Known for tech giants such as Samsung and LG, South Korea has quietly developed its own startup ecosystem over the past few years. The country has been a leader in innovation, R&D and education for decades and is now the latest country to be caught up in the global startup boom.He has also become one of many successful startups. is born from this. A new and innovative ecosystem.
The capital city of Seoul already has a startup ecosystem worth $39 billion, and South Korean cities rank among the top 20 of 270 cities in the world. Now, the Asian nation is looking to expand this development on a larger scale and to other parts of the country, with cities like Busan and Daejeon as the next startup hubs.
Also, as introduced at Slush 2022 in Helsinki, the future of Korean startups is bright and full of possibilities. Over 20 startups attend his K-STARTUP Demo Day and have the opportunity to showcase their products and solutions in verticals such as agritech. , IoT, Edtech, Fintech, Industry 4.0, e-commerce, etc.
Out of 20, 3 startups won the Global Media Awards. Coconut Silo, AimbeLab, and Next Meta. During the event, The Recursive had the opportunity to sit down with Korean startups and hear more about how innovation is taking over Korea.
Introducing innovations that facilitate logistics processes
Coconut Silo is a logistics startup that started as a spin-off from automotive giant Hyundai, providing a digital platform aimed at optimizing the logistics value chain for a wide range of businesses through a SaaS ecosystem.
According to Coconut Silo COO Taewon Han, the logistics industry is one of the slowest to adopt innovation, but it is also the one most likely to do so.
“Our main goal is to connect all types of players in the logistics market, such as shippers, carriers and drivers. So, based on AI and big data, we increase efficiency and productivity. The industry is also one of the slowest, still using old communication methods that are hard to change, and the industry is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases, making it more We need green technology solutions, and that’s exactly one of the main problems we’re trying to solve,” Han told The Recursive.
Coconut Silo currently conducts most of its activities in South America and Southeast Asia, but European countries are next on its expanding list.
One of the biggest advantages startups have seen with regards to the Korean startup ecosystem and its development is the support they get not only from the government, but also from giants such as Hyundai that provide a foundation for young companies. People who want to make a difference with their solutions.
“Due to the tough economic conditions, the current investment market has been frozen and it is undoubtedly a tough season for most startups. of ministries and government agencies help startups improve and grow.Based on that, we have a stable and great environment and infrastructure for startups to grow,” Han points out.
Penetration of entrepreneurial spirit
Government-backed organizations such as KISED (Korea Institute of Startup & Entrepreneurship Development) contribute to the development of the country’s ecosystem, and the next founders on our list come from just this environment.
For Next Meta CEO and founder Choi Inkyung, the next logical step was to found her own startup and combine her interests in entrepreneurship and education.
Aiming to revolutionize the education system, Choi founded Next Meta, an Edtech startup aiming to bring innovation and interactive learning to the next generation.
“We are trying to make learning interactive and fun for the next generation. So basically what we are doing is turning traditionally long 60 or 90 minute instructional videos into mobile is to break it down into short forms and interactive content for the audience, so instead of watching these long videos without interaction, we offer short videos and many active learning modules to turn that lesson into a series of interactive content. ,” Choi told The Recursive.
For Choi, the idea for Next Meta came from seeing the limitations of online learning. That’s why I chose to focus on how to make my non-live online classes more interactive and enjoyable for the people involved in the process.
“Our target market is B2B. We are not the ones who create the content.There are schools and educational institutions that create a lot of content, so we try to make this content interactive. Seed We have completed a round of investment and are now focused on developing MVP.We already have three clients and currently over 200 learners are using the product,” Choi explains.
When it comes to how Korean startups can develop further and realize their potential, Choi said that while they have the infrastructure to succeed, what is still lacking at the moment is entrepreneurship. It states that it is a much greater adoption of the spirit.
“For example, there are programs that give around $80,000 in grants, so it’s easy to get. In terms of the size of the funding, no other country gives so much just for an idea. No equity, only grants.The infrastructure is in place, but what we lack is entrepreneurship and development.The focus is on startups, but for community builders like us. There are very few support programs for , a good teacher, and the teacher in this case is the Startup Accelerator,” Choi explains.
Globalization and expansion into new markets
Another challenge for many Korean startups is that although they have done a lot in Korea, it is still a small market, so they become the second level of the Korean ecosystem.
The next startup has such ambitions and has already taken a step in this direction by targeting Europe and the US as its next markets. AimbeLab is an agritech startup and provider of AI-based feed procurement systems that offer services such as automated feed ordering systems, farm management apps, and silo management.
AimbeLab Communicator Sein Kwon, himself a second-generation farmer, is on a mission to accelerate the digital transformation of the country’s livestock industry. The first step is to provide a solution that allows users to easily manage livestock from their smartphones.
“The livestock industry currently faces many challenges in terms of lack of digitization and is one of the largest greenhouse gas emitting industries. We have provided a comprehensive feed management platform that makes it more comprehensive, and we have implemented data collected through our IoT device offerings from farms and livestock feed companies to create a much better data solution,” says Kwon. told The Recursive.
For AimbeLab, its digital platform is just the beginning of the changes the company is about to make in the industry, with already plans to extend its solution across the livestock industry value chain.
“We are mainly looking for feed companies that can help us reduce costs, increase productivity and optimize management, so they are our main customers.”
“The digital transformation of the agricultural sector is not an easy task. Although we are very conservative in making innovations, it is one of the industries that is much needed for sustainability. With many attempts from , and many collaborations with companies, governments, etc., we are definitely optimistic about what the future holds.