Techfest Vietnam 2019 Welcomes Start-ups and Investors
Autonomous Transportation-As-A-Service Startup CODE42 Raises KRW 30 Billion in Pre-A Funding
Lux Research Joins Greentown Labs as Gigawatt Partner
Gyeonggi Center for Creative Economy & Innovation Provides Opportunity to Link KT Commercialization to 6 Companies
Taiwan Tech Arena Invites 8 Influential Silicon Valley Investors to Judge the GEC+ Taipei 2018 Startup Pitch Program
BUTTON Raises $20K in Pre-Seed Funding, Will Join a New Class with PlayLabs Accelerator
Play Labs, a Summer Accelerator at MIT, Announces 2018 Class of Playful Startups and Demo Day
Avnet Drives Innovation Forward for the Start-up Community in Singapore
The Fabric Expands into Europe with EVO Venture Partners Investment and Strategic Partnership
Play Labs Accelerator, hosted at MIT, Announces Second Annual Open Submissions, Adding Digital Currency and Blockchain to its List of “Playful Tech” E
Heartbeat Raises $1 Million Seed Round to Transform and Scale Brand Influence Among Millennial Consumers
Heartbeat, the leading two-way brand endorsement platform, announced the close of a $1 million seed round of equity funding, led by Sinai Ventures, backers of Pinterest and Compass, along with Firebrand Ventures. With total funding of $2.9 million to date, the seed round was also participated by Heartbeat’s existing investors, including Right Side Capital Management. Brian Freeman, co-founder and CEO of Heartbeat, said: “We’re developing the most effective platform for brands to engage with millennial consumers through better targeting and segmentation, authentic connections with advocates, and scalable reach to an audience of more than 526 million consumers. We’re thrilled to welcome Sinai Ventures and Firebrand Ventures to the Heartbeat family, as this new funding will further accelerate our ability to grow with the demand in this billion-dollar market.” Jordan Fudge, Partner with Sinai Ventures (a new investment fund with $90 million under management), said: “As the advertising space continues to adapt to consumers’ media consumption habits, brands are increasingly experimenting with new channels for customer acquisition and retention. Influencer marketing has the potential to attract a considerable share of the average ad budget; however, there is no real programmatic technology or network to implement these strategies. With Heartbeat and its more than 145,000 Ambassadors, brands have been able to attract and retain customers at scale through user generated content, and have seen significant returns on investment across a number of leading brands and agencies.” Since launching last year, Heartbeat has enabled numerous influencer campaigns in partnership with premium brands including H&M, Amazon, Laura Mercier, Soylent, Bebe, Le Tote, Dashlane, Kaplan MD, Syfy, Warner Bros, and Saks Fifth Avenue. Additionally, the company has formed strategic partnerships with major generation Z and female-focused agencies including Clique Media Group, W Promote and AwesomenessTV. Heartbeat’s total audience reach has grown to more than 526 million consumers through its over 145,000 Ambassadors, currently generating over 100 million likes and over 9 million comments weekly. Vanessa, GM of Lilly Lashes, said: “The Heartbeat team has created a product that is aligned with the innovative direction that the paid media channel is headed. Their out of the box solution for driving organic content, coupled with expert knowledge of the social space, and a beyond professional team, makes this company the perfect partner for any brand looking to stay relevant with their consumers and outsmart their competition.” Brands today are spending $36 billion on social channels to engage and acquire new millennial consumers through traditional ads and “influencer campaigns.” However, there are few authentic two-way conversations between consumers and brands. Why? Millennial women are the hardest consumers to acquire and retain because they trust friends’ recommendations exclusively when choosing