The second day of the 3rd edition of “TIPS X beSUCCESS Korean Startup Showcase” concluded successfully on September 24, 2020, with two sessions on the day. Eleven promising startups pitched their products and services to a panel of esteemed judges, including mentors, venture capitalists, and corporate strategists.
The “TIPS X beSUCCESS Korean Startup Showcase” is hosted by South Korea’s leading startup media company beSUCCESS and South Korean government-backed incubator TIPS (Tech Incubator Program for startup Korea). The first 2 editions of the startup showcase were held in San Francisco and Palo Alto.
But with the COVID-19 pandemic situation this year, the ‘Demo Day Showcase’ was held online. The concluding day two had two sessions – one at 08:00-09:30 KST (16:00 PDT, 07:00 SGT) for US-based investors and second at 15:00-16:30 KST (14:00 SGT, 23:00 PDT) for Asia based investors. James Jung of beSUCCESS media moderated both the sessions. The 11 startups that pitched were a mix of companies offering services in AI technology, VR technology, medical assistance, transport, communication, etc. The startups that presented were:
1) Medihub Co., Ltd – a medical startup
2) LOKKS307 Co., Ltd – a telemedicine platform creator
3) Selectstar, Inc. – a crowdsourcing platform for AI training data collection/annotation
4) Creative Value Technology – a face recognition technology developer
5) AIET Co., LTD – Iris and Facial Recognition Technology developer
6) EVAR Corporation – Electric Vehicle charging technology developer
7) M2S Co., LTD – a VR content developer into eye-tracking technology
8) Oncocross – an AI platform for clinical trials for medicines
9) GeniRobot Co., LTD – an ‘All-in-One’ educational robot developer
10) Network Defines, Inc. – developed a video communication tool for collaboration
11) Seeso – developed a collaborative management solution platform for professionals
In the first session, all the startups pitched to a panel of judges that included Takashi Kato, Director of Global Brain, Andrew Hong, Senior Associate of ff Venture Capital, Alexander Carusillo, Venture Associate at OCA Ventures, and Phil Yoon, Partner at Big Basin Capital.
The 11 startups pitched their services and technology to the judges and answered the panel’s relevant questions. The judges had queries about expansion potential and plans, monetization strategy, competitive edge, communication strategy, etc. The judges gave final feedback to all the startups at the end of the session.
Alexander Carusillo, Venture Associate at OCA Ventures, said, “As an early-stage investor, medical business is not my strength, but I would like to know more about revenue plans of the companies and the future that how much money it can make. Overall it was a good session.” Andrew Hong, Senior Associate of ff Venture Capital, said, “I am impressed with the quality of the startups. What I like to see though is more clear price/business model and market opportunity.”
“It has been an impressive presentation. I would say that the USA market is not so easy as the Korean market, and I think it is important the startups connect with the right platform to grow global,” said Takashi Kato, Director of Global Brain. The session concluded with Phil Yoon, Partner at Big Basin Capital, who said, “All the companies were different, but some had similar technologies that exist. Whether the USA or Korea, it would be important to see how exactly your approach will be different than any previous works.”
The second session had judges that included Julien Coustaury, Founding Partner, Fil Rouge Capital, Mehul Mishra, Investment Manager at Brand Capital, Albert Shyy Principal, Burda Investments, Joao Monteiro, Founding Principal at Pinto Ventures AG, Victor Chua, Managing Partner at Vynn Capital, Adil Al Zarooni, CEO at the Al Zarooni Emirates, Rabih I.Khoury, Partner & Chief Exit Officer at Middle East Venture.
The 11 startups pitched their services and technology to the judges and answered the panel’s relevant questions. The judges had queries about revenue plans, technology expansion as per the new COVID-19 situation, marketing strategy, communication strategy, output quality control, collaborations with foreign partners, target audience, etc. The judges gave final feedback to all the startups at the end of the session.
Mehul Mishra of Investment Manager at Brand Capital said, “I think few startups are the pre-revenue stage, and some of them can go with a functioning product to the market faster than what they might be planning.” Albert Shyy, Principal, Burda Investments, said, “We saw many interesting companies and technology. Most of them need to bring about a commercialization strategy and forge ahead.”
Joao Monteiro, Founding Principal at Pinto Ventures AG, agreed with Shyy’s comment on the commercialization aspect and said, “How can business become a substantial company eventually? We invest or partner in many ventures throughout the year. The idea is to see how this startup can become a company in the future.” Victor Chua, Managing Partner at Vynn Capital, “We saw some AI and medical startups. It was a little difficult to figure out the users and what is the difference in using these products over others.”
Adil Al Zarooni, CEO at the Al Zarooni Emirates, “It was good pitching mix. Few of them perfectly expressed the presentation, but definitely, more could have been covered.” Rabih I.Khoury, Partner & Chief Exit Officer at Middle East Venture, “The 3-minute pitch time felt shorter and didn’t address many straight points. So would have wanted to get more information and hope to follow-up with some startups later. Overall, though, congratulations to the team for the pitches. We saw some amazing technology from South Korea, and I am a big fan of that.”
The TIPS-beSUCCESS Demoday ended on a high-note with appreciation and feedback for the betterment from the panel of judges. The two-day Demoday, on September 23-24, 2020, connected the startups and founders with some of the known venture capitalists and investors. The startup founders also learned a lot about the global market and investments through the comments and feedback by the judges.