Today, 38 Korean startups pitched in front of a panel of eight judges and a live audience at K-Global Startup Engine Demo Day in Seoul.
The judges were representatives from eight global accelerators: William Bao Bean of Chinaccelerator; Eveline Buchatskiy of TechStars; Ravi Belani of Alchemist; Ben Joffe of HAX; Shida Schubert of Open Network Labs; Sia Houchangnia of Seedcamp; Norbert Sommer of Startup Bootcamp; and Haley Kim of 500 Startups.
In the first round, the startups were given two minutes to present their idea and plans to the eight judges.
After hearing them out, the judges shortlisted 15 teams to go forward in the second round, where each gave a five-minute presentation.
Out of these 15, several startups were selected by various judges for further interviews, so that they can assess if the company should join the respective accelerator programmes. The companies will also receive a monetary grant for daily expenses when they do participate in the programme.
That said, if the judges do go ahead with the closed-door interviews, there is a high probability of the startup actually getting into the programme.
The 15 startups are: Baum, Day2Life, Taggle, 3 Claps, 3.14, Melephant, Fruit Lab, Contents First, Moving Key, Richslide, Sustainability.org, Fromnull Soft, Hello Mission, Atto Cube, and More Dream.
Of these companies, Chinaccelerator selected Taggle, Contents First and Moving Key for further interviews while HAX picked Atto Cube, Richslide and Fromnull Soft. Startup Bootcamp selected 3.14 and 500 Startups chose More Dream.
Speaking to e27, William Bao Bean, Managing Director, Chinaccelerator said, “Quite a number of companies look like they have what it takes to go global.”
Prior to pitching on stage today, the 38 pre-selected startups had undergone a four-week pre-acceleration programme sponsored by Korea’s National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA).
“For Korea to build a true creative economy, we must provide startups with the education and resources necessary for global success,” said HyungKyu Lim, Director of the Global Startup Team, NIPA, in a release.
“Over the course of the four-week pre-acceleration programme, startups have made incredible progress. They have most certainly improved their pitch skills, but more importantly, they now have a better understanding of what it takes to build and succeed in global business,” he continued.
Organised by DEV Korea, Accelerate Korea and G3 Partners, K-Global Startup Engine was first rolled out last year. That led to three startups — MyMusicTaste, Eyecatcher and SendAnywhere — joining global accelerators like Seedcamp and Startup Sauna.
Out of these 15, here are a few that we found promising:
- Taggle is a iOS gallery app that allows people to keep their photo collections neat and tidy with customised tags like #selfie, #bff and #vacay (which is short for vacation, of course). With a quick swipe left or right, users can share or delete selected photographs. They can also lock these photographs away into a secret folder, safe from curious eyes.
- Kamibot is a programmable paper robot, controllable from your smartphone. It is now live on Indiegogo, and has raised 17 per cent of its US$30,000 goal. The robot can detect objects in front of it with its ultrasound sensors, and avoid them sensibly. It’s also something children can work with, since the young ones will be able to reprogramme the robot with Arduino and Scratch.
- Hello Mission is a platform for travellers that allows people to post their own travel itineraries (“I am going from Seoul to Tokyo”, for example) and assign others tasks (“I would like a box of Tokyo bananas!”). Travellers get to earn money for delivering the goods through a fee paid by the recipient of the goods. There are over 1,000 users on the marketplace at the moment, with more than 300 ‘missions’ completed.