between one product or service and another. Heartbeat is making social campaign spend more effective by enabling brands to engage in a direct conversation with consumers through trusted friends, which are part of Heartbeat’s extensive network of more than 145,000 millennial and generation Z Ambassadors. They create and share content about these brands and why they love them with their friends, creating authentic connections between brands and consumers. Heartbeat offers in-depth targeting and segmentation capabilities to ensure brands reach the right audience, based on interests, location, shopping habits and more. Brands can then choose from seven types of marketing campaigns, such as a new product launch or driving increased sales on-site. Once a campaign launches, Ambassadors begin publishing user generated content immediately, enabling brands to review insights and optimize campaigns in real-time from a robust analytics dashboard. For more information on Heartbeat, visit http://business.getheartbeat.co
KAFNU TAIPEI NOW ACCEPTING NEW MEMBERS. New ecosystem for entrepreneurs and creative minds to launch in December
Next Story Group will launch its second Kafnu, a new brand of blended lifestyle spaces, in December in Taipei following the opening of Kafnu Hong Kong in October. Interested parties now have the opportunity to book a private tour to familiarize themselves with the facilities and services on offer and to sign up for membership. Kafnu Taipei is now officially taking reservations for the Kafnu Taipei space tour ‘Meet & Greets’ , where guests will be given a guided tour of the facilities on each floor, together with an introduction of the services provided, by the community managers. In December, a virtual reality interactive guide of the spaces and services in the building will also be available. Kafnu stands apart from other shared work spaces, integrating the best aspects of living, working, playing, learning, resting, and provides a physical, intellectual and social launch pad for individuals and the larger community to create and construct. It bridges the gap between individual effort and community resources. At Kafnu Taipei, the team of 13 Kafnu community managers help create, shape and support the member community and handle all day-to-day aspects of members’ experiences within the space. Kafnu Taipei also has partnered with renowned brands from around the world, providing exclusive benefits for its members to achieve their creative vision. Confirmed partners include Airpopo, Boxful, Brand Karma, KPMG, Lalamove, Microsoft, Simpany, ShutterStock Premier, TaxiGo, Yourator, Uber & Uber EATS and SunYan CPA Firm. Kafnu Taipei will operate mainly on a membership system, providing access to a wide range of facilities and service options. Five-day passes for a personal hot desk start at NT$4,000 and monthly plans from NT$10,000. Long-term memberships come with preferential options. Facilities include shared work spaces; private offices; meeting rooms; communal and activity areas; Morsel restaurant; green room studio for filming; recording studio for vocals, podcasts, or small bands; sleeping rooms; Oxygen Lab fitness studio for yoga, Pilates, Zumba and TRX classes; K2 Bar; as well as laundry and outdoor facilities. Kafnu North Asia General Manager Lien Chu says, “Kafnu Taipei is committed to creating an urban shared space that perfectly blends work and lifestyle, placing social interaction and fostering innovation at the very core of what we do. We want to create a cutting-edge work environment to attract entrepreneurs, creatives and experienced professionals from diverse backgrounds to be part of the Kafnu shared network and drive innovation.” - On Kafnu’s coming experiential events To arrange for a tour and more information about the pricing options please contact Taipei@kafnu.com , visit: Kafnu Taipei Facebook Page or call: +886-2-2715-1155 Feel free to scan the QR codes below for a Kafnu Taipei VR simulation. The VR goggles show will officially start in December.
