‘Korean Startup Showcase 2022 Singapore’ a program conducted by Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) to showcase Korean travel startups to potential VCs, was held successfully from October 24-28, 2022. The program is conducted by KTO, organized by CNT Tech, and co-hosted by Cuvee April. The seven participating Korean startups got mentoring, meetings, and networking opportunities with global VCs, eminent mentors and investors during the 4-day program.
The program had mentoring sessions, VC meetings and two demo days where startups pitched their products and services to a global audience. The Korean startups that participated were WeAreFriends Co., ltd., an online world travel app developer; Seoul Unniedeul, a K-beauty content platform; Gleam Media Group INC, a K-Pop fan platform; Enkorwithus: a residential service for foreigners visiting Korea; Wmclub, a service that matches functional shoes and insoles; Globaleur, an AI-driven itinerary recommendation and optimization engine; VEStellaLab, a navigation app for parking space.
On October 25, the first mentoring session was led by Justin Hall, Partner at Golden Gate Ventures, a venture capital firm that invests in Southeast Asia, founded by Silicon Valley natives. The mentoring session was held at the Yuen Law LLC Office, a boutique legal practice firm. Samuel Yuen, a leading lawyer with the Yuen Law LLC office, gave a small presentation about the legal firm. The startups got advice about improving their pitch decks and adding more value to attract investors’ attention.
On the same day, the startups interacted with VC firm Plug and Play’s Jun Ho Bae at Gunderson Dettmer Singapore LLP Office, an international law firm. Jonathan Pentizen, managing and founding partner of Gunderson Dettmer’s Singapore office, gave a small presentation about the firm. “We are happy to be here. We invest in pre-series startups and look at founders’ backgrounds and how experienced they are. For investments, I look most importantly at economic factors that have the entrepreneur thought through the process, sensitized all critical players, etc. With COVID, travel startups found it hard to grow, but this could be a ground to build upon,” Jun Ho Bae said.
The program’s second day started with a session with VC Gang Chern Sun at the NUS Enterprise office on October 26. Gang Chern Sun has been a senior associate director of Ecosystem Development (Incubation) at NUS Enterprise for over 11 years. Gang Chern Sun had a one-to-one session with each Korean travel startup as they presented their products and services. He asked them about the business model, revenue generation, customer retention, etc.
On October 27, Korean Startup Showcase 2022 Singapore hosted a session with Jeffrey Paine, Founding Partner of Golden Gate Ventures, at the Gunderson Dettmer Singapore LLP Office, a venture firm. “The Korean story is fine, the expansion is important, but the reality of actually coming out is a different story,” Jeffery gave some valuable advice to startups while interacting with a participating founder regarding future aspirations.
On October 26 & 27th, the seven startups also had their demo days presentations at the Yuen Law LLC office and Gunderson Dettmet Singapore LLP office. Top investors and VCs asked different questions to the startups regarding their services as they presented their pitches individually. There were questions regarding the competition, revenues, marketing potential, technology, the problem they are addressing, expansion plan, profits, cost of goods, strengths and weaknesses, market strategy, user retention, etc. The startups also had one-to-one interactions with the VCs post the main event to share ideas and find potential funders.
The Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and KTO have set up a Korea Tourism Startup Center(KTSC) in Singapore in 2022 to help tourism startups to create more opportunities in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Since 2011, KTO has accelerated more than 1,000 startups over the past 12 years. In the last three years, has worked to develop startups into innovative tourism companies through a specialized program for global market expansion.
- KTO’s Korean Startup Showcase 2022 Singapore participating startups pitch their businesses to funders on Demo Day2
- KTO’s Korean Startup Showcase 2022 Singapore participants present their businesses to Golden Gate Ventures’ Jeffrey Paine
- KTO’s Korean Startup Showcase 2022 Singapore Demo Day 1 gives chance to startups to demonstrate their business prowess
- KTO’s Korean Startup Showcase 2022 Singapore participants have Q&A session with NUS Enterprise’s Gang Chern Sun