On Our Radar Screen

Back to Contents of Issue: November 2000

Online school that prepares Japanese students for study abroad at a foreign university or college. Planned tuition fees are steep, but the principals bring some solid ESL and biz experience to the table, er, blackboard. Have done a good job of differentiating themselves from the competition, mostly long-in-the-tooth local campuses of overseas colleges -- an industry ripe for disintermediation. Go get 'em, guys!

Enspire Tripolis Technology
The US-based B2B solution provider comes to Japan -- as a new startup aiming to produce a localized version of its Net Market B2B trading platform. Net Market allows existing bricks n' mortar enterprises to Web-ify. No plans to localize other enterprise and B2B tools, including Data Crossing, Elegacyware, and Mega Change, which we think is mega-wrong. Broadvision Japan will go head-to-head with them, so the competition will be interesting to watch. Is this just a traditional Japan market entry play disguised as a venture?

(No Web site yet)
NeuroGrid (a one-man shop) aims to bring the distributed computing model (think Napster and Gnutella) to search engines, shopping malls, auctions, and other closed data repositories. Different users mean different things by "Java." NeuroGrid will present the right user with the right information (on the coffee, programming language, or island). Coupled with SSL, has great B2B, B2C, and C2C prospects. Still just an idea in someone's head, but so was Amazon once upon a time.

Portal site for university students. Has all the usual, including bulletin boards, party planning, and concert and restaurant listings. Notably, there's a (still basic) job info section. With more students opting to avoid the trap of lifetime employment, job and career information and advice for young adults looking to manage their own careers is a booming biz. Our advice: define a niche, then embrace and expand. They're facing limited competition, for now.

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