COMEUP 2022, Korea’s largest global startup event, is being held successfully at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) in Seoul from Nov 9th to 11th. This year the event is organized for the first time with a private-led initiative by Korea Startup Forum (KSF) is hosting startups, investors, global companies, media and experts. COMEUP 2022 has different programs under themes like Future Talk, Startup Valley, Open Innovation ground, COMEUP X, Global Cooperation and Networking sessions.
Day one of the event on Nov 9thNov 9th was launched with a fireside chat by Minister of SMEs and Startups Lee Young and SOCAR CEO Park Jaeuk (Chairman of KSF), followed by IR pitching by 28 teams of innovative startups part of COMEUP Stars. Unicorn startups like Megazone Cloud, IG. and Woowa Brothers participated on day one. A so, Klaus Wehage, CEO of 10X Innovation Lab; Shuo Wang, Co-Founder and CRO of Deel, Ryu Junghee, CEO of Future Play, Jeon Youngmin, CEO of Lotte Ventures, Inkuk Hahn, Head of Creativity & Innovation Center, Samsung Electronics, Mabel Fu, Korea Program Director, GEA (German Entrepreneurship Asia), Italy Trade Domestic and foreign startup ecosystem officials, etc., held lectures, panel talks, open innovation, and global collaboration sessions on various topics such as global entry strategy, Korean startup environment, CVC investment strategy, and Web3.
Future Talk about the startup ecosystem
On the second day, Nov 10th, there was a conference under ‘Future Talk,’ with the theme ‘The game has changed – Road to Survival’ led by James Jung, CEO of beSUCCESS, a global media company, and Hyukjae Choi, CEO, Spoon Radio led the talk. The two discussed the prospects of who will survive the ‘war field’ in the cold startup investment, how to survive in the ‘big sea,’ and the impact of talent recruitment on startups.
There were talks on topics like regulatory innovation that startups want, when it will be possible to have Series B, the survival period of Korean startups going into the global market, Global venture capital future, etc. in-depth discussions were also held. Day two included the participation of Seong-jin Choi, CEO of KSF (Comeup 2022 Executive Committee), Hyun-joo Je, CEO of Envisioning Partners, and Krystal Azelton, Director of Secure World Foundation (SWF), etc.
Competitive pitching sessions
In the ‘Startup Valley’ program, COMEUP Stars had their IR pitchings. 28 teams out of 70 selected in the Rookie League, and Rocket League took the stage. This year, a talk was held for the participating (preliminary) unicorn companies under the ‘Unicorn Talk’ session. It included companies like The Pink Pong Company, My Real Trip, MusiCow, and Backpacker. Along with their business growth stories, they provided on-site mentoring on IR pitching in the Rookie league and delivered various know-how as senior startups.
Through the open innovation program, large corporations, global companies, and startup VCs participated in reverse pitching while promoting collaboration with startups. ‘Startup, I’ll do whatever you want!’ session included Google, Naver, Future Play, SAP Large corporations, global companies, and accelerators, who introduced their open innovation strategies and proposed collaborative tasks. In a session with the theme of ‘When Startups Invest in Startups,’ startup CVCs such as Dunamu & Partners, Musinsa Partners, and Smart Study Ventures gave their opinions on the virtuous cycle of investment in the startup ecosystem.
Overseas partner organizations and companies were participating in the ‘COMEUP X’ and ‘Global Collaboration Sessions’ shared experiences with the participating startups. Companies and prospective entrepreneurs from Asia, including Vietnam and Cambodia, performed special pitching to showcase their potential as the 2022 Ecotone Award Team through the ASEIC Center for Small and Medium Enterprises (ASEIC). Togolani Edriss Mavura, Ambassador of Tanzania to Korea, and Zahoro Muhaji, president of the Tanzania Startup Association, introduced the African startup ecosystem. Nikhil Agarwal, CEO of the FIRST Foundation, a startup-related institution, presented India’s startup policies and ecosystem trends in 2022. Minister of SMEs and Startups Lee Young and Saudi Arabia’s Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih visited the exhibition booths of participating companies.
On the last day of the event on Nov 11th, various programs are held, including a keynote speech on the cold season of global startup investment by Magnus Grimeland, CEO of Antler, a global investment company, sessions on artificial intelligence, brain science, new technologies, and international cooperation led by Kim Pan-gun, CEO of Future Science and Technology Holdings, Baek Seung-wook, Chairman, Lunit, Jang Dong-seon, CEO, Curious Brain Research Institute, Han Moon-il, representatives of Musinsa and the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea (AMCHAM). The finale will have the last pitching session by COMEUP Stars in front of a panel of judges, including Wonki Yoon, Managing Director, IMM Investment; Gabriel Jung, Partner, Antler Korea; and Sunghee Choi, Partner, 1Billionpartners; Jungyun Kim, CSO, Yanolja, and Han Munil CEO, Musinsa. The event with end with an awards ceremony for the best companies among the 70 teams of the COMEUP Stars Rookie/Rocket League, held for three days, and a round table talk to discuss the prospects for 2023.
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