Avnet accelerates growth of tech startup community in Asia Pacific
Avnet Asia Pacific continued its ongoing investment in the region's startup community through its participation in the 2017 Elevator Pitch Competition (EPiC) as a diamond sponsor. Frederick Fu (right), president, Avnet Asia Pacific, presenting the cash prize to the EPiC Champion. (From left to right: Albert Wong, chief executive officer, HKSTP; Professor Cheah Kok-wai, Department of Physics, Hong Kong Baptist University; Alfred Tan, director, Cathay Photonics Limited; Fanny Law, chairperson, HKSTP; Frederick Fu, President, Avnet Asia Pacific) Frederick Fu, Avnet's Asia Pacific president, had the privilege to be one of the judges to evaluate innovative pitches by 100 startups in a 60-second elevator ride up the International Commerce Centre, hosted by the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP). At the Angel x Angel Conference, Frederick was joined by a venture capitalist and financial investor to share insights and advice on the support needed, and the critical fundaments for early stage tech companies to overcome their challenges and grow these startups into successful businesses. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a hot topic in the technology industry and startups. Avnet presented its LPWAN capabilities at this event, including Sigfox, LoRa, and NB-IoT among others. Avnet's ecosystem provides solutions that connect technology from components to devices, services and platforms. Frederick Fu said, "The startup community is not afraid to reinvent the wheel to bring in a new wave of innovation and trends. But they are often challenged by the lack of resources and financial support in getting their products to market. At Avnet, we have invested resources for makers to develop the connected ecosystem to help startups become the next unicorn. Avnet has a large customer base of startups, which we have guided and supported at every stage of their product lifecycle to turn their designs to production." "The Hong Kong government and organizations such as HKSTP actively promote the development of startups. With Avnet's expertise and capabilities, together with partners like HKSTP, we nurture entrepreneurs and technopreneurs. Avnet is committed and will support Hong Kong in becoming one of the world's top startup cities," he added. "The challenges faced by technology startups have become more complex over time. Apart from technological innovation, they need to develop a viable business model to support their sustainable growth. As a leading institution that takes innovation and technology advancement to our heart, HKSTP will continue to collaborate with various stakeholders like Avnet to create a favorite and vibrant ecosystem for the startups to turn their ideas into reality. EPiC, supported by Avnet, is a great testimonial of our joint determination to help startups thrive and grow," said Albert Wong, CEO, Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation. From providing a community platform to the know-how, Avnet's design and supply capabilities, coupled with its global line card presence, bring prototypes to volume production. The addition of Premier Farnell (including its element14 community) and Hackster.io last year expanded Avnet's reach to an active community of more than 750,000 entrepreneurs, makers and engineers worldwide, and broadened its portfolio of design tools and technical solutions as well as 24/7 e-commerce expertise. Through its Dragon Innovation business it is simplifying the manufacturing process -- helping customers understand manufacturing costs and schedules, find factories and manage production as they scale their businesses, particularly in projects advancing the Internet of Things (IoT). These initiatives are all underpinned by Avnet's electronic components and design and supply chain capabilities encompassing the entire cycle from idea to finished product. More recently, Avnet and Dragon Innovation partnered Kickstarter to launch Hardware Studio, which helps hardware creators plan ahead for manufacturing before they launch on Kickstarter.
Fast Five 2nd Anniversary Media Day
On the afternoon of the April 20th, Fast Five 2nd Anniversary Media Day was held at Fast Five Samsung store in Gangnam-gu, Seoul. The media day was prepared to present Fast Five's achievements and future plans, and was attended by officials, including Fast Five co-representatives Park Ji-ung and Kim Dae-il. Fast Five co-representatives Park Ji-ung said, "Fast Five has tried to become the same brand as Starbucks of sharing office services, and many companies are acknowledging and working with us." And, "Since we are preparing for presenting more advanced services and new ideas, we hope to get a lot of attention and support." ▲ Fast Five 2nd anniversary media day was held. ▲ Park Ji-ung said, "Fast Five will present more advanced services and new ideas." According to the announcement, Fast Five opened its first store near Nambu Terminal in Seocho-dong in April 2015, after the incorporation in February 2015. By the end of last year, it has been continued expansion by opening the second and third stores near Yeoksam Station in Yeoksam-dong, the fourth