|SMEs and Startups Minister Park Young-sun, center, speaks during a press conference for the ComeUp 2020 startup event at Dream Plus Gangnam, Seoul, Wednesday. / Courtesy of Ministry of SMEs and startups|
By Baek Byung-yeul
The Ministry of SMEs and Startups is ramping up efforts to help startups establish themselves abroad through a successful hosting of this year's ComeUp startup event in November, the ministry said Wednesday.
Many conferences have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and so the ministry said it will hold the annual event both online and in person to better connect companies in their early stages with investors.
"Prominent business conferences such as Spain's MWC, Slush of Finland and the Hannover Messe in Germany have announced the cancellation of their events this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, we will host the ComeUp event as planned and we will connect the world online," SMEs and Startups Minister Park Young-sun said during a launch event for the organizing committee of the ComeUp 2020 in Seoul.
The ministry launched ComeUp event in 2019, benchmarking Finland's largest tech event, Slush, and TechCrunch Disrupt of the United States. The inaugural event featured over 21,000 attendees from 61 countries and offered an opportunity for business talks and networking to 4,900 startups and 650 venture capitals.
One of the successful cases is LiBEST, a local flexible battery manufacturing startup, which attracted investment of 5 billion won ($4.1 million) after taking part in ComeUp 2019.
This year's event will be held at Dongdaemun Design Plaza, simply known as DDP, from Nov. 19 to 21.
The minister said the three-day event will shed light on startups that are mainly dealing with contactless service amid growing attention to this sector after the virus outbreak.
"As President Moon Jae-in mentioned the time for innovative startups has come, companies developing contactless services and technologies will become protagonists in the forthcoming years. The ministry's focus is on how to make these companies grow into large business entities," she said adding that the ministry will come up with more supports plan in the second half of this year.
"We are drawing up strategies about how to make startups go abroad and how to help Naver and Kakao become a global player like Samsung Electronics."
Park added the pandemic crisis would ironically be an opportunity for startups who want to promote their technologies for more investment and employ talented personnel as the event will be showcased via online platforms.
Kim Seul-ah, founder and CEO of online grocery delivery platform Market Kurly, will co-chair the organizing committee. She said ComeUp 2020 will try to focus on potential changes after the pandemic.
"Through the ComeUp event, we will try to look into changes in life and changes in commerce, education and retail sectors after COVID-19," Kim said. "The way we deliver the conference will be in an integrated manner across both offline and online platforms. We think ComeUp 2020 can be a great sample, showing how conferences should be done in the post-pandemic world."
The organizers said it will announce further details of the ComeUp event in the near future. For more information, visit www.kcomeup.com.