Commenced last September 20 (Tuesday) to September 21 (Wednesday), the ‘Korea-U.S. Startup Summit’ is the first among the ‘K-Startup Global Entry Strategy’ support packages announced last September 8 by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups aimed to help local companies establish global networks and aid in their advancement into different international markets and bases.
As it was held at Pier 17, in Silicon Alley, New York, U.S.A., the area where the ecosystem for early startups and information technology (IT) industry developed, the summit is seen to be of extra significance for providing various networking opportunities between global companies, investors, and startups located in the United States and startup companies and conglomerates from Korea. It is anticipated that through this summit, not only would it become a platform for members from both countries to start different types of dialogues that could help in the expansion of both startup ecosystems, but also for Korean startups to be introduced to the world.
The 2-day summit featured 10 programs including major events with 15 startup pavilions from major companies like Google, Naver Cloud, and Hyundai Motor Group. Excellent local technologies and innovations were introduced to the U.S. startup ecosystem through these conglomerate-startup joint pavilions wherein a successful cooperation model between global companies and startups was also presented and introduced.
Google Play hosted an exhibition hall for its own program called ‘ChangGoo,’ a support program for small and medium-sized local Korean developers, consisting of four booths for Teuida (Korean conversation service), Sticky Hands (solitaire game series), Space Oddity (developers for K-pop Radar and Blip) and, PlayHard.Lab (developer of Hero Factory) in which introductions of each services were individually presented and demonstrated.
Naver Cloud occupied and operated a 98㎡ sized joint pavilion in collaboration with five cooperative startups namely: Morai (autonomous vehicle driving simulation platform), Argosdyne (offers 5G-based drone control solution), FutureMain (offers smart factory facility maintenance solution), Aria-Edge (offers augmented reality artificial intelligence for industrial sites) and, i-ESG (ESG specific B2B digital solution). The conglomerate also participated in different major events such as meetups with large corporations, discussions with global companies and ceremony sessions.
Meanwhile, the Hyundai Motor Group operated a joint pavilion with six startups: Mycel Project (producing protein/leather materials using mycelium), Mobiltech (offers 3D city data and information solution), Makinarocks (Enterprise MLOps platform), 60hz (offers virtual power plant operation software), Test works (offers AI dataset one-stop solution) and, Poen (offers battery upcycling).
This year, Mycel Project was awarded the ‘Global Media Award’ at the ‘Korea-U.S. Startup Summit,’ selected by a panel of judges including Aving News, Lecafedugeek (French media), Lon.TV (American tech YouTube channel), Geekazine, and IT specialized media Übergizmo among others. Evaluated through a diverse set of criteria, the award is presented to excellent products based on product technology, innovation, marketability and audience response and critique. Mycel Project is an eco-friendly start-up that develops and produces industrial and food materials such as protein (meat), leather, etc. using mycelium obtained from bio-processing the biochemical, physiological, and physical characteristics of mushrooms and fungi.
Moreover, a discussion under the theme ‘Core technologies and early startups in the digital age’ was conducted under the participation of Minister Young Lee from the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, Google Vice Chairman Karan Bhatia, Oracle Senior Vice President Dave Rosenberg, Naver Cloud CEO Won-ki Park, Hyundai Motor Company President Young-woon Gong, etc. Minister Lee stated, “This event is a full-pledged attempt for both start-up companies and the government to progress into the world together based on the government’s credibility and initiatives.” He added, “I hope that through this event, and through IR, business connection (biz matching), exhibition halls and booths of Korean startups, it will be of practical help to establish networks, initiate improved corporate promotion, and attract new investments.”
Minister Young Lee from the Ministry of SMEs and Startups (left) visiting Argosdyne’s booth and talking with its CEO, Seung-ho Jeong (right) │Photo courtesy of Aving News
On the other hand, the Korea-U.S.STARTUP SUMMIT hosted by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups(Minister Young Lee) and supervised by the Korea Institute of Startup & Entrepreneurship Development(Director Yongmoon Kim) and Korea Venture Investment is providing scene of network between South Korean startups and global companies, VC and startups from New York with the nickname Silicon Alley where ecosystem and IT industry are well-developed. Through this event, they are seeking new business models of K-startups and advances into the global market, and promotes domestic investment of global capital. During the event, a corporate PR booth (joint pavilion between large corporation-startup) was set up, and U.S. VC and investment attraction IR, AC, Tech Media, and meetups and seminars were held with companies succeeded to enter the U.S. market.