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Asian startups connect at CommunicAsia

Sharing exhibition floor space with large companies at this year's ICT tradeshow, Asian tech startups say they hope to take opportunity to build brand and product awareness, forge business contacts, and gather user feedback.
By Jamie Yap, Journalist on
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1 of 6 Jamie Yap/ZDNet
COMMUNICASIA, SINGAPORE--This year, show organizers created a Discovery Lounge where a number of Asian technology startups and small and midsize businesses (SMBs) showcased their products and connect with potential customers and partners, alongside established big players including Panasonic and Huawei. We feature the technologies from some of them here:
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Gatekeeper, from Singapore-based startup Clault, allows users to store and share confidential documents online in a way that is "as easy to use as Dropbox but with enterprise-grade security" and at lower cost, said Marcus Tan, its co-founder and director.
Tan and co-founder Li Qiming were previously from A*Star (Agency for Science, Technology and Research), where the former was a business investment manager and Li an IT security researcher. A portmanteau of "cloud" and "vault", Clault was formed in June 2011.
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Focused on enterprise users, Clault will first target Gatekeeper at merger and acquisition (M&A) teams, since "there're always security concerns in M&A activities", Tan said, especially with the shift from physical meeting rooms to virtual ones when accessing confidential documents.
The cloud-based software running on Windows 7 is set for release this July. Also in the pipeline are a browser version of the software, one for Mackintosh OS, as well as mobile versions that include iOS and Android, he added.
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Professional DJ equipment is typically heavy, bulky and expensive, and previous portable versions in the market were not user-friendly. To address this, JD Sound from South Korea came up with Atra, said CMO Stephen Kim (pictured left).
A standalone DJ system device, Atra will allow "regular people" to easily deejay on their own, or who want to host their own parties but can't afford a professional DJ's services. Pictured on the right is "DJ" Jay Kim, one of the startup's co-founders and senior engineer.
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On display are earlier prototype designs for Atra, as the finalized one is currently in production and will go on sale first in Korea next month. It has eight knobs, one slider, and two LCD touchscreens.
Kim said the word "atra" means black color in Latin and symbolizes the clubbing culture of which disc jockeys are a big part. The price of the device is still being finalized and will likely cost between US$499 and US$599, so CommunicAsia provides an opportunity for the company to gauge user response, he added.
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Natjira Honda, general manager and founder of PromptNow, said he traveled to CommunicAsia from Thailand to find potential partners and investors for the company's online and mobile games business.
The mobile app development company was established in 2003, and later become a subsidiary of Thai IT services company, MFEC, which acquired it in 2004. Besides apps for banking, insurance and healthcare, PromptNow in 2010 created a mobile game based on a Thai movie called King Nareusan, and has since released versions for the Web and Facebook this year.

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