South Korea Held Largest Startup Festival ‘ComeUp 2019’

K-Startup Week ComeUp 2019 banner.

ComeUp 2019, South Korea’s largest startup festival, aimed to trigger a startup boom across the globe while helping local ones to expand worldwide. The K-Startup Week ComeUp 2019 ended with a three-day schedule. The event was held from the 27th to the 29th of November at Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Seoul.

The ministry of SMEs organized the event with a slogan of ‘Meet the Future’ to discover outstanding businesses and entrepreneurs and create a strengthened Korean startup ecosystem reaching the global network.

The festival held various programs attended by more than 2,700 visitors, 80 companies, and 500 investors from 58 countries.

Minister Park Young-sun said, “We hope this event can represent the Asian startup platform and become as big as Finland’s startup event, ‘Slush Helsinki’. I hope young entrepreneurs will dream of making our society better and warmer.”

The minister added, “ComeUp 2019 is the first global startup festival held through the win-win cooperation between the government and public and private sectors. Laying the foundation for a leap forward as a leading global startup festival beyond Asia.” Park stated, “It was a place to introduce the world’s innovative and dynamic startup ecosystem to the world and identify new possibilities of technologies and industries that will lead the future.”

Overall, 80 startups from around 20 countries took part in the event showcasing their business ideas and looking for a valuable investment.

From the 80 startups participating in the festival, a few were given a chance to present an IR pitch.

One such startup chosen was Teplo, a tea brewing machine manufacturer. The company’s machine automatically senses the kind of tea used and collects data from the environment, such as the room’s temperature and the user’s body temperature and mood to produce the perfect drink.

Kazunori Kawanobe, CEO of Teplo, said, “Right now we have a team in Tokyo, Japan as well as in India. We came here to talk with potential partners in Korea and build relations with them to expand our business in Korea.”

Another company chosen for an IR pitch was Nearthlab. The firm created an autonomous drone powered by AI that utilizes smart analytics to spot defects that can occur at industrial facilities.

Co-founder and CEO, Choi Jay, stated, “We serve 50 percent of Korea’s wind power market. And with this technology, we’re expanding our business to Japan and the U.S. Through this event, we hope to find new markets and customers that share our values.”

The ministry chose eight startups each for the festival’s eight sessions – Entertainment, Lifestyle, FinTech, Food Tech, Mobility, Bio and Health, Frontier Tech, and Beauty and Fashion. The sessions featured panel talks and lectures by some successful CEOs from BMW, Hong Kong Investment Agency, Google, and Junction, a Finnish startup.

The winners of the IR Pitching Competition are Development Food Co., Ltd. (Food Tech), Knockout (Lifestyle), ‘Skin’ (Bio & Health), ‘Biassweet’ (Beauty & Fashion), ACBIO (Frontier Tech), Team Island (Entertainment), ‘Microsystem’ (Mobility), and ‘Cogny’ (FinTech).

Giant companies such as Hyundai Motor Company and Samsung Electronics also visited the event expressing their interest in various new technologies by the startup companies.

About James Jung

Senior Writer @KoreaTechToday

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