Final Selection for COMEUP Stars 2023 Unveiled: ‘COMEUP 40’ Winners to be Revealed in November
COME Stars 2023(컴업 스타즈 2023), one of the main events of the global startup festival COMEUP(컴업), has confirmed the ‘COMEUP 40’ who will advance to the Rookie League.
COMEUP 2023 held preliminary pitching sessions for 100 Rookie League companies selected as ‘COMEUP 100’ at DreamPlus in Gangnam, Seoul on the 18th for domestic companies and online on the 21st for overseas companies. More than 20 experts from domestic venture capital firms and accelerators participated as evaluation committee members, and the judging was conducted based on evaluation criteria consisting of marketability, innovation, and growth.
The final COMEUP 40 consisted of innovative companies from 10 countries, including Korea, the United States, Mexico, Norway, the United Arab Emirates, Nigeria, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, and Hong Kong. A total of 28 Korean startups made the final list, including OS, a startup specializing in plasma semiconductor equipment manufacturing; METLiT, an AI healthcare solution based on magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) analysis and diagnosis; Allmytour, a travel platform based on best-price booking technology; and SAMSIN, a frozen egg concierge service.
12 international startups made it through the preliminary round of pitching. HydroArt, an eco-friendly solution for growing homegrown food from the United Arab Emirates; Filmplace, a location rental and booking platform from Singapore; TactileAI, a B2B consumer data analytics platform for the beauty industry from the United States; and Narval, an AI-based generative antibody therapeutics development solution from Mexico, received high scores.
The qualifiers were particularly noteworthy, as the previously matched COMEUP Houses and COMEUP Starts participated through intensive mentoring, allowing them to see the acceleration capabilities of the Houses. Among the 10 Houses (Digital Healthcare Partners, MashUp Angels, Bluepoint Partners, Bigbang Angles, SOPOONG VENTURES, SoftBank Ventures, FuturePlay, Plug and Play Korea, IMM Investment, KB Investment) that participated in the Rookie League mentoring, SoftBank Ventures and IMM Investment produced the most selected companies and demonstrated their acceleration capabilities by advancing seven companies each to the main round.
COMEUP 40 will continue next month with the Busan 2023 Workshop and House Mentoring, leading up to the main and final rounds in November. The workshop is a pre-event that includes Rocket League and several Academy leagues, and offers various programs such as VIP conferences, investor meetings, and networking with startups and ecosystem stakeholders in Busan to strengthen pitching skills and expand networking opportunities before the main event. After further mentoring by the matched house, the startups will conduct a public IR pitch on the main stage on the first day of the event, and 10 teams will advance to the final round on the last day based on the judging results. The winning startups will receive a variety of benefits, including a discount on renting DreamPlus Gangnam.
“For COMEUP 40, we have selected global startups that are innovating in various high-tech fields such as semiconductors, generative AI, bio, agtech, and big data,” said Sungjin Choi, the executive committee of COMEUP 2023, executive director of Korea Startup Forum (KSF). “As this year’s COMEUP focuses on the keywords of survival and growth, we will be able to see the capabilities of the COMEUP Stars that have grown through months of competition.”
Meanwhile, the Alumni Day, held concurrently with the preliminary pitching of domestic companies in the Rookie League on the 18th, brought together more than 200 key ecosystem stakeholders, including preliminary Rookie League startups and COMEUP Stars, as well as investors and advisors who participated in COMEUP. Dongwhwan Kim, CEO of Backpackr, Jin Su Kim, Director of KTInvestment, Tae-Ho Kim, COO of HYBE, Kyuseung Noh, Team Leader and Creative Director of ZER01NE of Hyundai Motor Group, Bumsuk Lee, Managing General Partner of Murex Partners, Shina Chung, CEO of Kakao Ventures, and Sangyeob Han, CEO of Sopoong Ventures, attended the event and held Q&A sessions with startups as well as public pitches from companies participating in the Academy League. COMEUP 2023 will be held simultaneously online and offline at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) in Seoul from November 8-10.