Ten innovative Korean startups recently made their mark in the vibrant Middle East market, as they participated in the KOSME-beSUCCESS Showcase in Saudi Arabia. This dynamic event, hosted by the Korea SMEs & Startups Agency (KOSME), the Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS), and beSUCCESS Media Group, was held from October 18 to 23 in Riyadh. It provided these enterprising companies with an invaluable opportunity to present their cutting-edge solutions to a distinguished audience comprising investors, accelerators, and corporate strategists.
The KOSME-beSUCCESS Showcase in Saudi Arabia is a crucial component of the KOSME K-Unicorn Academy program, which kicked off in July. This program attracted an impressive pool of startups from diverse sectors, including ICT, healthcare, SaaS, and manufacturing. From the initial cohort of 50 pioneering companies, ten were chosen to take their innovative ideas to an international stage.
The program, with offline components held in the USA and Singapore, and online mentoring sessions with experts from various regions, aims to empower young Korean entrepreneurs by providing them with the resources and avenues needed for global expansion. It’s a testament to South Korea’s commitment to fostering entrepreneurship and innovation.
Among the ten startups that participated in the KOSME K-Unicorn Academy in Saudi Arabia were BioHealthCore Inc, Shukran Korea Inc., A-Life Corp., A Virtual, Intellectus Corporation, NEXTON Co., Ltd, VEStellaLab Inc., Tweennano Co., LTD, ZeroOne AI Inc., and Tacticalist Co., LTD.
Korean Innovation Takes Riyadh by Storm
The event in Saudi Arabia commenced with a VC mentorship session on October 18 at Tasamy For Impact office in Riyadh, led by Khalifa AlBarakati, a well-acclaimed Small & Medium Business Consultant. The startups then had the opportunity to showcase their ideas and engage in VC mentorship sessions with Ahad Iqbal, a leading investor with a focus on various mobility sectors.
The following days were dedicated to immersing the startups in the culture and business environment of Saudi Arabia. They explored technology hubs, historical sites, and even enjoyed a taste of the local cuisine.
A highlight of the program was a visit to Jahez, a Saudi unicorn company specializing in online food delivery on October 22. This provided valuable insights into the Saudi business landscape. Ibrahim Alshaya, Head of Products, of Jahez hosted the startups and shared notes about business in Saudi Arabia.
South Korea and Saudi Arabia Sign $15.6 Billion in Deals
In a momentous occasion on October 23, South Korea and Saudi Arabia signed 51 deals and memorandums of understanding (MOU) worth a total of $15.6 billion. This demonstrated the immense potential of business collaboration between the two countries and further motivated the participating startups of K-Unicorn Academy.
The event culminated in a Korea-Saudi Arabia startup roundtable, fostering connections between Korean and Saudi startup founders and investors. This networking opportunity aimed to facilitate future partnerships and mutual success.
The KOSME K-Unicorn Academy program has not only empowered young Korean entrepreneurs but also highlighted the pivotal role played by KOSME in nurturing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in South Korea. KOSME provides financial and non-financial support, enabling startups and SMEs to elevate their global competitiveness and expand their horizons.
The beSUCCESS Media Group played a crucial role in co-hosting and facilitating the international startup-investor networking event. The KOSME-beSUCCESS Showcase served as a vibrant platform for thought leaders in the startup ecosystem, encouraging the exchange of ideas, the exploration of synergies, and the formation of partnerships capable of reshaping industries.
The Korean startups that participated in the Saudi Arabia chapter of the KOSME-beSUCCESS showcase left an indelible impression on the audience with their creativity and potential to disrupt industries. The connections made and partnerships formed during this event are poised to pave the way for groundbreaking collaborations between Korean startups and global investors.
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