Meet Startup @TW

Orange Fab Asia in Taipei: A gathering of innovative ideas

Feliciana Hsu

With international participants hailing from Tokyo, Korea, and Taiwan, Orange Fab Asia’s Demo Day kicked off on April 11 in Taipei. At the event, a total of 18 teams presented new ideas and service solutions. Here we present some of the highlights from the competitive field.

Orange Fab Asia is a 12-week accelerator program led by Orange Labs Tokyo and Seoul. Now in its fifth year, the event is being hosted in Taipei, giving local startups, international entrepreneurs, as well as investors a chance to connect and exchange ideas.

The startup network operates under the auspices of French telecom company Orange. One of the largest operators of mobile and internet service in Europe and Africa, the company claims more than 263 million customers worldwide.

Innovative ideas enkindled by startups

The event was launched by Pierre Schaeffer, CMO of Orange’s Asian partner Thales.Besides Thales, French Tech Taiwan is also the key partner with Orange Fab Asia.

In Mr.Schaeffer's brief introduction titled “Thales Innovation Ecosystem,” Schaeffer explicated the merits and goals of the two companies’ concerted efforts to support startups.

Prior to the pitches from the teams, Orange Lab Tokyo’s Nishikawa Hiroshi also addressed the audience and participants. Besides elucidating the core functions of Orange Lab Tokyo, Nishikawa further explained how they assist startups in their effort to “go global.”

Hiroshi additionally conveyed a core message from Orange’s CEO, vowing that Orange Fab Asia will support more than 500 startups by 2020.

ThinkCloud: secure signature authentication

Amidst the growth of e-commerce, contracts remain firmly at the heart of business practices. Yet concerns over privacy and security have led to apprehension regarding online contracts.

Thanks to Taipei-based startup ThinkCloud, e-commerce will become much safer soon. In short, ThinkCloud’s solution is its “Selfie Video Signature” (SVS), which promises to reduce the risks of doing business over the internet.

By design, the SVS secures both parties when signing a contract. All users have to do is download the signature authentication app and convert the documents they wish to sign into a PDF file. After that, they simply sign on the electronic device, with the camera recording the process. This creates a bulletproof signature that shows who signed what and how.

Naturally, the video can be saved and viewed by both parties. Ultimately, ThinkCloud hopes to make online business more secure and reduce the potential for conflict.

Pirika: Reducing litter through social media

Although “Saving our only Earth!” in many regards has become an empty slogan, Japanese startup Pirika is determined to bring about change. Originally created in 2011 at the research facilities of Kyoto University, the startup hopes to solve environmental problems through science and technology.

According to the company’s CEO Kojima Fujio, Pirika uses social platforms to encourage the public to reduce environmental problems such as litter on a global scale.

Interestingly, Pirika does so not by admonishing users to stop littering, but by turning the issue into a game of sorts. In short, users can use the app to record video or photos of garbage. While users will gain Likes and Comments from others, Pirika transmits the relevant data to local governments, who then can clean up the area.

For now, municipal governments of Tokyo, Osaka, Hiroshima, as well as New York are in cooperation with Pirika to improve their cityscape. Pirika hopes that we can clean our environment, together.

Chemion: Express your emotions through your glasses

Korean startup Chemion is another international competitor at the Orange Fab Asia event in Taipei, where the company introduced their lifestyle product, namely emotive glasses.

The glasses feature an electronic screen on which users can showcase emotions through messages, images, or animations. Beyond parties, the glasses can also be worn at sport events or concerts.

Additionally, Chemion’s emotive glasses are a collaborative effort with Korean healthcare provider Neofect, which hopes to use them to assist people with speech defects. Ultimately, the company wants to increase the functionality of the Chemion and broaden its marketability.