On Our Radar Screen

Back to Contents of Issue: September 2000

Ventures we're keeping an eye on.

i-linc Group
Still under wraps as we go to press, but apprarently will have some sort of improved navigation system that's up for patent and is supposed to be great for cell phone navigation in particular. Sounds like a VerticalNet-like portal idea.

Offeres personal-agent Al for the cell phone. The system works as a sort of ASP. Both vendors and individuals sign up. Social networking takes place when an individual's agent meets with another individual's. When an individual's character meets a vendor's, that's a sales opportunity.

Japanese sports portal. The only site showing baseball results pitch by pitch. Also has MLB, NBA, J-League, Golf, Tennis, Euro soccer, and sumo. Available on i-mode. Coming soon: fantasy games (a $500 million industry in 1999).

In Japan funerals are mega-expensive, and this outfit will look to reduce costs in a graceful way. Some sort of reverse-auction model. One option: click here if you want your beloved's ashes to go into outer space, and want to travel to America to watch the shuttle lift off.

New York-based company that wants to offer midlevel designer fashions from the Big Apple to shops in Tokyo. B2B in that sense, but a new site will generate the consumer demand. Could be interesting.

More: Bunka Orient Center (outsources coding projects to China, Korea, et cetera. Should be huge business); Crossing (an incubator that doesn't just help the startup, but actually starts it), Creative Link (its restaurant review sites are taking off. Some sort of viral plan where all the reviewers are volunteers. Expanding to Shanghai). Also two new markets: Fukuoka's QBoard and Sapporo's Ambitious market.

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