Runway to RISE Seoul
On Thursday night, some of the greatest minds in the startup industry gathered at Google’s Campus Seoul for the eagerly anticipated Runway to RISE Seoul event. Furthermore, the event attracted over 150 people who came to watch eight young startup companies compete for the chance to attend Asia’s largest Tech Conference: Rise Hong Kong, which takes place next month.
The eight entrepreneurs showed an immense amount of talent; reflecting the strength of the startup scene in Korea. Therefore, we saw a diverse range of business types, including a blockchain based security firm, a 3D app developer for real estate firms, and a career consultancy firm, battle it out in their 3-minute pitches.
In the end, the judges and the audience voted for Cashmallow: an Asia based currency transfer app that helps travelers avoid expensive foreign transaction fees.
About the Prize: The Rise Summit in Hong Kong
RISE is a Startup summit, held in Hong Kong, which is attended by some of the biggest tech innovators of our time. In addition, the brains behind some of our generation’s most prominent tech brands, such as Grab, Tinder, Line, and Microsoft, will attend this year.
The young entrepreneurs who attend the summit can enjoy invaluable networking opportunities that could help them land their big break. Cashmallow, the winner of last night’s event, won her place at the summit in Hong Kong, where she’ll battle it out with seven other winners from elsewhere in Asia to win $1.5 million startup investment money.
The Future of Startups in Korea
One of the main themes of the event was the potential that startup companies in Korea hold. Furthermore, Casey Lau talked about this in his opening words and the sentiment was echoed again in the panel discussions.
All of the talks reflected what an exciting time this is for the startup industry in Korea. In addition, The Asian Pacific market could be set to overtake Europe and the Americas as the largest in the world. Therefore, this level of growth offers a lot of security to young entrepreneurs looking to start their own projects.
Korea already has a diverse range of investors including government-backed initiatives, angel investors, and private venture capitalists. Startup funding exceeds over $500 million each year.
The Korean government has been working hard to put the country on the map as one of Asia’s prime startup hubs.
Key Growth Areas for Startups in Korea
Korea is known as one of the world’s most technologically advanced countries, so it should come as no surprise that the country is leading the way in terms of advanced technologies such as Fintech, Artifical Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Blockchain.
Blockchain was one of the main themes of the night’s panel talks. Therefore, there was a huge focus on how tech entrepreneurs in Korea are implementing the new technology in their businesses.
Rise to Runway: Seoul, the Sponsors
One of Korea’s most prominent blockchain startups, Foresting was the main sponsor for the event. Foresting is an SNS platform based on blockchain technology that rewards users with cryptocurrency for the content that they upload. Furthermore, the newly established company is already paving the way for blockchain based startups in Korea. As well as passing along their technical knowledge and global connections, they’re also putting Korea on the map as a center for innovation.
The CEO, Daniel Eom, said about the summit:
” This is the first huge event for startup companies in Korea, and it’s a very exciting time for the industry. I’m proud to be a sponsor and to be able to help identify the next big start startup!”
Runway to RISE: Seoul, The Participants Overview
In case you missed it, here’s an overview of the startups who attended Runway to Rise: Seoul, last night.
- Cashmallow: Foreign currency exchange service (winner)
- Rezi: Resume software developer and career consultancy firm (runner up)
- Strix: Energy management firm (runner up)
- Cloudbric: Blockchain based security system
- Hauzd: 3D app developer for real estate firms
- Puerlla: Close to source jewelry retailer
- Open Education Korea: Language learning program
- Ziktalk: Mobile language learning app
Runway to RISE: Seoul, The Verdict
Last night was an extremely inspiring event which showcased the best of Korea’s young entrepreneurial talent. In addition, all of the startups who attended showed a vast amount of promise. We wish them, and any other budding startup businesses in Korea, the very best of luck for the future.