Seoul: South Korea’s most significant event for startups and small businesses – COMEUP 2020 will be held from November 19 to 21, 2020. The event will be live-streamed to tens of thousands of viewers globally. The objective of the COMEUP 2020 event, organized by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS), is to support startups expand globally. The annual event has started accepting applications from startups for the opportunity to virtually present their pitches.
Startups are invited to use this opportunity to connect with leading investors, companies and government agencies from South Korea and other countries, as well use this as a platform to grow their business in South Korea, Asia’s fourth largest economy and a global leader in ICT, home to tech majors like Samsung, LG, Kakao, and others.
“International startup conferences are being canceled one by one due to the COVID pandemic, and there is a lack of opportunity for startups to attract international investment and go global through networking. In this context, COMEUP will be a silver lining,” said Lee Soonbai, Director of the Startup Policy Division at MSS.
COMEUP was launched in 2019 to promote the Korean startup ecosystem at home and abroad. The event was developed on lines of similar global events. In 2019, the event had over 21,000 attendees from 60 countries. More than 4,900 startups and 650 VCs attended the event. COMEUP is hosted by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, the Korea Institute of Startup and Entrepreneurship Development (KISED), and the private startup ecosystem, at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) in Seoul.
This year, the event will hold online pitching sessions for global startups to get an opportunity to showcase their startup to investors and other stakeholders. Promising startups can sign up for the virtual startup pitch from July 24, 2020 to August 23, 2020 (GMT+9). The virtual startup pitch consists of a total of 120 teams in 2 leagues – the Rocket League (84 teams), and the Rookie League (36 teams). The Rookie league will accept applications from startups that are less than 3 years old and have raised less than 410K USD investment.
The Rocket league will accept applications from growth-stage startups.
The 120 selected startups will receive support in creating their pitching videos, which will be showcased during the event as well as streamed online. The organizers will facilitate meetings between the startups, investors and media representatives. More than 700 investor firms are expected to attend the event. There will also be an award ceremony based on public votes.
The three-day event will be held with the theme ’Meet the Future -Post Pandemic, Led by Startups’. COMEUP 2020 will be a hybrid event consisting of 12 sessions based on three focus areas: ‘Social System’, ‘Work’ and ‘Life’. ‘Social system’ will comprise sub-topics of COVID-19, Politics, Digital healthcare, and environment. ‘Work’ will comprise sub-topics of open innovation, Robotics & AI, remote work, and manufacturing. ‘Life’ will comprise sub-topics of commerce, education, entertainment, and offline retail.
Some of the featured speakers this year are Chris Lee, CEO, SM Entertainment; Emmanuel LaLagarrigue, Chief Innovation Officer, Schneider Electric; Sophie Kim, CEO, Market Kurly; Saeju Jeong, CEO, Noom; and Henry Chesbrough, Professor at UC Berkeley. Investors like Sequoia Capital, Vickers, BAM Ventures, Collaborative Fund, and Grab Ventures are expected to attend as investor mentors.
Hyun Wook James Jung, COMEUP Secretary-General, stated, “Our expert-led Organizing Committee consists of functional teams like program planning, operations and PR. We are doing our best to prepare an online global conference so that practical assistance can be provided to the startups participating. Our objective is to help international and Korean startups gain recognition, networking and funding opportunities.”