The South Korea Ministry of SMEs and Startups, in collaboration with the Korea Startup Forum, proudly presents “COMEUP 2023,” taking place from November 8 to 10 at Seoul’s iconic Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP). Celebrating its 5th anniversary, COMEUP 2023 promises to be a global startup festival of unprecedented scale, drawing a remarkable 60% of startups from around the world, including the USA. With the theme for 2023, “We Move the World,” COMEUP is committed to nurturing innovation and creating a thriving global startup ecosystem.
Unifying the Global Startup Ecosystem
Since its launch in 2019, COMEUP has evolved into a global startup extravaganza that bridges South Korea’s vibrant startup landscape with an international audience. This year, the festival will converge innovative startups, visionary investors, and entrepreneurial leaders from 29 countries, marking a significant increase compared to previous editions.
This remarkable international participation is the result of fruitful collaborations between the Korean government and counterparts abroad. Attendance figures have been on a steady rise in recent years:
- 2019: 21,102
- 2020: 59,054
- 2021: 50,291
- 2022: 57,560
In COMEUP 2023, the event broadens its global reach to 29 countries, compared to 20 participating countries in 2022. This expansion underlines COMEUP’s commitment to becoming a prominent global startup festival.
Envisioning COMEUP 2023
Minister LEE Young of the Ministry of SMEs and Startups emphasizes, “The world has entered the ‘digital era of exploration,’ where competition knows no borders. In this new era, the role of startups, with their agility, speed, and digital technology, is paramount.” COMEUP 2023 is expected to facilitate meaningful interactions between American startups and the global community, fostering international engagement.
What to Expect at COMEUP 2023
1.International Collaboration: Exclusive Global Community Zone
The highlight of COMEUP 2023 is the creation of a “Global Community Zone.” This dedicated space is the outcome of COMEUP’s active outreach to global startup communities and government delegations from startup-friendly nations, including the USA.
COMEUP 2023’s Global Community Zone will welcome delegates from various corners of the world, including the United States. This zone will feature IR pitches for attracting investments through dedicated stages and conferences. Moreover, COMEUP has implemented an online business matching program that operates year-round, expanding investment and collaboration opportunities vital for startup growth.
2. Global CVC Conference – Paving the Way for Investment
In 2023, COMEUP will host its inaugural “Global CVC Conference,” featuring participation from over 160 venture capitalists (VCs). This conference is a collaborative effort between British media company GCV and the Korea Venture Capital Association. Scheduled for November 9-10, the Global CVC Conference aims to facilitate substantial investments and international market entry for startups.
3.Nurturing Innovation: COMEUP Stars
COMEUP 2023 continues its pioneering initiative known as “COMEUP Stars,” dedicated to discovering and nurturing innovative startups with the potential to become unicorns in the world of entrepreneurship. This program offers support and acceleration to early-stage startups, both from the USA and overseas, providing a unique platform for mentorship, networking, and investment opportunities.
The COMEUP Stars program for this year involves collaboration with 13 top Korean and foreign VCs and accelerators, closely working with 10 promising startups each. This initiative aims to identify and nurture early-stage startups, with selected startups receiving intensive mentoring and pre-matching with investors, maximizing their investment potential.
The program is segmented into different leagues to cater to startups at various stages of development, including the Rookie League (for startups with accumulated investments of less than KRW 1 billion, approximately $738k), the Rocket League (for Series A and B stage startups with investments ranging from KRW 5 to 50 billion, approximately $3.69 to $36.9 million), and the Academy League (for prospective entrepreneurs or startups founded within 6 months).
4. Open Innovation Day: Celebrating 20 Years of Collaboration
In honor of the 20th anniversary of the Open Innovation Concept, COMEUP 2023 designates the second day of the event (November 9) as “Open Innovation Day.” This special day will showcase successful cases of collaboration between large, medium-sized, and startup companies. Over 20 global corporations, including NVIDIA, Dassault Systèmes, Hyundai Motor Company, BMW, and Naver Cloud, will present collaboration models, forging a vision for the future coexistence between startups and established corporations. Attendees can anticipate panel discussions delving into various aspects of open innovation, providing practical insights.
The program will also feature the presentation of use cases where large and medium-sized companies engage with startups to discuss real-world examples of successful collaborations achieved through open innovation. These use cases offer tangible evidence of how innovative partnerships can drive value and growth. The program includes panel discussions exploring the vision of win-win cooperation between companies.
5. Inspiration from Prominent Voices at COMEUP 2023
COMEUP 2023, the global startup festival, is set to captivate audiences with dynamic conference sessions featuring renowned personalities from the world of startups and entrepreneurship. The event will gather musicians, industry leaders, and government representatives to share valuable insights and inspire startups and entrepreneurs.
The conference will consist of multiple sessions, each addressing vital topics relevant to the startup lifecycle. These topics are carefully selected to cover the major challenges startups face on their journey, offering a rich source of knowledge and practical advice for both aspiring and established entrepreneurs.
The conference’s keynote speaker is Zior Park, a musician and influential figure with over 10 million views on YouTube. Zior Park is also an entrepreneur, the founder and CEO of the lifestyle brand SYNDROMEZ, and widely known as the K-POP musician Zior Park in Korea. He continues his work as a video director under the name Chet Black. Zior Park is celebrated for his innovative approaches and creative thinking, making him an invaluable source of inspiration for startups looking to push the boundaries of what’s possible.
In addition to Zior Park, the conference will feature approximately 60 global speakers, including industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators. A keynote speech will also be delivered by Mahdi Shariff, founder of Humble, a data-based deep learning platform, angel investor, co-founder of Stealth, and a 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia honoree. These speakers will share their stories, experiences, and insights into the dynamic world of startups, providing invaluable lessons and motivation for attendees.
COMEUP 2023 transcends geographical boundaries, hosting foreign panels and speakers who will contribute a global perspective on startups. Notably, the UAE Minister of Economy and the Saudi Arabian Minister of SMEs and Startups will actively participate in the conference, offering a firsthand account of the startup and venture ecosystem in the Middle East, providing a unique and insightful look into the region’s entrepreneurial landscape.
Don’t Miss Your Opportunity to Be Part of an Extraordinary Global Startup Festival!
Join Us at COMEUP 2023 from November 8 to 10 in Seoul.
For more information and registration, please visit the official website: COMEUP 2023 Website.
For inquiries, please contact: Doyeon Kang at +82-2-6211-9400.
Hosted/Organized/Cooperated by: Ministry of SMEs and Startups & Korea Startup Forum
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