store near Seoul Nat'l Univ. of Education Station in Seocho-dong, the fifth store at Nonhyeon Station in Banpo-dong, and the sixth store at City Airport Tower in Samsung-dong. In particular, it has enjoyed high popularity such as achieving occupancy rate of 100% from the first to the sixth store, and the number of members using Fast Five now exceeded 1,200. As the office lease market has entered a low growth period, Fast Five has focused on the growth patterns of companies that have strengths in rental management, finance, and development companies. In keeping with the emergence of individual or small-scale creators as a result of software development, it tried to provide a suitable creation space to the creators. Especially, as well as organizing 'branding' the office space, it not only provides simply a hardware space, but also strengthened efficiency by adding convenience service and affiliate services. Looking at the current status of the companies that have moved into Fast Five, the industrial groups are relatively well distributed in tech, design, marketing, media, and online commerce, and 20s and 30s account for 71%. The companies with more than 10 people account for 40%, but the companies with 1 to 4 people run to 32%. Meanwhile, Fast Five received total 3 billion won in March 2016, and laid the groundwork for a new challenge by bringing in 12 billion won in April 2017. In the future, Fast Five will open up to 13th store centering on subway adjacent areas in the Gangnam area in 2017, and plan to introduce 6 new stores throughout Seoul in 2018. In addition, as a new business, it is also preparing housing services for single households in 20s and 30s based on the service know-how of Fast Five. This service provides a common space such as a lounge, bar, and athletic facility along with experience as a residential service space with a brand, and sets establishment of a community through small groups by various events and interests as a main concept. Besides, it will make a partnership with real estate property management companies and real estate developers, and try projects that can acquire asset value as well as profit. It also announced its plan to expand the business model to marketing platform business based on rapidly growing member size. Fast Five co-representatives Kim Dae-il said, "I am very pleased to be able to get a good response to Fast Five from many of the investment organizations I met during the recent investment." And, "I will strive to maintain the top position in the industry by raising Fast Five to five times its present size by the end of this year."
Facebook 'Digital Contents R&D Global Expansion Program MOU' Signing Ceremony
On the morning of the April 4th, Facebook held a signing ceremony for the 'Digital Contents R&D Global Expansion Program MOU' at its office in Gangnam-gu, Seoul. The event was prepared to sign the business cooperation of 'Digital Contents R&D Global Expansion Program', which is being prepared by Facebook and the government to help domestic virtual and augmented reality (VR·AR) companies advance overseas. The event was progressed with the participation of Byun Jae-il, a member of the Minjoo Party attached to Future Korea Communications Commission, Choi Jae-yu, a 2nd vice minister of Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP), Lee Sang-hong, a head of Institute for Information & Communications Technology Promotion (IITP), Lee Heon-soo, a head of Korea Innovation Center (KIC) Silicon Valley, and Alex Stamos, a chief security officer of Facebook. Alex Stamos, a chief security officer of Facebook, said "Korea already has the best internet technology and it gives us a lot of insights on where to go." And, "Facebook is progressing a lot of programs to help Korean start-ups create an autonomous ecological environment, and I believe this program will also help Korean virtual and augmented reality companies (VR·AR) go abroad." ▲ Digital Contents R&D Global Expansion Program MOU Signing Ceremony was progressed. ▲ A tablet with contents of the partnership was delivered. ▲ Alex Stamos, introduced the significance of this program. According to the announcement, this cooperation is aimed at creating a global market for domestic VR and AR digital contents and supporting ecosystem preemption. It is also a pilot project of ‘TRT (Technology Revolution Together) Project with Global Companies’. Through the program, engineers from Oculus, a subsidiary of Facebook, will provide mentoring for commercialization and technology development for the best VR and AR companies with innovative services and technologies that will stand out in the global market. Especially, it is the first time Oculus promises business mentoring to abroad government agencies. The partnership between Facebook and MSIP, KIC, and IITP will be held for about 10 companies selected through the public contest. A joint panel consisting of domestic technology, marketing experts, and Facebook experts will select based on the core technology, localization, and business possibility. The selected companies will collaborate with local partners including Oculus in Silicon Valley, the U.S. for 10 weeks. With the companies that completed the collaboration, 