Despite being Japan’s third most populous city after Yokohama and Tokyo, Osaka is still nurturing a fledgling tech startup ecosystem—even with its abundance of highly-skilled tech professionals. A number of innovative entrepreneurs are working to change this along with the efforts of the local government—for example, the Osaka Investment Support Program works to attract foreign ventures looking to start up or expand into the city.
A large market for testing and launching innovative products and services coupled with a business-friendly atmosphere make the city ideal for creative tech entrepreneurs. Here are 11 tech startups from the region to watch out for in 2016.
RiteKit offers a social media toolkit consisting of four offerings: RiteForge, RitePush, Rite.ly, and RiteTag. The latter provides an easy-to-use color-graded indicator for optimizing hashtag use, based on the likelihood it will be seen per current engagements.
enTouch’s free platform connects busy doctors via the web/phone to a nationwide network of trained pharmaceutical sales representatives, allowing them to conveniently stay informed of the latest products and treatments in their respective fields.
Folyo is a simple and straightforward platform that connects clients with designers—users can post design jobs for free and designers can browse open projects. The service already counts notable companies such as Dropbox, Airbnb, Square, and Zendesk as its clients.
Yumscroll has developed the ultimate app for viewing and publishing high quality recipes. The offering features step-by-step visual recipes, checklists, and a slew of other handy resources and tools.
Meon Book enables kids to create their own personalized illustrated books. Users insert their own names and transform their experiences into a fictional story.
PulseCMS is a content management system that works without a database. Billed as a CMS for web professionals, the platform features a simplified, easy-to-use interface and support for any HTML framework.
Uncanny Works is an independent game and mobile app developer. Some of its popular titles include the Dungeon Slammers role playing game (RPG) and NinMuS, a work management app for mobile devices.
Craful’s mobile app and platform is a gathering place for creators and fans to share/post photos of handmade goods. The app is currently only available for iOS devices.
Meet My Dog a social app for iOS devices that uses location-based services for making playdates with other dog owners and connecting with dog lovers in the vicinity.
ATR-Trek develops speech recognition and voice translation solutions for mobile devices. Its Shabette Honyaku app enables users to translate their spoken words in real-time—just by speaking into the smartphone or tablet.
Moff has developed a wearable smart band that enables children to play more creatively—the device transforms anything they pick up into a toy.
Various initiatives and programs such as the Osaka Innovation Hub and HackOsaka are quickly transforming Japan’s third largest city into a tech startup powerhouse. Be sure to keep an eye on this region and the emerging startups that call it home—you may be downloading one of their apps or using their services soon, if not already.