COMEUP 2023, the biggest startup festival in South Korea, recently wrapped up its fifth edition, affirming its status as a leading global startup festival. Held at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul from November 8 to 10, the event achieved a groundbreaking attendance of 66,000, marking the highest-ever online and offline participation.
Unprecedented Global Participation & Diverse Discussions
Representatives from 35 countries, including Saudi Arabia, UAE, the United States, France, Austria, Hong Kong, Senegal, and Cambodia, engaged in COMEUP 2023. The festival served as a dynamic platform for startups, investors, government agencies, and global corporations, fostering international collaboration. Influential figures such as Olivia Hervy from Viva Technology, Susan Marshall from NVIDIA, Howard Wright from AWS, and William Bao Bean from SOSV contributed to the event's vibrancy.
Key government officials, including UAE Minister of Economy Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri and Saudi SME Authority Chairman Sami bin Ibrahim Al-Hussaini, highlighted the importance of discussions on cooperation between Korea and startups.
The newly introduced Global Community Zone featured booths and presentations from 18 participating teams. A session titled 2023 STARTUP KOREA! Policy Proposal Presentation: Global Openness of Korea's Startup Ecosystem' provided insights into the global landscape, offering practical policy directions.
Insights and Discussions on Startup Growth
The 'Future Talk' program brought together about 70 speakers, sharing diverse experiences on key startup growth issues. Topics included insights on the latest technologies like Chat GPT and generative AI, discussed by industry leaders from Microsoft, Wrtn Technologies, and others.
In celebration of the 20th anniversary of open innovation, sessions like 'Open Innovation 2.0: 20th Anniversary and a New Way Forward' delved into discussions on Google's support for women entrepreneurs, startup guidelines for Japanese expansion, and successful collaboration cases between global companies and enterprises of varying sizes.
Nurturing Early-Stage Startups & Global Connections
COMEUP Stars 2023, revamped to focus on early-stage startups, concluded with a spirited pitching competition. This year included about 80 startup teams, including Rookie League, Rocket League and the newly introduced (Pre)Early-Stage Startup Award Academy League. INTEKMEDI stood out as the most excellent company, chosen through comprehensive evaluations.
Since early this year, the event has continued to reinforce its role in connecting startups and investors through an operational online business matching platform. COMEUP facilitated over 1,000 pre-event and on-site business matching outcomes, eliminating borders, time, and space constraints.
A Global Festival Connecting Startup Ecosystems
Sungjin Choi, Chairman of COMEUP Executive Committee, emphasized the event's impact, stating, "COMEUP 2023 not only increased the overall scale of participants but also saw a significant increase in on-site and global participants, making it even more impactful." He added, "As COMEUP officially leaps into a global festival connecting startup ecosystems worldwide, we will continue to play a role as a mediator in expanding the startup ecosystem."
In conclusion, COMEUP 2023 has left an indelible mark on the global startup landscape, serving as a beacon of innovation, collaboration, and growth for startups worldwide. As it transitions beyond the event, its impact is poised to resonate, contributing to the continuous evolution and expansion of the global startup ecosystem.