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Korea Rising: The 3 Pillars of Korea’s Startup Ecosystem

Editor’s note:  Senior Director Corporate Development at Baedal Minjok There is no doubt that Korea is in a revolutionary moment. In my last post, “Korea Rising”, I illustrated the unique position Korea is currently in. Leaving it with only one option: Build. The Korean War (1950–1953) left the country in a state of utter disorder. The bustling metropolis we reside in today was but a dream when basic running water was a…

Korea Rising ( Part I: Series Chronicling the Rise of Korean Startups )

Editor’s note: Senior Director Corporate Development at Baedal Minjok I. There is no greater time to be in Korea than now. Yes, that’s coming from a Korean American that has lived his entire life in the Bay Area and landed in Seoul 10 months ago. Hard to digest right? ( I can feel the collective eye roll of native Koreans ) 이사람, 진짜 미쳤다… My grasp of the language is mediocre at…

Can Korea Rise To The Challenge Of Global innovation Leader?
1006일 전

“When it comes to innovation Korea is a global leader” – Mark Zuckerburg The above statement comes from a speech Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO delivered recently, and demonstrates a changing tide of thought about Korea. No more the ‘Land of Morning calm’ it once was, Korea is emerging emboldened onto the world stage, ready to prove itself, no matter what. My recent article described Korea’s top accelerators and their efforts in providing…

SK Innovation And Woowa Bros Picked Among Korea’s Best Places To Work
1008일 전

Recently Job Planet and Fortune Korea co-hosted ‘Korea’s Top 50 Working Environments’ at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Seoul. A studyvwas conducted of both large scale companies as well as small & medium sized enterprises, including the startups. From April to November a short list of 792 was chosen from a total of 140,000. After final assessment, 50 companies were awarded on the night. The criteria to select the most satisfying work…

SundayToz Initiates $30 Million USD ‘AniPang Fund’ To Support Startups

Korean gaming company ‘SundayToz’ and The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Development and have created the ‘AniPang Fund.’ The fund will be aimed at startups in the following fields: Gaming, Social, digital content, platform based technology and contents based technology. The ‘AniPang Future Contents Investment Association’ will operate under the management of Smilegate Investment. While the fund will primarily focused on startups in Korea, a representative from SundayToz has confirmed that they are…

‘A-33 Studio,’ A Seoul Based Gaming Startup, Aims To Revolutionize Moble Gaming

K Cube Ventures recently announced a $700,000 investment into mobile game developer ‘A-33 Studio.’ With this investment A-33 Studio will focus on ramping up their mobile FPS game production and aim to be ready to release their first title by end of next year. The title is named ‘Project S’ for now, and is an ambitious plan to maximize online mobile FPS game experience by integrating a fully optimized user interface along…

Korean Government Plans Easing of Fintech and IoT Regulations To Encourage Growth
1015일 전

As reported by Business Korea, the  Korean government recently announced that it plans to relax regulations on new innovation-driven industries, including as financial technology (fintech) and the Internet of Things (IoT). This is a positive regulatory signal for local startups in these industries that have struggled against regulation. It also bodes well for the new startup accelerator in Seongdo, that will run its first hardware / IoT / Smart home program in 2015. At…

Chinese Language Education Company Chinada secures $1 Million USD from Soft Bank Ventures

Based in Seoul, Chinese language education company CHINADA have secured $1 million USD from Soft Bank Ventures and Coolidge Corner Investment. Their digital educational program ‘Chinatan’ is unlike other typical systems that focus on grammar and reading. Instead it is aimed towards improving conversational skills. It simulates real life situations, such as markets, restaurants, university campus, hotels, etc. This allows students to experience day to day situations experienced by locals. To build…

beSUCCESS Talks With Tapjoy & 5Rocks About Their Recent Merger, And Ongoing Integration

  “The Core of Mobile Advertising is Demand Estimation” Tapjoy, the company that recently acquired 5Rocks talked with a beSUCCESS editor about their first jointly produced product. In August this year mobile game analytics company 5Rocks from Korea was acquired by USA-based mobile advertisement platform Tapjoy. With 14 overseas branches and 600 million users per month Tapjoy is the world’s largest mobile advertisement company. Complimenting this portfolio, ‘5Rocks’ is an exemplary mobile…

One of Korea’s Top Accelerators – KStartup
  ·  1031일 전

“The upcoming two years will be a defining point for the Korean startup ecosystem” KJ Byeon, KStartup Started as a pilot program in 2012, Kstartup officially launched in January 2013 and is now regarded as the biggest acceleration / incubation program in Korea. Supported by both Korean and American corporations (including Google, Banks Foundation for Young Entrepreneurs, and SK Planet), it focuses on early stage startups that aim to build global companies. Founders are…

