In a dynamic showcase of groundbreaking technologies, the ‘2023 Star Hack Demo Day,’ billed as a preliminary unicorn festival for innovative technologies, unfolded successfully on December19. Hosted by Unicorn Academy ‘Star Ventures,’ led by CEO Moon Ji-eun, in collaboration with SK Securities, the event brought together 12 prospective unicorn teams under the theme of ‘A place of opportunity to give wings to innovative companies that will change the world.’ The event took place at the Hoseo University Venture Graduate School campus in Seocho-gu, Seoul.
The distinguished gathering included Star Ventures CEO Moon Ji-eun, executives from SK Securities, investors from prominent firms like Infobank, Open Water Investment, Big Bang Ventures, and Alumni Partners, VCinvestment reviewers, and experts representing various fields. The event served as a platform to elevate Star Ventures’ status as a rising star in the industry, with 12 startups participating in a fierce pitching competition under the banner of ‘Star Innovation.’
Among the standout entries were: ‘Green’ specializing in waste cooking oil recycling and biodiesel production, and ’11 Liters’ focusing on pet online home care, both selected for the ‘Star Ventures TIPS Project.’ Additionally, ‘Lobigos’ with a mobility control platform, ‘Urban Warehouse’ offering premium side dish selections, and ‘Naughty Defender’ with an app creation app garnered significant attention from investment companies.
Notably, four to five teams received invitations for follow-up investment meetings, with funding discussions reaching pre-series and series A and B levels. The event highlighted the diverse range of innovative solutions, with entries like ‘LuaLab’ for wearable sleep apnea monitoring, ‘Yamifun’ for Metaverse marketing tools, ‘Sinol’ for a 5070 social platform, ‘Last Mile’ for positioning sensor and location-based non-face-to-face remote management system, ‘EBS Square’ for all-solid electrolyte for electric vehicles, ‘Buencamino’ for open banking services, and ‘Don’t Try Too Hard’ for a fishing travel tech platform.
The success story of Star Innovation’s 1st and 2nd teams was celebrated, positioning them as core growth engines (HACK) with the potential to become unicorns. Star Ventures had selected a total of 20 innovative startups in March, focusing on sectors such as recycling and biodiesel, all-solid-state electrolyte production, mobility control solutions, and greenhouse gas reduction.
Moon Ji-eun, CEO of Star Ventures, expressed confidence in the program’s impact, stating, “This year’s Star Innovation 2nd team focused on performance and growth, growing 2 to 3 times faster than the last 1st team.” He emphasized the achievement of attracting seed and pre-series investments, setting a record for follow-up investment linked to TIPS from major domestic VCs and CVC TIPS operators within six months.
Moon Ji-eun went on to share his ambitious vision, stating, “Next year’s 3rd team will scale up to a unicorn five times faster through a more advanced super gap program.” Star Ventures, often regarded as Korea’s Y Combinator, specializes in nurturing technology startup unicorns by identifying high-growth potential startups and providing investment, education, and mentoring. CEO Ji-eun Moon, renowned for his expertise in future technology, has a distinguished background, having served as the CEO of Daum Game, CMO of Groupon Korea, director of the Korea Venture Startup Association, and professor at the Startup Support Group at Hanyang University.
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