The following is the summary of a breakout session that was part of the 2016 Annual Conference.
Andrew Ogawa, Managing Partner, Quest Venture Partners
The Silicon Valley Demo Session was packed full of content with eight companies participating. “Elevator pitch” presentations were delivered one after another, and the excitement and pressure of having one important chance for presenters to make their case was felt by all. Companies participating were: Pasona, RedSeal, Neophotonics, Alpaca, SAM Labs, Alkanza, HSTRY, and OmnyPay.
Pasona, with its partnership with Tricor, can speed up the time it takes for foreign companies to launch their businesses in Japan. Helping to overcome hurdles such as the complicated incorporation procedures, the difficulty of obtaining permits, and barriers due to unique hiring practices and management of personnel in Japan, Pasona has shown that setup times can be reduced from 3-6 months to just two weeks.
RedSeal pitched “Digital Resilience,” their new approach to 21st Century cybersecurity. In their words, “RedSeal is the essential cybersecurity analytics and decision making platform for enabling enterprise-wide digital resilience against attacks and network interruptions.” RedSeal can protect privacy at multiple points along the digital highway and provides a more system-wide solution for safety.
Neophotonics presented the advantages of their high speed optical components, already being implemented by major customers around the world. Built for high data rates and long distances, the capacity provided by these Japan-made optical components makes the information highway much faster and more efficient.
Alpaca has designed a web and mobile platform for individual retail traders in the stock market. Alpaca directly connects them to research and statistics, enabling them to bypass institutional investors altogether. Alpaca also presented their product named “Labellio,” a web service that allows customers to use “Deep-Learning computer vision technology to build your own AI algorithms to automatically understand images and videos.”
SAM Labs presented its “Smart Toy for the iPad Generation.” With just your iPad, you can code the chip that will drive your own mini-cars. Although built for children ages 7 and older, several of the adults in the audience were so taken by this idea that they bought one of the SAM Lab products named “Curious” for themselves.
Alkanza provides a way to dynamically assess risk to investment portfolios, driven by algorithms that actively search for uncorrelated returns, which according to their research yields measurably better results than traditional risk assessment methods. “Welcome to the New Age of Asset Management,” is their catch phrase.
HSTRY is an app that allows teachers and students to collaborate in the creation of media-rich vertical timelines, “The Easiest Way to Create and Share Your Story.” Teachers are using HSTRY to combat low proficiency rates in history, geography, civics, and math, and its popularity is catching on fast, with a 15% monthly growth in users.
OmnyPay is a “Rich Retailer Pay & Digital Commerce Services Platform.” Attendees learned that since shoppers have gone mobile in a big way, their apps provide a variety of experiences that make mobile shopping more interactive, personalized, and fun, while reducing operational costs for the retailers.
All of these new products and services have these features in common: the accelerated advancement and use of “big data,” AI, and the increased speed and lower cost of digital components and networks to accommodate their growth.