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COMEUP 2020: Meet the startups leading the post-pandemic future

COMEUP 2020, November 19th-21st, is Korea’s biggest startup event. The 3-day extravaganza will feature lectures, panel talks, and mini events, all surrounding topics dedicated to overcoming the impact COVID-19 has had on business.

This virtual event is perfect for startups considering breaking into or accelerating growth in Korea, Asia, or even globally.  

Meet COMEUP 2020

COMEUP is the biggest startup festival in Korea based on private-public cooperation. In its second year in 2020, COMEUP looks to become one of the top global startup festivals, alongside Slush and Disrupt.   

As many significant events overseas were cancelled due to the pandemic, COMEUP will be one of the first major international events to be held online in Korea with support from the Korean Ministry of SMEs and Startups.   

Announced on Tuesday, November 3rd by Minister of SMEs and Startups, Park Young-sun, and COMEUP Organizing Committee Chairwoman, Kim Seulah, the event will forge ahead with the aim of helping SMEs and startups overcome adversity with opportunity post-COVID-19.  

Who’s joining?

Image Credits: COMEUP 2020

Even though it’s only in its second year, interest in COMEUP from foreign startups is rapidly increasing, and the event is well on its way to becoming a world-class global startup festival.  

1,076 startups from 88 countries worldwide submitted online applications to become COMEUP STARS during a month-long period between July and August. 120 startups were selected. The 120 COMEUP STARS consist of 59 Korean domestic startups and 61 overseas startups.   

COMEUP STARS are provided with support to produce corporate promotional videos and online booths, as well as opportunities to make promotional pitches to global investors.   

Alongside the COMEUP STARS are 2,645 teams (a 58% increase from 2019) from 118 countries who applied for the ‘K-Startup Challenge’, a project to attract and support foreign startups in Korea.  

What to expect?

The slogan for this year’s festival is “Meet the Post-Pandemic Future.” We will explore how startups everywhere can solve and overcome the global challenges brought on by the pandemic. It will feature live-broadcast lectures and panel talks with over 115 experts and trendsetters set to speak during the main conference across various startup fields.  

These include well-known global lecturers, such as Professor Kim Jungsang of Duke University, Co-Founder and CTO of IONQ, Professor Henry Chesbrough of UC Berkeley, known for open innovation, as well as CEO of Kurly, Kim Seulah.  

In total, there will be over 12 sessions dedicated to global interests, such as K-Quarantine, policy, digital healthcare, environment, open innovation, AI, robotics, telecommuting, manufacturing, commerce, education, entertainment, and distribution.  

Chun Jongyoon (CEO of COVID-19 testing kit company, Seegene) and Kim Jinyong (from global drive through-testing standards establisher, Incheon Medical Center, Division of Infectious Diseases) will both participate in the K-Quarantine sessions.  

Selected startup participants will have the opportunity to network with the 90 plus investors joining the virtual event, such as Albert Shyy, Managing Director at Burda Principal Investment, Andreas Surya, Principal at Kejora Ventures, and others.  

Online booths and a bespoke platform

The COMEUP homepage is structured to showcase and stream each program, including the conference and sideline sessions. The excitement doesn’t end there. Online booths have been specially designed for investors to view and request meetups, enabling real-time matching of startups, investors, and buyers, and to host one-on-one counseling sessions. 

The platform itself is also designed to present a lively atmosphere by implementing Virtual Showrooms that utilize VR technology so users will feel as if they are attending an in-person event. 

Minister of SMEs and Startups, Park Youngsun, commented: “COMEUP 2020 has made a name for itself across Asia thanks to its ability to host virtual events. This year, despite the difficulties of COVID-19 crisis, we hope to reinvent COMEUP as a global startup festival, following in the footsteps of K-Pop and K-Quarantine. With K-Startup’s mind-set and futuristic vision, I wish the event success. I hope that this global platform can help people come together in the spirit of cooperation and innovation. Let’s show how startups can overcome anything. ” 

COMEUP 2020 will take place virtually November 19th-21st, 2020. For more information and to register, click here.

Image Credits: COMEUP 2020