South Korea’s global startup festival COMEUP 2020 has a grand opening ceremony; Theme of the day focusses on overcoming challenges in the pandemic-hit world

South Korea’s biggest event for global startups and Korean startups – COMEUP 2020 began today with a grand opening ceremony and many insightful panel discussions, expert talks, startup pitches, and more. COMEUP 2020 has been organized virtually in an ‘untact’ way providing a new standard this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. The 3-day global startup festival from November 19 to 21st, is a prominent event in Asia, and its second edition has been organized under the futuristic theme of “Meet The Future – Post Pandemic.” 

Online-event hall for global participants 

COMEUP 2020 is a platform for global startups and Korean startups to expand their horizons by meeting global investors, agencies, mentors, attending discussions, and more. Global Investors and companies can get possible avenues for investments in the Korean startup ecosystem and global startups through COMEUP 2020. The event is live on YouTube, Naver TV, Kakao TV’s ComeUp channel, and a link on the website. Korean experts, government representatives, organizing committee, and startup founders, who could attend the offline event were present at the venue, maintaining all COVID-19 protocols – masks & social distancing. The main opening event started at the event hall with a blazing video about COMEUP 2020 and a dance performance that amalgamated human touch and technology, representing today’s ‘untact’ times. 

The Opening Performance at COMEUP 2020.

Korean government promises support for post-pandemic innovation

Minister Park Young-sun, the Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS), South Korea, made the opening speech inviting all virtual and event hall participants to COMEUP 2020.

Minister Park Young-sun, the Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS), South Korea.

In her opening address Minister Park Young-sun said, “We are experiencing COVID-19 pandemic and despite these challenges, we have been preparing for COMEUP2020. This is a golden opportunity to promote the Korean startup ecosystem. COMEUP 2020 has been organised based on the non-contact model and on the success of our K-Quarantine model. COMEUP 2020 will create a meaningful opportunity for startups around the world so we can address the key challenges of today’s time.” 

Further elaborating about the paradigm shift in the post-pandemic world and the role of startups in the new protocol economy, she said, “The post-pandemic era will be an era of online and non-face-to-face, it will become our every day reality. We should be able to transit quickly to this paradigm shift, which will be the new protocol in the economy. It is also opening up the digital economy, where AI and Big Data, Blockchain, will be key technologies. Big companies like Google, Microsoft, Google, Apple etc are already using those technologies. For startups to leap to unicorn status besides their expertise they will need to adapt to AI, Blockchain technologies to develop new business models. In this new era, the importance of global alliance and cooperation is important, which is why the essence of the new era is convergence and cooperation.”

The Minister also spoke about the Korean government’s commitment to create a vibrant ecosystem for startups and ventures to thrive. She announced the Korean government’s plan to raise a ‘Smart Korea Fund’ for Bio and Non-contact companies of 6 trillion won by 2025 and additionally foster 1000 non-contact startups to global companies. 

President Moon Jae-In’s greeting for COMEUP 2020

President of Republic of Korea, Moon Jae-In, send his congratulatory wishes via a video message for the COMEUP 2020 attendees. He welcomed all startups, venture companies and global entrepreneurs for COMEUP 2020 with encouraging words, “Imagination has turned to reality by meeting challenges. And we have made progress just as much as we have accepted challenges.”

President of Republic of Korea, Moon Jae-In

The President spoke about Korea’s resilient fight to overcome COVID-19 pandemic because of the thriving startup ecosystem in the country that quickly developed diagnostic kits, coronavirus tracking, and mask inventory digital maps. “Korea could stand as a model for containing and overcoming coronavirus,” President Moon Jae-In emphasised. 

He praised Korean startups that provided remote learning and working programs. The President named few emerging startups that have made a difference to the economy through innovation and technology like Conguard for its shipping monitoring technology, Octonius for its remote working software, ATKO planning for recycling cow leather scraps and Beewise for automated honey harvesting process. “They are literally changing the world with new technologies,” he said. 

President Moon commended the 120 COMEUP STARS – the global startups that will participate in the event for their selection. He said, “COMEUP has become a genuine global startup festival celebrated with startups, venture businesses and investors from around the world. We will be able to see cutting-edge technologies and services at a glance and hear inspiring lectures from Professors Henry Chesbrough, a master of open innovation. Professor Jung Sang Kim, who commercialized quantum computing technology, Sophie Kim of Market Kurly who pioneered innovative online grocery delivery and many other prominent figures in the field.” 

Ending his speech on a high-note President Moon promised, 

“Korea will work in partnership with global entrepreneurs through startups and venture businesses. And lead the post-COVID era at the forefront.”  

Global cooperation messages & Day One events 

Cedric O, Minister of State for the digital transition Korea and electronic communication, France

Cedric O, Minister of State for the digital transition Korea and electronic communication, France, sent his congratulatory video message for COMEUP 2020 with promise for France’s cooperation with South Korea. Bongjim Kim, VCEO of Korean unicorn startup Woowa Brothers also send his congratulatory video message at the opening ceremony.  

Bongjim Kim, VCEO, Woowa Brothers



Sophie Kim, the 2020 COMEUP Organizing Committee Chairperson of the Civil Organizing Committee & CEO of Market Kurly, started the event with a talk on ‘COVID-19 and Fresh New Ideas.’


She spoke about the effect of COVID-19 globally and every day life of each individual. She spoke about how startups can help in raising awareness and creating technologies that can usher in a new era of non-contact digital world. She gave examples of companies like Noom and Medihere in healthcare field, remote education application service provider Enuma, retail and e-commerce services like ‘unmanned’ stores and safe online deliveries.

Sophie Kim, the 2020 COMEUP Organizing Committee Chairperson of the Civil Organizing Committee & CEO of Market Kurly

“Many startups globally are trying to solve the problem we are experiencing and will continue to collaborate with one another. Even if the pandemic is finished, all these services by innovative startups will survive, because users now understand the convenience of the services,” said Sophie Kim as she cheered for all the startups for COMEUP 2020.

The Day one of COMEUP 2020 is full of extravagance with a number of panel discussions, innovative presentations, pitches by global startups and K-Startup Grand Challenge participants. The centering theme for the day is talk about the ongoing situation of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges faced by the business world. is covering the entire event for its global readers and will be bringing on more concise and informative features on the 3-day event of COMEUP 2020, so keep following the updates. For participating in the event live – global participants can log on to website or follow their YouTube Channel. 

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