San Francisco & Tokyo JAPAN NIGHT

Congratulations to the Winner of JapanNight VI!

Tokyo Semi-Finals

October 5th, 2013

15 Japanese startups selected from our open application call will compete to demo in the U.S.

San Francisco Finals

November 7th, 2013

6 remaining startups will demo to a live audience with one winner picked by our All-Star judges
Livestream with Google+

Thank you to all contestants, and congratulations to the top startups of JapanNight VI!


Cooori     Cooori
Dr. Amar Jensson, Founder

Cooori is an online resource for Japanese learners of all levels. The system employs artificial intelligence engines to build a model of how each person studies, offering a guided build-up of knowledge that is unique to the Cooori system.

2nd place

Ring     Logbar
Takuro Yoshida, CEO

Ring creators envision a world where you can communicate with others and control objects by using a sleek and simple device that fits on your index finger. Expected launch date is in 2014.

3rd place

CODEPREP     Givery, Inc.
Junpei Yamane, CEO

With "Create Engineers" as their mission, CODEPREP is an online learning service for beginning programmers. Users learn different coding languages, including HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The service also connects programmers with an online community to provide support for developing their own products.

FUKUSHIMA Wheel     Eyes, JAPAN Co, Ltd.
Jun Yamadera, CEO

The "FUKUSHIMA Wheel" project was developed as a response to the nuclear accident in Fukushima. This "smartbike" features environmental sensors to measure radiation levels, temperature, humidity, and carbon emissions in real time. The device also acts as an activity tracker, calculating the average speed, distance, and number of calories burned - all via a smartphone app.

FOURBEAT     Pigmal, LLC
Yuan Ito, Founder

FOURBEAT is a multifunctional device that can be used for a variety of games. Play with friends for trivia night and speed racing, or switch to single-mode to practice your percussion skills. More apps are currently in development.

Ojisan     FULLER
Shuta Shibuya, CEO

Made for anyone who is frustrated with the short battery life of Android phones, Ojisan is a mobile game that actually increases your battery life. The game helps manage your apps by providing an overall score based on functionality and usage, and removing inactive or unnecessary applications.


  • Ring
  • brandpit
  • codeprep
  • Cooori
  • creative_survey
  • fourbeat
  • fukushima_wheel
  • boku-sumaho
  • locarise
  • moff
  • origami
  • quchy
  • scoppy
  • uphealth
  • makamaka
  • About

    Silicon Valley doesn't have a monopoly on innovation. Japan Night gives Japan's emerging entrepreneurs direct access to the Bay Area's powerful startup environment to succeed on a larger stage.

    1. A Global Pitch Event

    Japan Night has become the premiere startup competition among Japanese innovators looking to scale globally

    2. From Idea to Market

    Our competition's exposure has enabled over half of our finalists to successfully launch outside Japan and get funded

    3. Word of Mouth

    Past events have been covered by top tech and mainstream media with sold out audiences at high-profile venues

    Tokyo Semi-Finals

    Date: October 5th, 2013

    Venue: Daiwa Conference Hall
    Daiwa Securities

    18F North Tower Ground Tokyo 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-6718, Japan
    Get Directions »

    San Francisco Finals

    Date: November 7th, 2013


    875 Howard Street,
    Fifth Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94103
    Get Directions »

  • How it works

    • 1

      Selecting Startups

      Japan Night opens up our competition to any stage startup representing the best in software and hardware innovation throughout Japan.
    • 2

      Cross-Border Competition

      Out of 15 startup teams only one winner will make it through the two competition events to claim the startup prize package.
    • 3

      Two Events, Two Countries

      A diverse audience of 600 will participate in the events ranging across fellow startups, tech professionals, designers, investors and more.
  • History of Japan Night

    Japan Night I: A Sell-out Launch

    Over 300 people gather to see our first demo event debut with SFnewtech at Mighty.

    Media coverage: Wall Street Journal & Nikkei BP

    Japan Night III: Big in Japan

    Previous winners featured in a panel discussion with PiTAPAT emerging as the winner.

    Media coverage: Asiajin, Nerdstalker & SF New Tech

    Japan Night V: Software to Hardware

    Former Livedoor CEO Kozo Hiramatsu and Rakuten director Takeshi Homma attend as Whill showcases their mobility device and ShareWis takes home top prize.

    Media coverage: Bloomberg, LinkAsia & mobiSights

    Japan Night II: Cementing Community

    Influential members of the SF startup community, including Dave McCLure, watch crowd favorite feel on!

    Media coverage: Nikkei Sangyo, CNET & ReadWriteWeb

    Japan Night IV: Top Judges

    Our judge panel makes its debut with 500 startups mentor Craig Mod, Movida Japan CEO Taizo Son, and Startup Weekend Tokyo founder Jonny Li with PiaScore winning.

    Media coverage: Techwave, Startup Dating & Japan Times


Platinum sponsors

  • Daiwa Securities

Want to reach Japan Night's audience?

Be a part of our high-profile event by becoming a sponsor.

Gold sponsors

  • ITOCHU Technology Ventures, Inc.
  • United Airlines

Silver sponsors

  • ChatWork
  • FirstStep
  • Prezi
  • Nissha
  • Expedia

Community Partners

  • KLab Ventures
  • HUB Tokyo
  • Foundersuite

Media Partners

  • MdN Design Interactive
  • Tech in Asia
  • SFNewTech
  • Nerd Stalker


btrax is a cross‐cultural marketing and creative agency focusing on the US and Asian markets. Our clients range from startups to Fortune 100 companies, including Expedia, Calbee, Cisco, Toys R Us, Kikkoman, 500 Startups, DeNA, Canon and more.

