The Korean entrepreneurial zeal and innovation were showcased to global investors in Singapore as 10 enterprising Korean startups participated in the KOSME-beSUCCESS Showcase. Organised by the Korea SMEs & Startups Agency (KOSME), in partnership with the beSUCCESS Media Group, the event became a highly successful exhibition in Singapore. This event unfolded from October 9th to October 12th across various locations. It served as a dynamic platform for ten diverse Korean startups to unveil their cutting-edge solutions to an audience comprising investors, accelerators, and corporate strategists.
The KOSME-beSUCCESS Showcase marked the apex of the Singapore chapter of the KOSME K-Unicorn Academy program, which commenced its journey in July. This program commenced with a rich pool of talent spanning a multitude of sectors, including ICT, healthcare, SaaS, and manufacturing, from which the initial cohort of 50 pioneering companies emerged.
Among the ten startups that graced the KOSME K-Unicorn Academy Singapore program were LabSD, Inc., Layers Cosmetic Co. Ltd., LOXIS, LIVIT Inc., MoCon, Soo and Carrots Inc., AlphaOmega, Amass Co., Ltd., Oldam, Coconut Silo, Inc.
Korean Innovation Takes Center Stage in Singapore
The Singapore leg of this program kicked off on October 9th with a VC mentorship session hosted at the Gunderson Dettmer Office. Jun Ho Bae, Principal at Tenity, an early-stage investing firm, and Kishore Ravichandran, Venture Investor at Plug and Play Ventures, led these sessions as Korean startups presented their compelling pitches.
Gunderson Dettmer is an international law firm with an exclusive focus on the innovation economy. The firm serves market-leading venture capital and growth equity investors and pioneering private companies through inception, growth and maturity, as well as the groundbreaking public companies that result from the global venture capital ecosystem.
Jun Ho Bae is lead Venture investor at Tenity (formerly F10) and works with early stage fintech startups in Asia. Kishore Ravichandran is currently investing in startups pertaining to Energy, Aerospace, Climate Tech, Mobility, Sustainability, Smart Cities & related sectors.
On October 10th, the KOSME-Infineon session featured discussions and presentations on technological advancements, including AWS, MS Cloud, and more. As part of the program, the startups also had the opportunity to visit the KSC Singapore office.
On October 11th saw another VC session hosted at the NUS Enterprise office BLOCK71, where startups had the platform to pitch their services and products. The session was guided by Mun Yew WONG, Managing Partner at Greenwillow Capital Management, and Prusothman Sina Raja, Co-founder and CEO of twoplus Fertility, who served as chief mentors.
NUS Enterprise is the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the startups were hosted at the BLOCK 71, a tech ecosystem builder and global connector and an initiative by NUS Enterprise in collaboration with corporates and government agencies.
Mun Yew Wong specializes in private equity & venture capital investments in Technology, Energy and Healthcare with focus on operations and business development in hospital & healthcare. Prusothman Sina Raja is a serial medtech entrepreneur with hands-on knowledge of many critical aspects of medtech product development/commercialization. Apart from entrepreneurship work, he has mentored numerous startups, industry teams and students in official and unofficial capacities.
Furthermore, the startups had the privilege of visiting the office of Aspire, a unicorn startup. Aspire is an all-in-one financial software catering to growing businesses, with a customer base exceeding 15,000 startups and SMBs in Southeast Asia. Aspire empowers these businesses to save time and money with multi-currency accounts and cards, expense management, payable management, and receivable management solutions – all under one account.
The startups had showcase days at the Gunderson Dettmer Office on October 11th and 12th, where they got the opportunity to present their companies to potential investors and VCs.
Also as part of the Singapore program, the startup founders got to network with members of ACE.SG (Action Community for Entrepreneurs, Singapore) a leading startup association in the country. ACE.SG works to improve market access for startups among different countries, facilitating business expansion, business matching, corporate innovation and regional fundraising initiatives.
In a special session on October 13th, Korean startups had the opportunity to meet David He, a partner at Gunderson Dettmer specializing in startups and venture capital. The session took place at GEAR: Kajima Lab for Global Engineering, Architecture & Real Estate in Singapore, a pioneering innovation hub in Asia. David, recognized for his expertise in cross-border equity, debt financings, M&A, and corporate governance, has advised on numerous venture-backed deals worldwide.
GEAR, Kajima’s regional headquarters, is committed to occupant wellness and sustainability, holding Platinum certification from the International WELL Building Institute and Super Low Energy status from the Building and Construction Authority. It serves as a collaborative space for entrepreneurs, government entities, corporations, universities, and ecosystem enablers, redefining the modern workplace.
KOSME K-Unicorn Academy: Fostering Korean Entrepreneurship for Global Success
The primary objective of the KOSME K-Unicorn Academy program was to equip young Korean entrepreneurs with the essential resources and opportunities necessary for global expansion. The program’s initial phases included online mentoring sessions led by seasoned experts from the USA, Singapore, and the Middle East. These sessions were thoughtfully designed to explore global expansion strategies and unearth untapped market opportunities.
Ten startup founders were meticulously chosen from the initial pool of 50 companies to present their distinctive products and services to the Singapore investor audience. The event offered a sneak peek into these dynamic pitches and provided extensive networking opportunities with visionary founders and elite investors.
The showcase underscored the pivotal role KOSME (Korea SMEs & Startups Agency) played in nurturing the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Korea. Through a wide array of financial and non-financial initiatives, KOSME empowers startups and SMEs to elevate their global competitiveness, diversify their portfolios, and extend their reach. Participants in the showcase aligned themselves with an agency actively shaping the future of entrepreneurship.
The beSUCCESS Media Group was pivotal in co-hosting and facilitating the international startup-investor networking event. The KOSME-beSUCCESS Showcase provided a vibrant platform where the brightest minds in the startup ecosystem converged, eager to exchange ideas, explore synergies, and forge partnerships capable of reshaping entire industries.
The Korean startups in Singapore’s leg of the KOSME-beSUCCESS showcase left a lasting impression on the audience with their creativity and the potential to disrupt industries. The connections made, and partnerships formed during the showcase are poised to pave the way for groundbreaking collaborations between Korean startups and global investors. Additionally, it’s worth noting that the KOSME K-Unicorn Academy program is set to host a showcase for Korean startups in Saudi Arabia from October 19 to 22.
- KOSME K-Unicorn Academy Program: Mentorship with Saudi VCs and Experts for Korean Entrepreneurs
- Korean Startups Shine at KOSME-beSUCCESS Showcase in the USA
- Korean Startup Gole Robotics Pioneers Smart Construction with Robotic Lifting Innovation
- Vsion Inc. Unveils Innovative Smart Window Technology for Zero- Energy Buildings