The Korea Foundation for the Advancement of Science & Creativity (KOFAC) has been creating spaces and infrastructures to support individuals in Korea realize their creative ideas. KOFAC along with the Ministry of SME’s and Startups have partnered up with 500V2 an ad agency company to launch Korea’s very first Global Startup Conference called Startup Festival 2017. This will be the largest government-sponsored startup event in Asia and will take place at CoEx in Seoul.
The conference will host more than 5,000 visitors, 70 speakers, 100 volunteers, 550 startups, and 40 media journalists from across the world for a truly global conference.
The Startup Festival will take place from Nov. 30th to Dec. 2nd in CoEx (Hall B), Seoul, South Korea. They will bring together the leading startups, venture capitalists, accelerator programs, and speakers under one roof for 3 days.
The Startup Festival was created to bring the highest value to the startups that will be attending the conference. This is why it will be important for startups not only in Korea but also in Asia to attend this conference. The Startup Festival has gone all out to create an event that generates opportunities for not only the international VCs and founders but also the startups looking for investments or accelerator programs.
“There are a record-high number of investors and growth companies coming to Startup Festival 2017. We are expecting more than 800 startup-investor match making meetings,” says Donghyuck Kim, CEO of 500V2.
Some of the International Speakers of Startup Festival 2017 include:
- Ryo Umezawa, Country Manager at J-Seed Ventures
- Eric Kim, Co-Founder at Goodwater Capital
- Bill Morrow, Founder of AngelsDen
- John Albright, Co-Founder of Relay Ventures
- Euwyn Poon – CEO of Spin
- Ari Nowacek, Partner at ARCH Venture Partners
- Judy Sindecuse, CEO of Capital Innovators
- Jia Shen – CEO of PowerCore
- Furuzonfar Zehni, Senior Associate at Fresco Capital
- Joseph Chan, CEO at AsiaPay
- Chenoa Farnsworth – Partner at Blue Startups
- Michael Smith Jr. – Partner at SeedPlus
- Joshua Konowe – CSO at Silent Circle
- Marty Bauer – Director of Corporate Development – Global Accelerator Network
- Matt Plummer – Partner at Yield Lab
- Kyle Welborn – CoFounder at Cultivation Capital
- Charles King – CEO at WizDish (ROVR)
- Jacqui Hocking – CEO at VSStory
- Garry Haywood – CEO at Kinicho Limited
- and much more…
The matchmaking area at the conference will allow for a more personal setting for in-depth pitches and feedback between startups and investors/accelerators as well as startups and journalists. The Startup Festival’s three main themes are “People”, “Asia”, and “Alliance”.
Why Should Startups Come?
This will not be the average Korean Startup Conference. There will be a large global presence in the form of accelerator programs and international VCs. Not only will there be a chance for Asian startups to go global but there is a huge opportunity to get valuable feedback from some of the top investors and angels. The accelerator programs that will be at the conference get hundreds of applicants to be a part of their program but only a handful get selected. To have a one to one meeting with key members from these programs will go a long way into hopefully getting accepted.
Why Should VCs Come?
The Asian startup ecosystem is booming. Singapore, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Japan foster a lot of hidden talent. Asia is very diverse, both in terms of its culture and its economy. To be honest it is probably the most mature private capital market outside of the United States and Europe. This is why most of the funding for startups are coming from Asia, mostly in tech startups. The digital markets in China, South Korea, and Singapore alone is massive. There is so much potential in Asia and VCs need to take advantage of it.
Why Should Journalists Come?
The startups that might excite some Journalists might be the large presence of global AR/VR companies like WizDish, Kinicho, and Altergaze. These three are some of the hottest up and coming startups related to AR/VR technologies. They are also in talks with Melody VR and Gravity Sketch to come on board. It will also be interesting to compare these companies to some of the Asian AR/VR companies. Colopl NEXT VR Fund will be bringing their whole AR/VR gaming startups. Visually this conference should be very entertaining.
For more information on the Startup Festival feel free to check out their site which is constantly being updated as they gather more speakers. Promotion for the conference will start in early November, but for those that register early (Before Oct. 31st), the registration fee will be waived and there is a legit chance they will offer a startup a booth at the conference. So it is critical that startups act fast and fill up those booths before the start of November when the Startup Festival begins their promotion.