'Performance Demo Day' will be held in July, and the best company will be selected as a Facebook’s cooperation partner to strengthen cooperation such as investment and purchase. Meanwhile, starting with the Facebook marketing boot camp in Seoul, Daegu and Ulsan in 2015, Facebook has been carrying out various projects to consistently help domestic SMEs advance overseas by utilizing Facebook and Instagram. Facebook has been supporting the education of women business entrepreneurs through ‘#SheMeansBusiness’ program in collaboration with the Seoul city since last September. In November, it launched 'Facebook Korea Business Hub', which is aimed at SMEs and start-up education. Since March, it has been progressing SME export related education program with KOTRA, ‘#MadeByKorea,’ and about 100 SMEs are receiving education every week. Vice-minister Choi Jae-yu, who attended the event, declared that "I hope this VR·AR company's global expansion support project will be a momentum for establishing a virtuous cycle ecosystem of overseas expansion of digital contents." And, "I will spare no effort for the government more effectively supporting global expansion of the star-ups leading the 4th industrial revolution." ▲ The main content of the program is introduced. ▲ Possible start-ups in AR and VR sectors are the targets of this program. ▲ The selected companies will have collaboration with local partners for 10 weeks in Silicon Valley, the U.S. ▲ Various companies and organizations as well as Facebook cooperate for this program.
Google Campus Seoul ‘Google Global Expert Week’ Press Conference
On the morning of June 13, Google Campus Seoul held ‘Google Global Expert Week’ press conference at Google Campus Seoul classroom, Gangnam-gu, Seoul. This event was prepared for introducing ‘Google Global Expert Week’ program which will be progressed until June 24. The program officials such as Cho Yun-min, Program Manager of Campus Seoul, Bridgette Beam, Senior Partnership and Program Manager of Google Entrepreneurs Support Team, Brett Goldstein, Analyst of Google Corporate Development Team, Eliana Murillo, Director of General Multicultural Marketing, Erin Mullen, Creative Specialist of gTech Ads, and Sunny Lo, Business Development Manager, attended the event. Bridgette Beam said, “This program was prepared for helping Korean start-ups get more global chances through detailed consulting.” And “Through this program, which will be progressed over the next two weeks, I expect Korean start-up officials to obtain market know-how and expert knowledge needed for global expansion.” ▲ ‘Google Global Expert Week’ press conference is opened. ▲ Bridgette Beam commented on the meaning of this event. ▲ Cho Yun-min introduced about detailed programs of ‘Google Global Expert Week.’ According to the announcement, ‘Google Global Expert Week’ is a program prepared for providing real helps to domestic start-ups’ overseas expansion and global networking by Campus Seoul, which is a second year operation. In this program, Google staffs from various fields and throughout the world provide consulting to domestic start-ups. Google’s global experts who visited Korea are composed of twelve Google staffs working in the US, Europe, Asia area and etc., and they are subject matter experts each in charge of marketing, partnership, management, UX/UI design, and etc. They stay in Seoul for two weeks and progress focused support program, mentoring, workshop, and lecture. The most pivotal session in this program is a focused-support program for startups, ‘Google Global Expert Program.’ Two to three Google experts are assigned to each startup among twelve domestic startups selected through advance registrations. They are directly gone into the work of assigned startup, and they do practical business work in various fields such as global marketing, management, getting the user, UX/UI design, and global partnership. At the same time, a campus mentoring program where startups can have 1:1 mentoring and consulting from Google experts will be progressed. Many other events are also prepared; ‘Campus Startup School’ where Google experts offer in-depth workshop for startups about business, Google products, UX/UI, and etc., ‘Campus School’ where Google experts offer lectures on user analysis, global expansion, investment attraction and exit. Anyone in startup community can participate these events by submitting an application through Onoffmix. Apart from the programs progressed in Campus Seoul, Google global experts also participate external events that help the growth of domestic startup community. On June 20, they offer lectures on user analysis, UX, strategy of transfer to Chinese market, American venture capital and market current states at DCamp. On June 21, they are going to have mentoring sessions for startups that moved into LotteAccelerator. ▲ Tweleve Google experts visited Korea to offer consulting to domestic startups. ▲ ‘Google Global Exper Week’ is composed of four detailed programs. ▲ In-depth mentoring activities are progressed over two weeks. ▲ Apart from Campus Seoul programs, the external sessions are also prepared. ▲ Google experts had time to talk about how the program will be progressed.
