In the heart of Seoul, where technology meets Hallyu, COMEUP 2023, South Korea premier startup festival at the iconic Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP), is ready to dazzle from November 8 to 10. This global event, celebrating its 5th anniversary, is a fusion of the dynamic world of startups and the vibrant energy of Korean entertainment.
As a collaboration between the Ministry of SMEs and Startups and the Korea Startup Forum, COMEUP 2023 stands as a landmark event, blending the innovation of Korea’s tech scene with its globally influential entertainment industry. Under the theme “We Move the World,” the festival anticipates 60% international participation, symbolizing a unique crossroad of global innovation and cultural influence.
Korean Hallyu Meets Global Startup Ecosystem
Since its inception in 2019, COMEUP has transformed into a crucial global startup hub, interweaving South Korea’s fast-paced tech environment with the universal appeal of its entertainment industry. The event’s popularity mirrors the exponential rise of Korean cultural exports, from Kdramas to Kpop, underscoring the country’s unique position as a leader in both technological and cultural domains.
The increased global turnout results from the Korean government’s collaborations with various international entities. The event has seen a consistent rise in attendance over the years:
- 2019: 21,102
- 2020: 59,054
- 2021: 50,291
- 2022: 57,560
The 2023 festival extends its network to 29 countries, showcasing COMEUP’s ambition to evolve as a premier global startup festival.
COMEUP 2023 Outlook
Minister LEE Young of the Ministry of SMEs and Startups envisions COMEUP 2023 in Seoul as a platform for fostering Korean startups’ interactions and collaborations internationally.
“In our ‘digital exploration era,’ competition is limitless. Startups, with their agility, rapidity, and digital prowess, are crucial in this context.”Minister Lee Young of the Ministry of SMEs and Startups
Highlights of COMEUP 2023 in Seoul– What to Expect?
1. International Cooperation: Exclusive Global Community Zone
A prime highlight of COMEUP 2023 is the new “Global Community Zone,” a direct result of active outreach to international startup communities and government collaborations, including recent visits to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The Zone will feature participants from diverse nations like the USA, France, Germany, Switzerland, Indonesia, Cambodia, Senegal, Uganda, and more. It includes investment attraction pitches, conferences, and a year-round online business matching program, enhancing investment and collaborative opportunities for startups.
2. Global CVC Conference – A New Investment Horizon
This year introduces the “Global CVC Conference” on November 9-10, in partnership with British media company GCV and the Korea Venture Capital Association. The conference aims to facilitate significant investments and help startups enter international markets, with over 160 venture capitalists attending.
3. Fostering Innovation: COMEUP Stars Program
The “COMEUP Stars“ initiative continues to spotlight and support innovative startups with high growth potential. The 2023 program includes mentorship and investment opportunities, with involvement from 13 top Korean and international VCs and accelerators, supporting 10 selected startups each. The program features different leagues catering to startups at varying development stages.
4. Celebrating 20 Years of Open Innovation
November 9, the second day of COMEUP 2023, will be dedicated to “Open Innovation Day,” marking 20 years since the concept’s inception. It will showcase successful collaborations across various company sizes, with over 20 global companies participating. The day includes case presentations and a panel discussion on practical open innovation insights.
5. Insights from Esteemed Personalities at COMEUP 2023
The festival promises engaging sessions with notable figures in startups and entrepreneurship. Keynote speakers include Zior Park, a well-known Korean musician and entrepreneur, and Mahdi Shariff, founder of Humble and a Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia honoree. These sessions will cover essential startup topics, offering invaluable advice and inspiration.
For more information and registration, please visit the COMEUP 2023 official website. Hosted/Organized/Cooperated by: Ministry of SMEs and Startups & Korea Startup Forum.
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