South Korea’s largest startup festival COMEUP 2022, had a successful run this year as it hosted talks, panel discussions, innovative startups, entrepreneurs, VCs, and global media. The 3-day program, from Nov 9 to 11, was held at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) in Seoul. This year the event was organized for the first time with a private-led initiative by Korea Startup Forum (KSF)
COMEUP 2022 had different programs under themes like Future Talk, Startup Valley, Open Innovation ground, COMEUP X, Global Cooperation and Networking sessions. About 250 domestic and foreign startup ecosystem officials from 19 countries participated in COMEUP 2022. The total number of three-day visitors through on-site visitors and online live broadcasts recorded 57,000 people.
COMEUP Stars winners honoured
On the last day of the event on Nov 11, various programs were 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 day also had 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. COMEUP Stars is a program for global startups that have the potential to lead the startup ecosystem. The startup selection for COMEUP Stars is divided into two primary tracks, the ‘Rocket League and the ‘Rookie League.’ 30 rookie leagues and 40 rocket leagues.
This year saw the highest competition rate for COMEUP Stars recruitment 12.6 to1. The final IR pitching competition was conducted in a total of 10 groups, where excellent companies were selected from each league by an expert panel of judges as well as the votes of the visitors. In the final results, the Rookie League startups DDL, XL8, Ubis Lab, Squeeze Beats, and Step Pay, and the Rocket League startups Airs Medical, XYG, Smart Mind, Storelink, and Quota Lab were honored with the awards.
This year’s COMEUP Stars also had a new Unicorn League. Unicorn companies like The Pink Pong Company, My Real Trip, MegaZone Cloud, Musinsa, MusiCow, Backpacker, IGA Works, Yanolja, Woowa Brothers, Deel, etc. participated and had a company introduction session. The companies mentored league startups and shared their know-how in corporate growth. COMEUP 2022 hosted an awards ceremony, ‘COMEUP Stars 2022 awards.’
COMEUP X demo day was also held on the last day. It was a program where companies selected from major domestic and foreign institutions and schools participated. In the three days COMEUPX sessions, ASEM Small and Medium Business Eco-Innovation Center (ASEIC), Italian Trade Corporation (ITA), German Entrepreneurship Asia (GEA), Korea Institute of Design Promotion, Next Unicorn, Forest of Innovation, Korea University, etc., took part. These selected startups held a demo day and showed off their capabilities.
COMEUP 2022 VIP CONFERENCE in Busan
The startup festival also held a special event in Busan this year. On Nov 11, at the COMEUP 2022 VIP Conference in Busan’ held at The Bay 101 Marine Hall in Haeundae-gu, Busan, Mike Kim, head of Google for Startups APAC, Klaus Viheiji, CEO, Marta Allina, GEA General Manager, and Eum Jae-Hoon, GFT Ventures CEO, were present. They gave lectures on the themes of ‘Support for Global Entrepreneurship for Founders,’ ‘Strategy for Global Entry of Local Startups,’ ‘Global Strategies for Korean Startups’, and ‘Local Startup Ecosystem from a Foreigner’s Perspective’ and held Q&A sessions with the audience.
Choi Seong-jin, chairman of the COMEUP 2022 Executive Committee, said, “I am grateful for the great interest and support were shown for startups and ecosystem officials who led the first privately organized COMEUP 2022. We will continue to develop by listening to the diverse voices of more startups.”
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