On Our Radar Screen

Back to Contents of Issue: April 2001

This month: studybox and step.com.

studybox Inc. www.studybox.co.jp
An online education system introduced by J-Cast, the content production company launched by the urbane Masao Ninagawa, a longtime Asahi Shimbun journalist, foreign correspondent, and editor. In 1988, Ninagawa started AERA magazine, Japan's equivalent to Newsweek, and he moved to J-Cast in 1997. Studybox will enable educational institutions to offer online courses and customized student assistance under what Ninagawa calls the "media service provider" concept. Partnered with US-based iVille, which now offers some 2,300 online courses of all types, the service will include all aspects of course design, development, content management, delivery, testing, and tutorial assistance. Firm is partnered with hundreds of independent Web designers, writers, and editors. The Net is remaking the delivery of media content in Japan (see feature story in this issue); no reason why it shouldn't do the same for instructional content.

step.com www.step.com
California-based investor information site targeting individual investors and beginners. Users can search the 12,000 companies in step.com's database in English or Japanese using the company name or ticker code (search engine will return US companies flagged in blue; Japanese in green) and obtain detailed company information, including press releases and other archived data. Plans to offer additional content including Japan-US daily market updates, hot company listings, analyst rankings, and economic, business, and other news. Step.com will also provide advice and tips for newbies. CEO Tatsuya Kuboi is fluently bilingual, as are most of the firm's US-based staff. No word on revenue model or start date. Could be a really tough sell; online investing info site NipponDigi.com recently folded, and others of the species are having a difficult time.

Note: The function "email this page" is currently not supported for this page.