Japan-based electronic commerce and Internet service provider Rakuten has announced its first-ever Rakuten Startup Challenge in Singapore, a competition that looks at getting Singapore-based entrepreneurs and developers to develop personalized e-commerce websites using Rakuten’s APIs (Application Programming Interface).
This challenge comes after the Internet giant set up its Asia-Pacific business headquarters in Singapore last year. It also recently announced a US$10 million ‘Rakuten Asia Startup Fund’ in April earlier this year, signalling its recognition in Asia’s potential booming e-commerce market even as it seeks to expand its operations outside Japan.
Applicants of the Rakuten Startup Challenge will be evaluated by ‘Challenge Points’ based on their curated website’s user interface, design, navigation, revenue generation and marketing campaigns. The panel of judges includes Mr. Toru Shimada, Senior Executive Office and Director, CEO and Chairman of Rakuten Asia, Mr. Saemin Ahn, Managing Partner, Rakuten Ventures, Mr. Shin Hasegawa, Director, Rakuten Global Marketing Office and Mr. Jacob Levine, Producer, Rakuten Web Services Group. The challenge is expected to end on August 18th 2013 and a winner identified on August 19th 2013.
The overall winner stands to win a 4-night, all expenses paid trip to Tokyo with the opportunity to meet and be mentored by Rakuten’s team in Singapore and Tokyo.
Interested participants have until 24th May 2013 to submit their applications.