Fresh from launching a new USD 10M fund to invest in Asia’s startups, global internet and e-commerce giant, Rakuten is making a new move to engage the region’s entrepreneurs. The Rakuten Startup Challenge’13 is a new competition targeted at aspiring e-commerce entrepreneurs based in Singapore who are interested to actually create online stores under hands-on mentorship from Rakuten itself. The overall individual winner will also win an all-expenses paid trip to Tokyo and the opportunity to be meet and be mentored by the Rakuten HQ team.
The entire Challenge will take place over 3 months, and the deadline for application is May 24th.
Judges are some of the big wigs here: Toru Shimada (CEO, Rakuten Asia), Shin Hasegawa (Marketing Head, Rakuten Asia), Jacob Levine (Producer, Rakuten Web Services Group) and Saemin Ahn (Managing Partner, Rakuten Ventures).
After the application, a set of participants will be selected to move on to the actual building round. In this round, participants will build an actual e-commerce store, using APIs that grab Rakuten products from their global database, and under the mentorship of a Rakuten Business Team member. The final round will see an event narrower set of participants pitch at the final Challenge.
You can sign up for the Rakuten Startup Challenge here. Submit by May 24th 2013.
Disclaimer: Rakuten is a client and partner of SGE.