The fifth edition of TIPS & beSUCCESS Korean Startup Showcase Silicon Valley co-hosted with Korea Business Angels Association and Cuvee April started on October 11 with a mentoring session for the 15 participating startup teams. The program, held from October 11 to 14, 2022, aims to showcase the potential of the Korean startup ecosystem to leading VC firms and accelerators in Silicon Valley.
The 15 selected Korean startups pitched their services and products to mentors in a mock session before the actual pitching on October 12th & 13th. The mentor, who led the session included Andrew Chalas, Revere VC and Troy Foster from Perkins Coie.
Andrew Chalas leads research efforts at Revere VC and has a hand in sales/marketing, operations, and strategy. He is passionate about all things entrepreneurship and technology. He launched his career with Silicon Valley Bank’s credit arm, analyzing deals ranging from seed to LBO to public. After a stint with SVB’s product strategy team, he moved on to a strategy role for a VC/PE-backed B2B marketplace.
Troy Foster is a business attorney, who has focused on emerging companies for his entire career. He has particular depth representing technology startups as well as the investment banks and venture capital firms that support them. He has significant domain experience in cleantech/renewable energy, biotech and fintech/secondary trading. Some of Troy’s clients include, MobileCoin, SharesPost, Storj Lab and Machine Zone. Troy previously served as the chief legal officer at TrueCar, where he oversaw its successful IPO and managed significant legal matters.
The venue for the mentoring session was the San Francisco office of Perkins Coie, which is a law firm that advises emerging companies on startup company formations, independent contractor issues, early to late stage financings, venture debt, intellectual property protection, dispute counselling, technology licensing and acquisitions, mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings and dispute counselling, among other areas.
The mentors gave critical feedback to participating startups regarding their pitches and presentations prepared for VCs and investors of Silicon valley. The startups were asked various questions like how they intend to generate interest among investors, how they intend to market their service for overseas consumers, how they are creating value for potential business partners abroad, and whether they have prepared a sustainable business model and have got customer testimonies to showcase, etc.
The 15 startups that participated in the fifth edition of TIPS & beSUCCESS Korean Startup Showcase Silicon Valley are:
- Gadget Korea: The startup has developed a solution that makes data roaming services affordable for world travellers.
- Blinkers: The startup operates Korea’s first wine NFT investment exchange and ‘Bank of Wine,’ a wine-safe deposit platform.
- TissenBioFarm: The food tech startup focuses on building a sustainable food production system with its cultured meat.
- Gomi Corporation: It is a global commerce solution provider that helps brands & companies to enter and settle in overseas markets.
- Noutecompany: The company provides WeBudding, an open market service that trades digital tablet stationery content, such as digital note templates and sticker images.
- inDJ: The app developed by the startup provides a K-Pop music playlist to listeners based on their moods and situation.
- Ad-Shield: It has developed a solid solution for online publishers to help with ad blocks that make them lose millions of dollars in business.
- Aurum Care Management: The startup is a health tech social venture that wants to provide a unique care management support system through AI.
- Kinava: It is a leading R&D company that converts organic waste to energy & resources using Hybrid Hydrothermal Carbonization (HTC) technology.
- LooKo: The startup operates Acloset, a digital wardrobe application for fashion lovers.
- MoveAWheel: The startup has developed an advanced road infrastructure solution that uses AI sensors to pre-measure whether black ice occurs on the road.
- PMX: It is a digital health company that delivers personalized physical examinations through the democratization of medical imaging with AI.
- PuzzleData: The startup provides a process intelligence platform that enables process analysis, management, and improvement based on process mining technology.
- Testbank: The startup has developed a technology to digitize educational content, which is interactive & dynamic.
- Tart: Its app PRAP is an alternative investment platform where users can browse and compare various alternative investment products.
Medtech startup Aurum Medical Management made quite an impression with Andrew Chalas, who said, “The presentation is interesting and can get you to get people to the next level meeting. You should emphasise more on aspects like Korean FDA approval and spend more time on it in the proposal.”
Troy Foster said, “It would be nice to add a human element to the presentation. For example, have a real-life example of someone like a woman suffering from dementia and using the service.”
To the founders of MoveAWheel, the mentors had the advice that they should shorten the part of explaining the problem which in their case is about ‘black ice’ and ‘slippery roads.’ For PuzzleData the suggestion was to put the presentation more clearly and tell the investors or potential partners about how their process intelligence platform will add value to their portfolios.
For Adshield, Troy Foster says that if the startup founders can provide customer testimonies, then it will get the interest of investors. “You have mentioned you have a demand market and a publisher market, but it was not clear what the difference is. What is the business model like?,” Troy Foster to Adshield founder.
Kinava, the Greentech startup that converts green waste to energy, was asked to put in perspective how their service of composting was different than others offered in the market and whether the end product or processing was adding value to investors needed to be specifically mentioned in the presentation.
Tart Inc founder was asked to explain about regulations and due diligence for various alternative investment products on their PRAP app. Overall, the mentoring session helped startups improve their presentation to showcase their products and services. It helped them gain a global perspective to enter markets beyond Korean shores.
TIPS is South Korea’s leading startup accelerator, and beSUCCESS is one of South Korea’s oldest startup media companies. It connects the Korean startup ecosystem to global markets through its media websites, events and accelerator programs. The TIPSX beSUCCESS Korean startup Showcase has been a successful program attracting global investors to invest in Korean startups. The 2019 & 2020 editions of the program were held in San Francisco and Palo Alto.
- Testbank Inc. develops technology that converts educational material PDFs to interactive digital content
- PMX aims to improve the disease screening and diagnosis with a breakthrough AI medical imaging solution
- MoveAWheeL, Inc. develops advanced road safety sensor technology that can detect invisible ‘black ice’
- Korean startup Looko’s AI digital wardrobe app Acloset gets over 800,000 global users