
・Amazon Award: All Eight Startups
Thank you to everyone who supported us during the MUFG Digital Accelerator program! It was a great honor to participate and work alongside MUFG employees and other amazing mentors to continue to grow and improve SynchroLife.
You can read the original article Japanese version of this article from MUFG here:
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SynchroLife is the world's first social restaurant review platform with token rewards, connecting users and restaurants…
Please visit the following links to learn more about SynchroLife! 📲
Official Website: https://synchrolife.org
White paper: https://synchrolife.org/whitepaper.html
SynchroLife Mobile App:
iOS App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/app/id557532449
Android Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jp.co.synchrolife