Startup Festival 2017
Startup Festival 2017 was a huge success and for their first year. The Korea Foundation for the Advancement of Science & Creativity (KOFAC) has been creating spaces and infrastructures to support individuals in Korea realize their creative ideas. KOFAC along with the Ministry of SME’s and Startups have partnered up with 500V2 an ad agency company to launch Startup Festival and this will be an annual event moving forward.
The conference was a truly global conference and shows just how much the Korean government wants to promote the startup ecosystem in Korea. So much so that the president of South Korean Moon Jae In gave the opening statement at Startup Festival 2017.
Guided Imports CEO Samuel Boyd was able to get a selfie with the President who wanted to show the startups both in Korea and from around the world that they had his support.
Match Making Program
The Startup Festival was created to bring the highest value to the startups that attended the conference. Therefore the main goal of the conference was to match startups with investors not only from Korea but around the world. As well as media who came to see the Korean startup ecosystem first hand. The Startup Festival has gone all out to create an event that generates opportunities for not only the international VCs and founders but also the startups looking for investments or accelerator programs. The matchmaking areas were filled with one to one meetings for future investments and global exposure.
Some of the International Speakers of Startup Festival 2017 included:
- Bill Morrow, Founder of AngelsDen
- Ryo Umezawa, Country Manager at J-Seed Ventures
- James Kyle, International Expansion PM at MoBike
- Eric Kim, Co-Founder at Goodwater Capital
- Daniela Paredes Fuentes, Co-Founder at Gravity Sketch
- Caroline Pepek, Global Communications Manager at MassChallenge
- Euwyn Poon – CEO of Spin
- Chris Bell – Regional Director – Blippar
- Ahryun Moon – Partner at Alchemist Accelerator
- Yakushijin Isao – Vice President at Maces Group
- Judy Sindecuse, CEO of Capital Innovators
- Jia Shen – CEO of PowerCore
- Furuzonfar Zehni, Senior Associate at Fresco Capital
- Joseph Chan, CEO at AsiaPay
- Alex Toh, Director at Telenor
- Michael Smith Jr. – Partner at SeedPlus
- Joshua Konowe – CSO at Silent Circle
- Marty Bauer – Director of Corporate Development – Global Accelerator Network
- Matt Plummer – Partner at Yield Lab
- Kyle Welborn – CoFounder at Cultivation Capital
- Charles King – CEO at WizDish (ROVR)
- Michael Chow – General Partner at Radiant Venture Captial
- Fedor Katrukha – Marketing Director at MEL Science
And much more…
There were not only matchmaking areas for startups, investors, and the media to hold meetings. But there were also interactive zones where startups were able to showcase their technology for a hands-on experience. Kinicho 3D was able to showcase their 3D sound technology to the attendees at the conference.
Blippar and MoBike come to Seoul
Billion dollar companies like Blippar and MoBike were also at the conference to help teach the young startups what it takes to succeed.
MoBike will be coming to South Korea by the end of 2018 in Suwon. In addition, if that is successful, they could be expanding into Seoul by the end of 2019.
There were also great panel discussions on the topics of FinTech, AR/VR, IoT, just to name a few. But the whole concept of all the talks were centered around how Asian startups can go global.
The conference itself was very innovative. Their badges were a big hit as they focused on what the did rather than who they were. These badges were light up in an environment that seemed more like Slush, a party atmosphere.
Also, the seats for the audience members were fluffy cushions which allow for the best, relaxing, viewing experience. The were some attendees that stayed on those fluff chairs for hours at a time.
The Asian startup ecosystem is hotter than ever. Therefore countries like Singapore, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan foster a lot of talent related to tech and they have the perfect market to test that technology. Asia is very diverse, both in terms of its culture and its economy. Therefore Asia is probably the most mature private capital market outside of the United States and Europe.
This is why most of the funding for startups are coming from Asia, mostly in tech startups. The digital markets in China, South Korea, and Singapore alone is massive. That is why have Startup Festival is crucial to not only Korea but to Asia. Hope everyone can attend Startup Festival 2018 which would be 10 times better!