Startup Festival 2017 at COEX

Startup Festival 2017

Startup Festival 2017 was a huge success and for their first year.  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 Startup Festival and this will be an annual event moving forward.

The conference was a truly global conference and shows just how much the Korean government wants to promote the startup ecosystem in Korea.  So much so that the president of South Korean Moon Jae In gave the opening statement at Startup Festival 2017.

Startup Festival

Guided Imports CEO Samuel Boyd was able to get a selfie with the President who wanted to show the startups both in Korea and from around the world that they had his support.


Match Making Program

The Startup Festival was created to bring the highest value to the startups that attended the conference.  Therefore the main goal of the conference was to match startups with investors not only from Korea but around the world.  As well as media who came to see the Korean startup ecosystem first hand.  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.  The matchmaking areas were filled with one to one meetings for future investments and global exposure.

SF 2017

Some of the International Speakers of Startup Festival 2017 included:

And much more…

There were not only matchmaking areas for startups, investors, and the media to hold meetings.  But there were also interactive zones where startups were able to showcase their technology for a hands-on experience.  Kinicho 3D was able to showcase their 3D sound technology to the attendees at the conference.

Startup Festival

Blippar and MoBike come to Seoul

Billion dollar companies like Blippar and MoBike were also at the conference to help teach the young startups what it takes to succeed.

Startup Festival Blippar

MoBike will be coming to South Korea by the end of 2018 in Suwon.  In addition, if that is successful, they could be expanding into Seoul by the end of 2019.

Startup Festival Mobike

There were also great panel discussions on the topics of FinTech, AR/VR, IoT, just to name a few.  But the whole concept of all the talks were centered around how Asian startups can go global.

Startup Festival 2017

The conference itself was very innovative.  Their badges were a big hit as they focused on what the did rather than who they were.  These badges were light up in an environment that seemed more like Slush, a party atmosphere.

Startup Festival 2017

Also, the seats for the audience members were fluffy cushions which allow for the best, relaxing, viewing experience.  The were some attendees that stayed on those fluff chairs for hours at a time.

Startup Festival

The Asian startup ecosystem is hotter than ever.  Therefore countries like Singapore, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan foster a lot of talent related to tech and they have the perfect market to test that technology.  Asia is very diverse, both in terms of its culture and its economy.  Therefore Asia 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.  That is why have Startup Festival is crucial to not only Korea but to Asia.  Hope everyone can attend Startup Festival 2018 which would be 10 times better!

[email protected]

John Yoon

John Yoon is the Editor in Chief at Startup Radar, Organizer for Startup Festival 2017, Head of Operations Korea at EOS Asia and the Global Marketing Director for Email = [email protected] if you are interested in guest contributing and helping the Korean startup ecosystem. Wechat, Kakao, and Line user ID is jswy315

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