– Seoul Digital Foundation hosts ‘Seoul Pavilion’ with 25 innovative companies…25 percent of all visitors visited
– 835 counseling on export for 3 days (Jan 5-7), Export counseling value increased by 200% compared to pre-COVID-19 days
– 40 global VCs participated in the only pitching stage every day at Eureka Park, ‘Seoul Pitch Day’ receives good reviews
For three days, a total of 10,000 people, including domestic and foreign investors, buyers, companies, and institutions, visited the Seoul Pavilion, the largest-ever operated at ‘CES 2022’ ended on the 7th. Considering that there were a total of 40,000 visitors at this year’s CES, one out of every four visitors (25%) visited the Seoul Pavilion.
With the support of the Seoul Metropolitan Government, the business performance of 25 innovative companies among other global companies was also remarkable. For three days, approximately $86.77 million (approximately KRW 104.1 billion) were obtained in counseling on export. The value has risen by nearly 200% compared to that of ‘CES 2020,’ which was held before the spread of COVID-19. There were a total of 835 consultations, and this number is 88% of that of CES 2020, which had nearly five times more visitors to the Seoul Pavilion.
At the CES 2020 Seoul Pavilion in which the Seoul Metropolitan Government participated for the first time, a total of 51,000 people visited it for four days. 945 investment consultations were conducted, and the value of export counseling amounted to about $45.2 million (about KRW 53 billion).
Major domestic visitors to the Seoul Pavilion include members of the Science, ICT, Broadcasting and Communications Committee under the National Assembly of the ROK, the CEO of Lotte Data Communication, senior management of Korea International Trade Association, and consul and vice-consul of the Consulate General of the ROK in New York.
The Seoul Digital Foundation, the organizer of CES Seoul Pavilion, stated that they witnessed an increase in the industry’s interest in the Seoul Pavilion and Korean innovative companies, even though the CES was held on a significantly smaller scale with a shortened schedule compared to the previous years.
The CES Seoul Pavilion, which marks its third year, was set up on the theme of ‘Next Digital Seoul.’ It was the largest Seoul Pavilion ever with a size of 310 square meters (approximately 94 “pyeong”). Moreover, 25 innovative companies based in Seoul participated, which is the largest number that ever participated. The Seoul Pavilion comprised of five motives: innovation of participating companies, preemptive company support program, creation and operation of the only pitching stage in Eureka Park, global networking events, such as Seoul Pitch Day, and operation of university student supporters.
Of Seoul Pavilion’s participating companies, 24% (AlgoCare, Klleon, Metel, Waynehills Ventures, Coptiq, Luple) were selected for the ‘CES 2022 Innovation Awards,’ receiving the most attention. This award is given to the most innovative products among those submitted that year.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government analyzed that creating a space unique to the Seoul Pavilion, including the exclusive pitching stage at Eureka Park, a competition arena for startups around the world, and operating various attractions and on-site programs were the main factors in the success of the Seoul Pavilion.
Apart from each company’s booth exhibition, the ‘Seoul Pitch Day’ was held every day so that each company could announce and promote their solutions. Rumor has it that more than 40 people, including global VCs and buyers, who will help companies generate practical outcomes, attended and suggested customized feedback on their pitches. Since this year’s CES, the Seoul Government has made various efforts, including establishing preemptive company support programs to raise competence of the participating companies.
As many domestic companies were recognized for their technology at this year’s CES, the Seoul Government reported that most of the VCs who attended the ‘Seoul Pitch Day’ positively viewed the entry of the participating companies into the overseas market due to their excellent technology and solutions.
In addition, a 300-inch large screen installed at the main entrance of the Seoul Pavilion displaying a Seoul promotional video of BTS, the ambassadors of Seoul tourism, caught the attention of visitors of Eureka Park.
Saeed Amidi, CEO of Plug and Play, a U.S. Silicon Valley investment firm, which fostered global innovative companies such as Google and PayPal, and Kang Yo-Sik, president of the Seoul Digital Foundation, held an online conference and promised to foster domestic startup companies and continue exchanges and cooperation for their entry into the overseas market.
The Seoul Digital Foundation and Plug and Play operated a preemptive program to strengthen the capabilities of smart technology and service companies participating in the CES 2022 Seoul Pavilion. They provided customized training programs for business, business skills support via education and mentoring from experts, and opportunities to match up with domestic and foreign investors. In this regard, the foundation and Plug and Play signed a business agreement on November 17, 2021.
CEO Saeed Amidi said in the online conference that he would consider visiting Korea around March to April after observing the severity of COVID-19 and that he would like to meet in person to discuss the details.
The college student supporters, who actively supported the participating companies, impressed not only the companies but also visitors with their unique management of the Seoul Pavilion. The 25 supporters were each matched with a company to provide support through finding investors and buyers, sending invitation letters, and writing counseling journals. In the field, they were in charge of interpretation with their fluent English skills.
Lee Jae-Ki, director of Kyung Hee University, said “There was a 11:1 competition rate due to high demands even before participation.” He added “I hope students will continue to cooperate with them since such events are valuable opportunities to experience actual business in the field.”
As more and more companies wish to participate in the Seoul Pavilion, the Seoul Digital Foundation plans to prepare more substantial programs for ‘CES 2023.’
Kang Yo-Sik, president of the Seoul Digital Foundation, said “The event was a new opportunity to exchange and empathize with the development and direction of technology pursued by global companies,” and added “I also thank the 25 innovative companies, 25 college supporters, and operating personnel for doing their best from preparation of the exhibition to its completion.”
Kim Seung-Yong, CEO of Coconut Silo, which introduced a big data-based digital logistics platform, said “The event was a good opportunity to discover good companies and disclose my company’s technology and business value to the public,” and added “It helped me a lot in enhancing the capacity and expanding the knowledge of my company.”
Joung Ji-Won, CEO of AlgoCare, which introduced personalized nutrition management services through its IoT nutrition management device, expressed her gratitude saying “The event provided not only physical support but also thorough mental support.”