In Seoul, the global startup festival ‘COMEUP 2021’ opened on November 17, 2021 at Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP). This year, the festival aims to strengthen the communication and exchange between domestic and foreign innovative startups, investors, and global companies through a large-scale offline-oriented international startup event.
This year’s slogan of COMEUP 2021 is Meet the Future-Transformation, which expresses the purpose of startups looking at the changes in the market environment after the COVID-19 outbreak and preparing for the upcoming technological transformation that would shape the future.
COMEUP STARS are innovative startups chosen to represent themselves in COMEUP 2021. A total of 783 companies applied for 72 spots, resulting in a highly competitive rate of 10:9:1. This is evidence of great interest in COMEUP from startups around the world.
Selected 56 Korean startups (77.8%) and 16 overseas startups (22.2%) will be given opportunities to present themselves to investors worldwide during the COMEUP event, including IR presentations, biz matching, and exhibition booths. In addition, they will be given priority during biz matching with venture capital (VC) around the world and networking opportunities with past and fellow current startups.
The startup showcase included six startups that were given a chance to pitch their companies in front of three judges and global investors. The pitching time was five minutes, followed by a question-and-answer session of five minutes from the judges.
The distinguished judges scrutinized one set of rookie startups is Jung-hee Ryu, founder of Olaworks Inc. and currently the Partner and CEO of FuturePlay Inc., which builds and invests in deep-tech and innovative startups.
The other two judges were Shina Jung, CEO of Kakao Ventures and John Nahm, Managing director of Strong Ventures. The judges scrutinized a set of six rookie startups based on their pitches. These startups were selected for COMEUP 2021 based on their potential to grow in their segment and disrupt the industry in their particular field.
The startups that showcased their work are Dreamyoungs, represented by CEO Imsu Jung. The startup simplifies technology to present a way for anyone to create a professional and cool chatbot for free.
The following startup to pitch their idea was NEWZ, represented by CEO Gahyu Kim, a No.1 Short-Form Contents Platform for Gen Z that aims to be the leader in 10 years.
Vibezone, represented by CEO Sangbum Park, is a compound word of vibe and zone. Based on user-customized archiving data, the startup tries to make a place where users can connect more intimately.
BlockPet, a clear identification of pets through AI image recognition, was pitched by CEO Hee-Geun Park. This pitch was followed by O.NE People represented by A-Young Cho, CEO. The startup is an online untact Personal information life cycle management service.
The final pitch of the session was from Carchap, represented by CEO Wonjae Lee, an all-in-one mobility service platform.
The judges patiently heard each pitch and asked the budding entrepreneurs about their nearest competitors and how they plan to scale up their company in the future. It even ended on a grand note with all new startup founders being able to gain from the rich experience of the judges and critically understand the challenges they might face shortly.