In a remarkable display of Korean entrepreneurial spirit and innovation, the Korea SMEs & Startups Agency (KOSME), in collaboration with the beSUCCESS Media Group, recently hosted a highly successful showcase in San Francisco on September 19 and Menlo Park on September 21. This event served as a platform for ten diverse Korean startups to present their innovative solutions to an audience that included investors, accelerators, and corporate strategists.
The KOSME-beSUCCESS Showcase marked the culmination of the US chapter of the KOSME K-Unicorn Academy program, which kicked off in July. The program began with a pool of talented candidates spanning various sectors, including ICT, healthcare, SaaS, and manufacturing, from which emerged the initial cohort of 50 pioneering companies.
Providing Platform for Networking with US Investment Ecosystem
The US leg of the program started with a pre-event mentoring session for the participating startups by James Walker, internal counsel and investor at Draper Associates on September 18 at the O’Melveny & Myers LLP office in San Francisco.
On September 19, the KOSME K-Unicorn Academy program featured a VC mentoring session at the SOSV office in San Francisco, led by Weichang Ge, Senior Investment Analyst in Deep Tech Venture Capital. This was followed by a demo day held at the O’Melveny & Myers LLP office in San Francisco, attended by prominent global investors and VC mentors.
On September 21, a VC mentoring session led by Grant Cleghorn, Partner at Creative Ventures, took place, preceding another demo day hosted at the O’Melveny & Myers LLP office in Menlo Park. An additional meetup with PNPTC (PlugnPlay) Investor David Kim was also organized on September 22, providing startup founders ample time and networking opportunities and one-on-one VC meetings.
The ten startups that attended the KOSME K-Unicorn Academy program include – Gole Robotics Co., Ltd., Flare Labs Co., Ltd., Factgora Co., Ltd., CarCare, KFoodTech Co., Ltd., BEI Lab Co., Ltd., Greenish Co., Ltd., Vsion Co., Ltd., Wondervari Co., Ltd. CAMILab.
The core mission of the KOSME K-Unicorn Academy program was to equip young Korean entrepreneurs with essential resources and opportunities to expand their ventures globally. The program’s initial phases consisted of online mentoring sessions featuring experienced experts from the USA, Singapore, and the Middle East. These sessions were designed to delve into global expansion strategies and uncover untapped market opportunities.
Out of the initial cohort of 50 companies, ten startup founders were selected to pitch their unique products and services to an audience of discerning American investors. The event offered attendees an exclusive preview of these dynamic pitches and provided networking opportunities with visionary founders and elite investors.
Nurturing Entrepreneurship for Global Expansion
The showcase also underscored the pivotal role played by KOSME (Korea SMEs & Startups Agency) in fostering the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Korea. Through an array of financial and non-financial initiatives, KOSME empowers startups and SMEs to enhance their global competitiveness, diversify their portfolios, and expand their reach. Participants in the showcase aligned themselves with an agency actively shaping the future of entrepreneurship.
The beSUCCESS Media Group, renowned for its role in co-hosting and facilitating international startup-investor networking events, played an instrumental part in the event’s success. The KOSME-beSUCCESS Showcase served as a space where the brightest minds in the startup ecosystem converged, eager to exchange ideas, explore synergies, and forge partnerships that could reshape industries.
As the US event concluded, it left behind an atmosphere of excitement and anticipation. The Korean startups that graced the stage impressed the audience with their creativity and 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 American investors. Furthermore, KOSME K-Unicorn Academy program is hosting Korean startups showcase in Singapore and Saudi Arabia in October.
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