[COMPUTEX 2016] ‘KOTRA Pavilion’ Competes with the World by Korea’s Ideas
From May 31, ‘Computex Taipei 2016,’ which is now held in various parts of Taipei, Taiwan, is an exhibition with ICT related industry as well as computers With a theme of ‘Building Partnerships in Internet Computing Ecosystems,’ the exhibition spotlights IoT application, innovation, startup, business solution, and gaming. Among them, ‘InnoVEX’ exhibition in the 3 hall at TWTC(Taipei World Trade Center) is specialized to startup. At ‘KOTRA Pavilion’ in the exhibition, Korean companies armed with various ideas are presenting creative products and services. The officials participated in ‘KOTRA Pavilion’ spent busy time talking about the products with visitors and other officials. During visiting various booths in the exhibition hall of ‘InnoVEX,’ the important figures visited ‘KOTRA Pavilion,’ listened to explanation from KOTRA employees and officials, and showed interests by asking questions about the product to the officials. ▲ ‘KOTRA Pavilion’ is in ‘InnoVEX’ exhibition of ‘Computex 2016’ ▲ The important figures who visited the event hall are listening to an explanation from KOTRA employee at ‘KOTRA Pavilion’ ▲ APPLR presented a mobile video based commerce service ‘72CAST’ ▲ Gaonwood presented environment-friendly fireproof wood constructions. ▲ Core Movement presented ‘EMS Suit,’ which can be used at exercise and VR through electrostimulation. ▲ Again Twenty presented a user-centered medical tour O2O service. ▲ NSHC presented an anti-virus solution ‘Droid-X’ and anti-hacking solution ‘DxShield’ for smartphone. ▲ Mobidoo presented sound payment solution and sonic stamp. ▲ Helloship presented overseas e-commerce delivery agency service.
[COMPUTEX 2016] ‘InnoVEX,’ a Startup Exhibition Meeting Innovative Ideas
From May 31, ‘Computex Taipei 2016,’ which is now held in various parts of Taipei, Taiwan, is an exhibition with ICT related industry as well as computers With a theme of ‘Building Partnerships in Internet Computing Ecosystems,’ the exhibition spotlights IoT application, innovation, startup, business solution, and gaming. Among them, ‘InnoVEX’ exhibition in the 3 hall at TWTC(Taipei World Trade Center) until June 2 is specialized to startup. From all over the globe, the companies as well as Taiwan armed with innovative ideas participated with the products that they have been prepared. Moreover, as major events, keynote address, panel discussion, startup meeting, pitching tournament, product demo, etc. are progressed to present variety of information and pleasure to officials and visitors, and they are broadcasted live via online streaming service, ‘Twitch.’ ▲ ‘Startup@Taipei’ is a common exhibition with the startups in Taipei. ▲ Officials from all over the globe are looking around the event. ▲ At Ideas Show, the companies are gathering for implementing creative ideas. ▲ At htc Vive exhibition area, various genres of VR experience such as flight, shooting are provided. ▲ G2A challenges variety of fields like 3D printing and VR over the game platform. ▲ At Samsumg Elctronics exhibition area, it is possible to experience roller-coaster by using Gear VR. ▲ At Audi exhibition area, the assistance system supporting more convenient driving is presented. ▲ Korean company, KonoLabs presents the individual concierge service, ‘Kono.’ ▲ At the center stage, the pitching tournament is progressed. ▲ The main events of ‘InnoVEX’ exhibition are broadcasted via a streaming service, ‘Twitch’