Seoul Global Startup Center (SGSC) 2021 ‘Global Bootcamp’ kicks off as 7 Korean startups explore overseas expansion

Seoul Global Startup Center (SGSC) launched its ‘Global Bootcamp’ 2021 on June 7th, with seven Korean startups participating to explore opportunities in the international market. SGSC 2021 Global Bootcamp has been organized to help enterprising Korean startups connect with accelerators, mentors, businesses, etc., for consultation regarding venturing to the overseas market.

The program, which is being held virtually this year, provides an excellent opportunity for startups to build crucial strategies to enter overseas markets with local accelerators. The  2021 SGSC Global Bootcamp has been scheduled for six days, spread over two weeks from June 7th to June 18th. The program covers various discussion topics for Korean startups looking to expand their business to the USA and South East Asia markets.

The startups are divided into two groups as per their expansion aspirations to the USA and Southeast Asia (SEA) markets. The session topics include – Building Local Community, Branding/Marketing, Sales & Distribution, Team Building, Building an IR deck, and a Final IR Pitch. The selection process for the 2021 SGSC Global Bootcamp happened in May 2021, and seven startups were selected this year. Korean startups participating in the 2021 SGSC Bootcamp are:

  1. Apollo Edutech provides coding education through unplugged educational gaming.
  2. BeAptive, which has designed the first-ever social media app for kids.
  3. Kaesa, a luxury fashion accessories startup that has adopted sustainable materials & processes
  4. oneCharge, which has developed an AI and Computer Vision Smart EV Charging System
  5. StyleupK, a fashion e-commerce startup
  6. SD Networks, a skincare & cosmetics products manufacturer & sales startup
  7. Wcoding, a Korean startup, which offers coding boot camps & courses for everyone in English.

Day one about Building Community & Localised Strategies 

Day one of the ‘Global Bootcamp’ was about consultation and discussion about building communities to expand business in overseas markets. Founders of three startups – Kaesa, Apollo Edutech, and BeAptive took part in the USA targeting market session with Sunny Midha, a USA-based growth investor, media & tech M&A Advisor, and principal investor Principia Growth. The session for the SEA market was attended by founders of StyleupK, Wcoding, SD Networks, and oneCharge. It was led by Dharmadi Gusanto, Investor analyst with Alpha JWC ventures, an Indonesia-focused value-adding venture capital firm, and Winzendy Tedja, founder and CEO of Indonesia-based fashion e-commerce Yuna & Co.

Sunny Midha
Sunny Midha

For the USA market session, Sunny Midha talked about building community using the ambassador program. He gave the startups specific advice regarding their needs and goals regarding exploring community building in the USA market. “All businesses require a community. Nowadays, you have to build a community utilizing social media,” Sunny explained to the founders. Different businesses require different types and amounts of social media community-building actions. While for fashion-sustainability startup Kaesa working on building sustainability-related blogs or social media presence is helpful, for Edutech startup Apollo a digital strategy that targets the parents is significant, and for BeAptive, a social media buzz utilizing media and influencer kids works, Sunny advised.

Sunny also discussed various case studies that included a fashion startup he was involved in that used Twitter, ambassador program, Promo codes, reaching out to female influencers, etc. He also cited examples of Aspiration bank, Pantagonia, drone makers DJI, etc. Business strategies for the B2B market, post-COVID marketing, diaspora marketing, etc., were also discussed briefly. Startup founders Steve Yang, CEO & founder of Apollo Edutech, Rachel Chung, CEO & founder of BeAptive, and Amy Chu, CEO & Creative Director of Kaesa, took part in the discussion and learned about entering their businesses to the US market.

Dharmadi
Dharmadi Gusanto

The SEA market session had Chloe Eu, CEO of StyleupK, Cyrus Chow, CEO & co-founder oneCharge, Kyung Dong Kyle Kim, co-founder of Wcoding, and Seungwoo Huh, CEO and founder of SD Networks as participants. Alpha JWC Ventures’ Dharmadi led the session with a presentation that talked about cases of Uber and Meesho that failed to take off in SEA markets. He explained that the key to success in the SEA region had been localized product or service, localized business model, and local partnerships. Dharmadi cited the success of Line, a social media app used in Indonesia Thailand, Oriflame of Sweden’s direct selling model, the success of MI in Indonesia. Dharamdi also emphasized the utilization of the K-wave, giving an example of Ajaib, an investing platform in Indonesia that got popular with the millennials as it hired Kim Seon Ho, the star of popular K-Drama as a brand ambassador.

Winzendy Tedja,
Winzendy Tedja

The second session for the SEA market was conducted by Winzendy Tedja, founder and CEO of Indonesia-based fashion e-commerce Yuna & Co. Zendy talked about the success story of his fashion startup Yuna. He explained how his company managed different business strategies as it grew from 2018 to date. He described in detail how his company’s strategies evolved from utilizing feedbacks from loyal customers, involving influencers to engaging with another startup’s content reference. Zendy answered queries from startup founders regarding B2B, B2C markets, the difference between offline and online market and revenue models, marketing challenges, legal challenges, etc.

Established in 2016 by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, the Seoul Global Startup Center is jointly operated by startup accelerator N15 and WeWorkLabs Korea. Based in Yongsan-gu, Seoul, the organization offers various kinds of supports for global startups ranging from office spaces and funding vouchers to mentoring services. Seoul GSC is established to serve as the foreigner-friendly startup hub to ease the challenges foreign entrepreneurs face as they start and run their businesses in Korea. The SGSC 2021 ‘Global Bootcamp’ sessions are scheduled in two weeks, from June 7th to June 18th. Follow SGSC at  https://seoulgsc.com/ about different startup programs. beSuccess Media group, a leading global startup media company in South Korea, designed the accelerator program in partnership with SGSC. KoreaTechDesk will be bringing you details of each session of the 2021 SGSC Global Boot Camp.

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