The 120 global startups (COMEUP Stars) that will participate in the Korean government ace program for tech startups COMEUP 2020 have been selected. The Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS)’ Minister Park Young-sun, and the 2020 COMEUP Organizing Committee Chairperson of the Civil Organizing Committee Kim Seul-ah, CEO of Market Kurly, announced that the selection of 120 startups to participate in the online IR program, the highlight of the upcoming COMEUP 2020 event of this year, has been completed.
This year’s COMEUP online IR program will be divided into two main tracks, the ‘Rocket League’ and the ‘Rookie League’. The ‘Rocket League’ targets excellent startup companies that present a vision for the industry in accordance with 12 sessions, while the ‘Rookie League’ targets early startup companies with less than 500 million won in the accumulated amount of attracted investment within 3 years of company founding.
The 12 Sessions for the ‘Rocket League’ include startups working in K-quarantine, Policy, Digital Healthcare, Environment, Open Innovation, AI & Robotics, Remote Work, Manufacturing, Commerce, Education, Entertainment, and Distribution.
According to the MSS and the Organizing Committee, 1,076 startups from 89 countries around the world, applied for an opportunity to participate in the online IR program at the upcoming COMEUP event (to be held from November 19 to 21 for 3 days).
This year the 1076 applications came within the about month-long online application period from July 24 to August 23. The applications had a record high competition rate of 9:1 to be selected as one of the final 120 companies. The applications by these 1,076 startups were carefully and fairly reviewed through the first stage evaluation (application documents evaluation) and the second stage evaluation (open evaluation + expertise evaluation). As the third and final stage of the evaluation, the COMEUP Organizing Committee selected the final 120 startups.
As a result of the final evaluation for the selection of COMEUP Stars, a total of 120 innovative startups were selected. The Rocket League selected 84 startups with expertise in the 12 sessions, while the Rookie League selected 36 early startups with future growth potential. In line with the purpose of the “Global Startup Festival”, more overseas startups (61 companies, 50.8%) were selected than domestic counterparts (59 companies, 49.2%). Looking at each league, the Rocket league has 36 domestic companies (42.9%) and 48 overseas companies (57.1%), whereas the Rookie league has 23 domestic companies (63.9%) and 13 overseas companies (36.1%).
In particular, among startups applied from overseas, a total of 61 were selected from 26 countries, with Israel (8) being the most, followed by the United States (7) and Germany (7), and Singapore (6).
In addition, the average business experience of all companies is 3.4 years, with 47 companies (39.2%) in the early stage of one to three years since incorporation and 27 companies (22.5%) in the growth stage of three to five years since incorporation.
The average investment attraction of the 120 newly selected COMEUP Stars this year is 5.83 billion Korean won (WON), and 6 startups have succeeded in attracting more than 30 billion won, including Spire Global (180 billion won) of the USA and Wallbox of Spain (30 billion won). It appears that even the top-tier startups around the world have been paying attention to COMEUP.
Companies that have attracted investment of more than 30 billion won among COMEUP Stars 2020: (USA) Spire Global 180 billion won, (Spain) Wallbox 30 billion won, (Korea) StradVision 50.6 billion won, (Korea) Monolith 46.2 billion won, (USA) Sense Photonics 39.6 billion won, and (Russia) Healbe Corporation 36 billion won
Among Korean companies that are selected as COMEUP Stars, “StradVision” is a company specializing in object recognition software for autonomous driving, has attracted an investment of 50.6 billion won, and “Monolith Co., Ltd.,” a new concept theme parks platform company, has attracted an investment of 46.2 billion won.
Meanwhile, the list of 120 COMEUP Stars that were finally selected for this online IR program can be found on the COMEUP website. The MSS and the Organizing Committee will provide the selected COMEUP Stars with free video production for a corporate promotion and online promotional booths on COMEUP’s website. The COMEUP Stars will also be provided with preferential opportunities to participate in business-linked investment and export consultation conferences in connection with domestic and overseas venture capitals (VCs) and buyers. In addition, they will also be given opportunities to engage in real-time networking with senior startups and fellow companies around the world.
This year’s COMEUP will be held mainly as non-face-to-face online-centred events to prevent the spread of COVID-19. While, as originally planned, the opening ceremony and main conferences will be held for 3 days (November 19 – 21) as online events, additional events such as investment IR and export consultation conferences are planned to be operated flexibly for 1-2 weeks online, depending on the matching situation.
Kim Seul-ah, CEO of Market Kurly, who is the co-chair of the COMEUP 2020 Organizing Committee as well as the chairperson of the evaluation committee for selecting “COMEUP STARS” says, “We have high expectations for COMEUP Stars, who overcame fierce competition and became the main characters representing COMEUP. We will do our best to help the COMEUP Stars selected through this COMEUP to grow into world-class innovative startups with the expertise and future growth potential to lead the post-COVID-19 era.”