The COMEUP 2020 organizing committed announced plans to host the global startup festival beginning on November 19 at the Seoul Government Complex on November 3, 2020. The committee headed by Minister Park Young-sun, the Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS), Sophie Kim, the 2020 COMEUP Organizing Committee Chairperson of the Civil Organizing Committee & CEO of Market Kurly and Junghoon Cha, Deputy Minister, Ministry of SMEs and Startups spoke to international media about COMEUP 2020 to be held online from November 19 to 21st.
COMEUP 2020 “Meet The Future – Post Pandemic”
The central theme(slogan) that encompasses ‘COMEUP 2020’ is “Meet The Future – Post Pandemic.” Coined as the most prominent startup festival in Asia, the COMEUP 2020 is in its second edition this year. With the restrictions owing to the COVID-19 outbreak across the world, COMEUP 2020 will be held online. All participating startups, investors, mentors, media, and interested parties can virtually access the event from the comforts of their homes.
Addressing the media, Park Youngsun, the Minister of SMEs and Startups, said, “Last May, during the “COMEUP 2020 Organizing Committee Launch,” I stated that we are trying to turn the COMEUP event to be held in November into a festival that will lead the global startup ecosystem. After 12 planning sessions the government conducted with the COMEUP Organizing Committee during the 5 months since its launch, we are now ready to present the details of the online-oriented “COMEUP 2020 Plan” to you.”
The event’s main conference will be composed of and conducted through 12 sessions, whose subjects consist of K-Quarantine, telecommuting, commerce, among others. There will be lectures and panel talks by well-known speakers and trendsetters leading the world of global startups that will be broadcast live online.
120 rising startups, keynote speakers, online networking & more
Sophie Kim then elaborated about the program’s details and the selection procedure of the 120 COMEUP stars – the rising domestic and international startups selected to participate in the event. A total of 114 persons, including speakers and discussion panels leading the trends of domestic foreign startups in various fields recruited from the beginning of the year, have committed to participate in the 12 sessions of the main conference.
The COMEUP Stars’, were selected through a month-long global online application process from July 24 to August 23. 1,076 innovative startups from 89 countries worldwide had submitted their applications for a competitive rate of 9:1, and 120 companies were ultimately selected after going through a 3-stage assessment process. COMEUP Stars startups will be provided support for the creation of corporate promotional videos and online booths free of charge, and additional opportunities to promote themselves to global investors, online investment export counselling sessions, and senior junior networking.
A key program of COMEUP 2020, startup support policies, such as AI Championship, K-Startup Grand Challenge, and other events representing Korea, will be hosted simultaneously in alignment with COMEUP 2020. Additional events will be held that are prepared through cooperation with key domestic startup support institutions consisting of online investment & export counselling sessions, senior junior networking, and other programs, providing practical assistance for COMEUP STARS(120 companies) scale-up and achieve growth to become a global startup.
The “online booths” in the COMEUP 2020 Nurijip will provide corporate IR videos and materials for the 120 ‘COMEUP STARS’, and support all business processes online by allowing investors to connect to online booths, access IR videos, and materials, make business matching requests, and enable real-time matching and one-on-one counseling sessions between startups, investors, and buyers.
Anyone that wishes to enjoy the COMEUP experience can log in to COMEUP 2020 Nurijip www.kcomeup.com and pre-register. Pre-registered participants will receive benefits free of charge, such as real-time networking and business matching, as well as participation in various events.
Some of the noted persons likely to be present at the event will be professor Kim Jungsang of Duke University, co-founder and CTO of IONQ, and professor Henry Chesbrough of UC Berkeley, well known for his contributions to Open Innovation, Chun Jongyoon, CEO of Seegene, manufacturer of COVID-19 test kits and widely regarded as an exemplary company of K-Quarantine and Kim Jinyong from Incheon Medical Center, Division of Infectious Diseases that established global standards with its ‘Drive-through testing’ will participate in the K-Quarantine sessions.
For a better post-pandemic world
The panel addressed the queries of international media persons present at the venue and online queries. The committee explained why it is an important event for the Korean startup ecosystem to expand to global shores and how the Korean startup ecosystem is a resilient system that can overcome obstacles and has a promising growth.
“South Korea has digital literacy, which is higher than anywhere in the world. Even my 75-year-old grandmother knows how to use e-commerce sites. So you should look at Korea as a digital powerhouse,” said Sophie Kim while answering a question about how Korea’s startup ecosystem is not a mere bubble.
The deputy minister of SMEs and Startups, Junghoon Cha said, “The purpose of COMEUP 2020 is to introduce the thriving Korean ecosystem to a global audience and connect. Korea has 13 unicorns, and we have witnessed a technological transformation in the 3rd and 4th industrial revolution here. We are leading with excellent ICT infrastructure.”
Minister of SMEs and Startups, Park Youngsun, said that “The COVID-19 crisis is changing the very foundation of our lives and economic order, but the new post-COVID-19 era facing us will provide innovative startups infinite opportunities for success.”
“I sincerely wish COMEUP 2020 will be a grand festival where innovative startups and startup ecosystem professionals throughout the world can communicate and interact, share and cooperate to create a new economic order and business models in the post-COVID-19 era,” Minister of SMEs and Startups, Park Youngsun.
The “COMEUP” event, which aspires to become a global startup festival, has its beginnings in a humble event called “Venture Korea” that took place back in 1997. The “COMEUP” brand was launched last year and has grown into a startup festival representing all of Asia. While major foreign startup events are being canceled (Spain’s MWC) or being scaled down (Finland’s SLUSH, Germany’s IFA) due to the spread of COVID-19 this year, Korea’s COMEUP event was planned from the outset as an online, contact-free global startup festival, based on the confidence gained from the success of the K-Quarantine Model.
The COMEUP Organizing Committee, composed of 22 startup ecosystem experts, actively discussed and made decisions on the event’s significant issues, such as slogans, main conference agenda items and sessions, keynote speakers and panels, brand image, among other important items.
But in consideration of the resurgence of the spread of COVID-19, the location of the event was changed from the initially planned Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) event hall to a new location, the Ilsan CJ ENM Production Center, because it provides the optimal environment for creating video content so the event can be online-oriented.
In 2019, COMEUP was held successfully from 27th November to 29th November in Seoul, with its slogan, ‘Meet the Future.‘ It had various programs throughout the three-day schedule. Over 2700 visitors, 4000 companies, and over 500 investors from about 58 countries participated in the event.