[NextRise 2023, Seoul] Grand Finale of ‘Open Innovation Venue’ with 450 Startups
NextRise 2023 (Seoul), Korea’s largest startup fair, was held on June 1 (Thursday) and 2 (Friday) at COEX in Samseong-dong, Seoul. ⓒPlatum
NextRise 2023, Seoul, Korea’s largest startup expo, which was held at COEX in Samseong-dong, Seoul on Thursday and Friday, June 1 and 2, has come to a close.
Now in its fifth year, NextRise is a comprehensive startup event aimed at attracting investment from promising startups and expanding business cooperation with large and medium-sized companies in Korea and abroad.
The event was hosted by the Korea Development Bank and the Korea International Trade Association ,and co-hosted by The National Research Council of Science & Technology, Korea Venture Business Association, and Korea Venture Capital Association.
The number of participating companies and attendees has grown each year, and this year’s event was the largest ever, with more than 450 startups exhibiting in various promotional booths throughout the first floor of COEX, and 3,400 1:1 business meetups taking place onsite.
Speaking at the opening ceremony on the first day, Mr. Seok-Hoon Kang, Chairman of Korea Development Bank, said, “The competitiveness of our traditional core industries is gradually weakening in a challenging global economy due to the recent weakening of the global supply chain system. In this environment, the innovative technologies and business models of startups will become new growth engines to lead Korea’s future industries,” he said, emphasizing the importance of startups to our economy.
In her congratulatory remarks, Hye-ryun Back, Chairman of the National Policy Committee, said, “We will support startups to freely bring new technologies and ideas to the market and compete with confidence. Joo-hyun Kim, Chairman of the Financial Services Commission, responded with a congratulatory remark, “The Financial Services Commission will actively support startups in various ways, including expanding customized funding for each stage of growth, so that they can use the crisis as an opportunity for growth.”
This year’s NextRise 2023, Seoul exhibition hall was the largest ever, with a total of more than 450 startup booths from various industries, as well as 21 large independent booths from large and medium-sized enterprises and related organizations.
The large independent booths, uniquely designed by major domestic and foreign companies and venture-related organizations such as Hyundai Motor Company, LG Science Park, POSCO, Hanwha Dreamplus, AWS, and KOCCA, promoted each organization’s open innovation strategy and status of nurturing startups to discover new growth engines. 58 startups from 19 countries participated, providing an opportunity to learn about the latest trends in the global startup ecosystem as well as the domestic startup ecosystem.
The conference sessions, held on three large stages, featured 71 talks on a variety of topics reflecting global venture trends. Many prominent figures from Korea and abroad, including startup founders, investors, and representatives from major companies, attended the conference and shared their insights on various industry-specific information and technology trends with the audience.
In the keynote sessions, Han-min Kim, director of “The Admiral” and “Hansan,” Hung-hye Ryu, vice president of Kakao Entertainment, former Salesforce Ventures partner, president of Minerva University, and managing director of Nvidia Headquarters, shared their insights on the future of the industry through special presentations in their respective fields.
The Startup Session, the main part of the event , featured the “Unicorn Concert” with the participation of domestic unicorn founders such as Megazone Cloud (JooWan Lee), Zigbang (Sung Woo Ahn), and IGAWorks (Kukseong Ma), who discussed various topics such as startup founding and their own management philosophy in a talk format. The “Unicorns of Tomorrow” session, which featured representatives from Korea’s leading semiconductor startups such as Rebellions (Sunghyun Park), FuriosaAI (June Ho Baek), and SEMIFIVE (Brandon Cho), was also well received by the audience.
In addition, in the conference session on Future Strategic Industries, the main theme of NextRise 2023, top domestic and international experts from each core industry, including AI (LG Group, NAVER), semiconductor (NVIDIA), bio (SK Biopharm), secondary battery (LG Energy Solutions), and aerospace (Korea Aerospace Research Institute), participated in relay lectures to share information with startups in related industries.
In addition to these exhibitions and conferences, NextRise 2023 also aimed to strengthen its brand power as a venue for B2B business collaboration and discovery of corporate open innovation that is practical for startups.
This year, a total of 206 large, medium and global enterprises held more than 3,400 1:1 meetups with 900 startups at 150 meetup booths in the exhibition hall to explore business and investment cooperation opportunities. In addition to the main program, various partner-side events were held to benefit participants from the domestic and international venture ecosystem.
In addition to the Demo Day hosted by KDB Nextone, D-Camp, KAIST Entrepreneurship Center, Korea Creative Content Agency, Korea Proptech Forum, etc., 28 side events were held by various members of the venture ecosystem, including Korea Venture Business Association, Korea Venture Capital Association, SK Telecom, National Research Council of Science & Technology, and Hanwha DreamPlus, including educational programs, pitching and networking sessions.
In particular, they selected the best startups among the startups participating in NextRise for the first time this year and awarded 14 companies with Innovation Awards, of which ‘MOPIC’ won the Grand Prize and ‘JOINANDJOIN’, ‘Keytalk AI’ and ‘Kabuk Style’ won the Best of Innovation Award.
On the second day of the event, South Korean Prime Minister Duck-soo Han, who visited NextRise for the second time since last year, encouraged the startups during a coffee chat with four national strategic ventures on site, saying, “I will make various policy efforts, including reducing unnecessary regulations, to help our startups’ unlimited imagination lead to technology commercialization.”
“Now in its fifth year, NextRise has firmly established itself as Korea’s leading startup conference, not only among members of the venture ecosystem, but also among the general public,” said a KDB official. “We will continue to build NextRise into a landmark event in Asia that helps Korean startups grow into unicorns and enter the global market.