K-Startup Week ComeUp 2019, a global flagship startup event aimed at promoting Korean startups, was held successfully from 27th November to 29th November in Seoul. The annual event, with its slogan, ‘Meet the Future,’ had various programs throughout the three-day schedule. There were over 2700 visitors, 4000 companies and over 500 investors from about 58 countries that participated in the event.
The program was organized and hosted by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, Korea Institute of Start-up and Entrepreneurship Development, and private startup ecosystem at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) in Seoul. The ComeUp2019 was supported by the Korea Institute for Entrepreneurship Promotion, KOTRA, and the Technology Guarantee Fund.
On 27th November, there was a pre-event program for different stakeholders, including domestic and international, to make them acquainted with the Korean startup ecosystem. On 28th and 29th November, eight sessions were held with panel talks, lectures, pitching, etc. covering industries like Edu-tech, food tech, bio & health, lifestyle, fashion, beauty, entertainment, frontier tech, mobility, and Fin-Tech.
Park Young-sun, Minister of SMEs and startups, said, “Comeup2019 is the first global startup festival held through the win-win cooperation between the government and the public and private sector. It has laid the foundation for a leap into Asia’s leading startup festival beyond Asia.”
Industry Experts, startups shared & exchanged knowledge
ComeUp 2019 opened with a keynote speech on day one followed by other speeches from industry experts of Food Tech and EduTech & Lifestyle, respectively. Woowa Brothers’ CEO Bonjing Kim gave the opening speech. The other key speakers of the day were General Partner at the Sparkslab Eugene Kim from the USA CEO of FUTUREPLAY Junghee Ryu, CEO of MASHUPANGELS Taekkyung Lee, CEO of BLUEPOINT PARTNERS YongGwan Lee and Junghoo Cha, the Deputy Minister, Ministry of SMEs and Startups. Later, a panel talk on Food Tech followed by IR competition for both Food Tech and EduTech & Lifestyle industry was held. Also, there were panel talks and IR competition for beauty, biotech & pharma, Med-Tech & Health-tech, and fashion industries.
On 29th November, there were panel talks on Artificial Intelligence, entertainment, Frontier Tech, mobility, FinTech industry along with keynote speeches and IR competition. In the FinTech session, Seung-gun Lee, CEO of VIVA REPUBLICA, the first unicorn among domestic FinTech companies, presented ‘FinTech’s competitiveness to protect contact with customers.’ In the entertainment session, Co-founder and EVP at SmartStudy, Lee Seung Kyu (Ryan) talked about the future of the entertainment industry with ‘Pinkfong and Baby Shark’ as examples, which are popular animation characters worldwide. Frontier Tech, Mobility sessions were held with lectures and panel talks, including speakers from BMW and Google.
IR Competition for enterprising startups
The eight companies that were selected as top startups in the IR pitching contest for each session, shall attend MWC 2020 in Barcelona, Spain, where they can interact with global startups. The winners of the IR Pitching Competition were – Devotion Food Co., Ltd. (Food Tech startup) that develops and produces alternative meat made from vegetable protein, Knockout, a startup that creates differentiated fitness contents that match customer behaviour patterns, SKIA(Bio & Health startup) that helps reduce surgical time by showing surgical incisions and lesion locations directly on the body, VIASWEAT ( Beauty & Fashion startup), Frontier Tech startups ACBIODE that has developed a standalone AC battery with a longer product life and BLOCKODYSSEY, Team ISLAND (Entertainment startup), which created a video platform using design-based 3D mapping technology, and an optical sensor for autonomous vehicles, Microsystem (Mobility startup), which developed intelligent glass technology to remove pollutants on its own, and COGNI (FinTech startup), an online digital bank.
Additional events held during ComeUp2019 were ‘Global Maker Forum and Challenge’, ‘Day of Challenge,’ ‘Korea Open Innovation Forum’, ‘Korea-Sweden Social Venture Business Seminar,’ and ‘Global Open Innovation Korea.’ Big companies such as Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motor Company also visited the event site and representatives from both asked about various new technologies of startups.