Our San Francisco headquarters' neighbors include Pinterest, Airbnb, Wired Magazine, Zynga, Adobe, Wikipedia and many other tech leaders. btrax also has an office in Tokyo and representatives in Los Angeles, New York City and Shanghai.

We believe brands and startups achieve their greatest potential by forging deep and culturally authentic connections with their communities. This isn't just a job for us. We're passionate about what we do and who we work with.

Intrigued? Contact us at

Media Buzz


Finals Judges

Nathan Blecharczyk

Nathan Blecharczyk
CTO and Co-Founder, Airbnb

Nathan oversees technical strategy at Airbnb, and is dedicated to building a team of world-class engineers. Nathan became an entrepreneur early on, running a business while he was still in high school. He has a Harvard degree in Computer Science, and has worked at Microsoft, OPNET, and Batiq.
Cass Phillipps

Cass Phillipps
Founder, FailCon

Cassandra is a startup event producer, producing and managing conferences like SF MusicTech Summit, Inside Social Apps, and many more. She works with clients to ensure each has a high-quality and profitable event, connecting them with the best partners, sponsors, and speakers for their topics.
Cheryl Cheng

Cheryl Cheng
Operating Partner, BlueRun Ventures

Cheryl drives marketing strategy, messaging and business development for BlueRun Ventures and its portfolio companies. As a venture capitalist, she focuses on helping young startups identify market opportunities and develop their product roadmaps to best address consumer and customer needs.
Jason Huggins

Jason Huggins
CTO and Co-Founder, Sauce Labs

As the Sauce Labs co-founder and CTO, Jason leads product direction. Prior to Sauce Labs, he worked as a Test Engineer at Google and a software developer at ThoughtWorks in Chicago. When not programming in Python or JavaScript, Jason enjoys hacking on Arduino-based electronics projects.

Semi-finals Judges

Todd Porter

Todd Porter
Co-Founder, TED×Tokyo

Todd Porter is the founder and curator of TEDxTokyo and IMPACT Japan. His wealth of experience in consulting, strategy, social entrepreneurship, and technological innovation has helped foster the expansion of the TEDx movement in Asia.
Serkan Toto

Serkan Toto
Japan Contributor, TechCrunch

Dr. Serkan Toto is an independent consultant and advisor focusing on Japan’s web, mobile and social gaming industries. Based in Tokyo, he works together with financial institutions and startups worldwide and has been a contributor of TechCrunch Japan since 2008.
Benjamin Joffe

Benjamin Joffe
Founder, Plus Eight Star

Benjamin is a recognized global expert on startup ecosystems with over 13 years experience across Asia. He is the founder of the consultancy +8*, an angel investor in 11 companies including Gengo and Tokyo Otaku Mode and a mentor at 500 Startups and several other startup accelerators.
Brandon Hill

Brandon Hill
CEO, btrax

Brandon is the CEO of btrax, an SF based creative agency specializing in branding and web solutions for clients to and from the Asian market. Brandon is an expert on Asian business and technology trends, with strong connections to the Japanese startup community. He is also a mentor at Startup Weekend.
Osuke Honda

Osuke Honda
Partner, DCM

Osuke brings a powerful combination of strategic and venture investments, business planning and development, as well as operational experience to his role in identifying new investment opportunities and helping build global companies. Prior to joining DCM, Osuke worked at Globis Capital Partners and Mitsubishi.
Hannes Graah Spotify

Hannes Graah Spotify
Director, Spotify Japan

Hannes is Director of Japan for the music streaming service Spotify. He has been with the company since early 2011, and before moving to Japan he was working at company headquarters in Sweden. Before Spotify, he managed various brands at Procter & Gamble and started tech companies as an entrepreneur.
Tak Shiohama

Tak Shiohama
President, Uber Japan

Tak is the president of the Japan branch of SF-based startup Uber. Before Uber, Tak played a key role in establishing Rosetta Stone Japan, as well as working as president and chairmen of the branch. He was also a consultant for AT Kearney, and worked in management at Askul and Revlon.
Shin Iwata

Shin Iwata
Head of Japan Office, Atomico

At the tech VC firm Atomico, Shin works closely with portfolio companies and partners in Japan to facilitate business opportunities between the two. Prior to Atomico, Shin was President of Skype Japan, playing an integral role in establishing key global partnerships with Panasonic and Sony.

Moderator: Brandon Hill, btrax CEO

  • Each Semi-finalist team will receive a one-year Prezi Pro License.
  • The Top 4 finalists chosen at the Tokyo Semi-finals will receive one round-trip air ticket per team between Narita and San Francisco. Tickets are provided by United Airlines.
  • All finalists who compete in the San Francisco Finals will have an interview opportunity with a famous Venture Capitalist from Silicon Valley.
  • All finalists will receive 3 months of free access to Foundersuite tools. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place startups will each receive one lifetime free membership account.

Japan Night III Winner | PiTAPAT

"I wanted to expand knowledge of our services, and I was able to meet so many people, including VCs at the event. Based on this experience, I hoped to launch a service that connected with people worldwide. After winning, we were covered by major media, and the following year became a subsidiary of CyberAgent. Our iPhone App release garnered 100,000 downloads in 3 days. I hope to create new opportunities in the future."

PiTAPAT CEO, Takehiro Goda

PiTAPAT CEO, Takehiro Goda

Japan Night IV Winner | piaScore

The perfect iOS app for any musician, piaScore is a digital sheet music viewer that comes with useful tools like a metronome, tuner and recorder. piaScore secured $138,000 in capital after participating in the event.

Japan Night I Winner | Gengo

Gengo, a people-powered translation company, received international media attention and secured over $5M in capital in one year, including investments from the founders of 500 Startups and Skype. They just passed the 100 million words mark and have moved into a new office in Shibuya.

We are currently recruiting sponsors who can help support the work of young Japanese innovators.