Once a year, the road stretching from Sinchon Subway Station to Yonsei University turns into the site for a festival of startups.
Hosted by D.Camp, a non-profit startup accelerator backed by the country’s financial institutions, IF 2019 or Imagine Future 2019 provides startups opportunities to show off innovative ideas and meet with potential customers.
This year’s festival expanded its scope by inviting foreign countries to introduce their startup support systems at a networking event called D.Party.
Invited by D.Camp, officials from the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Estonia, Austria, Australia and Israel talked about their startup ecosystem and support policies and their relative advantages and competitive edges.
Yaniv Goldberg, head of the Israel Economic and Trade Office at the Israeli Embassy, emphasized his country’s strength in R&D investment.
“Israel leads the world in terms of investment per capita. In 2018 we raised $6.5 billion for our startup ecosystem and 90 percent of that was raised from foreign venture capital,” Goldberg said. “Korean startups could use this as an opportunity to raise funds.”
Goldberg added that with the free trade agreement signed between South Korea and Israel this year, and the joint fund that has been established, there is a good mechanism to help South Korean startups that want to cooperate with Israeli companies.
Hana Nemcova, director of Korean Operation from the Czech Republic, introduced her country as an artificial intelligence hub in Europe and that Czech startups have now just started to expand to Asian countries and expect more partnerships among startups in the two countries.
Invited by the United National Industrial Development Organization, officials from the Philippines, Laos and Indonesia presented on the growth in their startup scenes.
Soudachanh Chanthalavanh, a trade adviser from Laos, said she wants to invite startups to consider to do business in Laos.
The two-day event also hosted the IF Innovation Conference, which invited industry leaders such as Primer Founder and CEO Douglas Guen to give lectures to college students.
It also awarded promising startups at Young Entrepreneur Startups Demo Day on Oct. 12 and Fintech Idea Demo Day on Oct. 13, co-hosted by D.Camp, the Financial Services Commission and Fintech Center Korea.
By Park Ga-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)