TIPS X beSUCCESS Korean Startup Showcase; Day One: 11 startups pitch and exchange ideas with a panel of top-tier investors & corporate strategists

The first day of the 3rd edition of “TIPS X beSUCCESS Korean Startup Showcase” on September 23, 2020, was a success with two sessions on the day. Eleven promising startups pitched their products and services to a panel of esteemed judges, including mentors, venture capitalists, and corporate strategists.

The “TIPS X beSUCCESS Korean Startup Showcase” is hosted by South Korea’s leading startup media company beSUCCESS and South Korean government-backed incubator TIPS (Tech Incubator Program for startup Korea). The first 2 editions of the startup showcase were held in San Francisco and Palo Alto. But with the COVID-19 pandemic situation this year, the ‘Demo Day Showcase’ is being held online.

AIET Director pitching at the TIPS X beSUCCESS Korean Startup Showcase.

On day one, two sessions were held – one at 08:00-09:30 KST (16:00 PDT, 07:00 SGT) for US-based investors and second at 15:00-16:30 KST (14:00 SGT, 23:00 PDT) for Asia based investors. James Jung of beSUCCESS media moderated both the sessions. Go Young Ha, Chairman of the Korea Business Angels Association, did a welcome speech introducing the TIPS-beSUCCESS Demoday. The 11 startups that pitched to the judges are:

1) Medihub Co., Ltd – a medical startup
2) LOKKS307 Co., Ltd – a telemedicine platform creator
3) Selectstar, Inc. – a crowdsourcing platform for AI training data collection/annotation
4) Creative Value Technology – a face recognition technology developer
5) AIET Co., LTD – Iris and Facial Recognition Technology developer
6) EVAR Corporation – Electric Vehicle charging technology developer
7) M2S Co., LTD – a VR content developer into eye-tracking technology
8) Oncocross – an AI platform for clinical trials for medicines
9) GeniRobot Co., LTD – an ‘All-in-One’ educational robot developer
10) Network Defines, Inc. – developed a video communication tool for collaboration
11) Seeso – developed a collaborative management solution platform for professionals

First session:

In the first session, all the startups pitched to a panel of judges that included Eric Kim, Managing Partner at the Goodwater Capital, Sue Xu, General Partner at Amino Capital, Adam J. Plotkin, Partner at ff Venture Capital, and Kenneth Chew, Associate Director of Vickers Venture.

The 11 startups pitched their services and technology to the judges and answered the panel’s relevant questions. The judges had queries about overseas expansion potential and plans, marketing strategy, communication strategy, collaborations with foreign partners, etc. The judges gave final feedback to all the startups at the end of the session.

GeniRobot at the TIPS X beSUCCESS Korean Startup Showcase.

“The companies presented interesting technology. The key question is to know what the market is? It is important that the companies reach out to the market even if the product is not yet perfect,” said Eric Kim, Managing Partner at the Goodwater Capital. “Most of the teams/startup founders that presented their companies today have sprung up from universities and have a great tech background. For them, the only barrier is not a Patent or AI algorithm but a data strategy. I would like to know more about how they have plans to handle big-data and what is the data strategy to get to the markets quickly,” said Sue Xu, General Partner at Amino Capital.

Adam J. Plotkin, Partner at ff Venture Capital, said, “The companies have very interesting technology, but one thing I would suggest is to be clearer about business models and economics. The idea is to build the business over top of the technology.” Kenneth Chew, Associate Director of Vickers Venture, concluded the session saying, “The companies we saw today are at different stages in the market space. They must have clarity of business models and economics at varying levels. Entrepreneurs should have a clear understanding of the problems, and if you are solving a real problem, that will be useful.”

Second Session:

The second session had judges that included Henry DC Lee, Managing Partner of Hendale Capital, Daniel Lim, Partner at Creative Ventures, Eric Ho, Partner at Ventech China, and Tomasz Kowalczyk, Managing Partner at Rebels Valley.

The 11 startups pitched their services and technology to the judges and answered the panel’s relevant questions. The judges had queries about global expansion potential and plans, marketing strategy, communication strategy, output quality control, collaborations with foreign partners, revenue models, target audience, etc.

EVAR at the TIPS X beSUCCESS Korean Startup Showcase

The judges gave final feedback to all the startups at the end of the session. “To summarise, what I really was missing was information on the revenue model. It is good to focus on technology, but clients are equally important to do business properly. Many products and services we saw today have great market potential,” said Tomasz Kowalczyk, Managing Partner at Rebels Valley.

“I want to get a better understanding of how the startups and founders want to move to the overseas market. I want to know the expansion strategy as it is a different market, over the domestic Korean market,” said Eric Ho, Partner at Ventech China. Daniel Lim, Partner at Creative Ventures, “There were lots of interesting technology we saw today. I would want to get a complete picture though of the business models and would love to follow up with some of the companies we met today.” Henry DC Lee, the Managing Partner of Hendale Capital, also appreciated the startups’ technological developments and expressed to explore further with follow-ups later.

Both the sessions, though, given limited time to each startup, were informative and educational for the entrepreneurs and the panel of judges. The TIPS-beSUCCESS Demoday will also be held on September 24, with two sessions for the 11 startups to pitch to potential investors. For more details about the “TIPS X beSUCCESS Korean Startup Showcase”, the panel of judges and former editions, you can check:

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