The state-led technology forum NextRise kicked off July 23 as part of Seoul’s efforts to put the country’s startup ecosystem on the global tech map.
The two-day event is expected to come up with a setting for higher chances of engagement between startups and investors, be they venture capital firms or corporations.
KDB Chairman Lee Dong-gull delivers a speech at NextRise 2019 on July 23.
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Held at Coex in southern Seoul, NextRise 2019 was co-hosted by state-run entities such as the Korea Development Bank, Korea International Trade Association, Korea Venture Business Association, Korean Venture Capital Association and National Research Council of Science and Technology.
“We expect NextRise 2019 to set foot as an international platform that represents national innovation and growth, like Consumer Electronics Show in the US and Mobile World Congress in Spain,” KDB Chairman Lee Dong-gull said in opening remarks.
NextRise 2019 features speeches and lectures from investment gurus and scale-ups, sessions by representatives of countries and global corporations, pitch sessions and exhibition booths for startups, as well as one-on-one meetup booths to connect startups and investors.
During the keynote speeches, speakers discussed prospects and challenges of startup ecosystem at home and abroad.
Speakers include figures from Silicon Valley such as SendBird CEO John Kim, Altos Ventures managing director Han Kim, Storm Ventures managing director Nahm Tae-hea, Draper Athena managing director Perry Ha and 500 Startups CEO and co-founder Christine Tsai.
Also speaking at the event were key venture investors in the Korean ecosystem, such as Primer founder and CEO Douglas Guen, Bluepoint Partners President Lee Yong-kwan and Capstone Partners managing partner Song Eun-kang, as well as Bukalapak co-founder Fajrin Rasyid and SBI Investment President Katsuya Kawashima.
Representatives of multinational corporations shared open innovation models and environments for corporate mergers and acquisitions of startups at “Global Company Sessions.” Speakers came from companies such as Samsung NEXT, Hyundai Motor, BMW, Amazon Global Selling, Airbus, Beiersdorf, Johnson&Johnson, Alibaba Cloud, Go-Jek, Beiersdorf, Lenovo and BASF, among others.
“Korea has strived for a multifaceted effort to nurture a startup ecosystem here, but one thing that we were lagging is the opportunity for startups to collaborate with large corporations,” Financial Services Commission Chairman Choi Jong-ku said in a speech.
Also, 20 leading venture capital firms and accelerators in Korea, including IMM Investment, KTB Networks, Intervest, LB Investment and Korea Investment Partners, held meetups and sessions.
NextRise 2019 also features country sessions from 15 participants: Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.
KDB expected some 2,000 meetings to be held during the forum.
In the meantime, the exhibition featured some 190 startups from home and abroad in the fields of biotechnology, financial technology, artificial intelligence, information and communications technology, deep tech, energy conservation, electronic and electric technologies and consumer services.
Participants have urged NextRise to be more sustainable.
“State-led events like this are easy to lose steam in case of changes in a political situation,” said one participant, who asked not to be named.
By Son Ji-hyoung (firstname.lastname@example.org)