One of Seoul’s Top Accelerators – DEV Korea
  ·  1032일 전

Another promising initiative is Digital Entertainment Ventures (DEV). Launched in New York in 2012, DEV focuses mainly on media, entertainment and platform businesses, and only recently expanded to Korea. According to Kaine Kim the Co-CEO of DEV Korea, Seoul seemed to be the most suitable place for setting up a new office within the Asian market. This is in part due to the growing support of the Korean government, and the President’s…

One Of Korea’s Top Accelerators – Sparklabs
  ·  1033일 전

“What separates us from other accelerators in Korea is the fact that we focus on global startups. You might say that everyone wants to go global, but startups in Korea are very focused locally.”                                                                                                                             Eugene Kim, SparkLabs Founded in December 2012, SparkLabs provides a small investment, mentoring and workspace in exchange for an equity stake in a company. The equity investment is equal to $25K and the equity stake…

Startup And Entrepreneurship Events In Seoul, Korea: November – December
1033일 전

As Seoul establishes itself as one of the key hotspots in Asia for startups and entrepreneurs, a large number of events aimed at entrepreneurs are springing up to support this growth. Here is a calendar of events for startups and entrepreneurs in Seoul, from November 20th to November 27th. Check in soon for the next instalment. We are also happy to add your startup-focused event to our calendar. If you’d like us…

AsiaBeat 2014 Lands in Taiwan December 1-2 – Check Out The Ten Korean Teams Participating
1033일 전

Asia Beat 2014 is a 2-day event held in Taipei, Taiwan. Primarily it is a VC networking and Asian startup event  funded by startup related government institutions in Taiwan, as well as media and business consortiums from Japan, China, Korea, and Singapore. Get Tickets For AsiaBeat 2014 here. Korea will be represented by ten startups at the event. They are: Bridge Mobile will be represented by Jung-woo Choi, the winning team from…

One Of Korea’s Top Accelerators – Future Play

“We are trying to come up with a realistic solution to help startups to relocate overseas. We are going to completely reimagine what people have done so far. We are going to determine what startups truly need.”                                                                                                                           Steven Baek, FuturePlay Founded in early 2014, FuturePlay focuses on funding early-stage tech startups. The company believes that in order to understand the market properly and have a solid basis, a…

One Of Seoul’s Top Accelerators: The Ventures
  ·  1034일 전

“We think about ourselves more as a tutoring-based approach, a one-to-one approach”  Mark Tetto, The Ventures The Ventures was founded early in 2014 by Changseong Ho and Jiwon Moon, who formerly created Viki, a community-driven distribution platform for TV contents. The company was acquired last year by Japanese Rakuten for $200 million. The Ventures works very closely with startups for an un-specified period of time. Startups receive office space, mentoring and professional…

Birdview Raises $600k from CyberAgent Ventures and Bon Angels To Bring You Even More Korean Beauty Information
1035일 전

Birdview (HwaHae in Korean), a cosmetics and beauty focused startup in Seoul recently announced that they have around $600k from Bon Angels Venture Partners of Korea and Cyber Agent Ventures of Japan. Birdview was founded by three High school alumni, Woong Lee (CEO), Yong-jin Kim (CPO), and Woo-hyun Chang (CMO) during their college years. The company has developed a mobile app ‘Hwa-Hae’ (meaning reconciliation in Korean) which provides cosmetic brand information, precisely analyzes…

ENOMAD, The Hydro-Power Techies From Seoul Bringing Mobile Power To Remote Locations
1035일 전

Last summer, crowds gathered around the free smartphone charging station set up near Chungye-stream in the heart of Korea’s capital.  The service was developed by ENOMAD a local startup and attracts people with music during the day and lights after it gets dark. We met up with the team do discover more about how they are ‘bringing electricity to places without wires’. Q. please introduce ENOMAD. A. In the developed world we…

Korean Game Startup ‘IDIOCRACY’ Secures $500k After 8-Week Course On Entrepreneurship & Company Building
1036일 전

oIDIOCRACY is a cross format game that allows both PC and mobile users to play simultaneously. As a board game it is also accessible to players of all groups of ages. “I was very happy with the reasonable terms of investment from our Hong Kong investors, and the quick turnaround process,’ stated a company representative. “We are now adding the final touches, ready for release.” While the team’s first title is for…

Zikto, A Hardware Start-up From Seoul Secures $50k On KickStarter In First 24 hours

The proverbs say a good beginning is half the battle. Based on this Zikto is well on their way to success, having reached half of their KickStater goal on the first day. Update: On November 25 the $100k kickstarter goal was passed, with 27 days left on the campaign, which ends December 22. Zikto are the developers of ‘Arki,’ a wearable which helps to improve the walking posture of their user’s. While…