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[KITA KGSF 2017] 2017 Startup Challenge Platform Demo Day Connected Business Briefing Session

  • Saturday, December 9, 2017, 3:08 pm
  • ACROFAN=Yong-Man Kwon
On November 28, ‘10th Korea Grand Sourcing Fair 2017' was held at COEX D Hall in Gangnam-gu, Seoul.

The ‘10th Korea Grand Sourcing Fair 2017', which will be held until the November 29th, will connect Korean with overseas and regional large distribution corporations, manufacturing companies, and consumer goods import vendors for both on-line and off-line to support the export of domestic products through a large global distribution network.

The event, which will be held for the 10th time since 2008, is sponsored by Korea International Trade Association (KITA), sponsored by Ministry of Industry, Trade and Energy and the Ministry of SMEs and Startups and KB Kookmin Bank. In this event, 140 foreign big buyers, 20 WTC member companies, 900 domestic export companies and 100 PPL companies participate in consultation activities and incidental events.

'2017 Startup Challenge Platform Demo Day', an incidental event of ‘10th Korea Grand Sourcing Fair 2017', is an exhibition as well as demo day of '6-month Challenge Platform' progressed by Seoul Center for Creative Economy and Innovation. It is prepared by Seoul Center for Creative Economy and Innovation to raise the opportunities of investment and business linkage by informing the accomplishments of the startups that were fostered through the project period to private accelerator and investing institutions.

A total of 19 companies selected through the recruitment of participating companies participated in the event. Targeting domestic angel investors, accelerators, and VCs, incidental events including "Company IR", in which six companies conduct their own IR, "Selected prototype exhibition", which discloses the products produced as a result of the performance, "Startup representative lecture", which presents success stories of excellent startup representatives among graduate companies, and "Networking", held for exchanges among attendees such as selected company representatives, accelerators, investors, center employees, and visiting buyers.

At '2017 Startup Challenge Platform Demo Day', the sessions to introduce various support projects of Center for Creative Economy and Innovation (CCEI), are prepared for startups. In this session, major projects focusing on the business plan of 2017, which is currently in the final stage, were introduced. Many of these projects are expected to continue in 2018 with similar characteristics. In addition, the session provided an introduction to how startups can utilize various connected businesses.

▲ Song Yong-jun, general manager of startup promotion division in Seoul Center for Creative Economy and Innovation

Song Yong-jun, general manager of startup promotion division in Seoul CCEI, introduced about the connected business of CCEI in 2017. Although the introduction of the business is about the last 2017, it might be an opportunity to guess the direction of the future when considering the current government's keynote. The business plan for 2018 will be decided by the end of the year. After preparation of the connected business, the place for introducing it at the center will be prepared in March to April as they have done every year so far, and he expected to start in April.

CCEI is working on linking and collaborating with government related projects to effectively support startup and business growth step by step. In 2016, 20 projects from the four ministries were conducted at a total of 252.2 billion won, and in 2017, the number of projects from six ministries was expanded to 24. In this regard, government policy has a direction to expand startup support, and CCEI is expected to continue to play a role in its position as a startup hub. In terms of the connection of each subject, it is found that the connected business also increases and the role of the center will be important.

In 2017, the project budget amounted to 97.8 billion won, and 256.7 billion won in connection and collaboration. Among them, 19 consortiums and smart factories are included in direct consignments, so the actual execution scale of CCEI was just under 50 billion won. In addition, ‘Connection and collaboration’ is the tasks that center just connect and support, the center does not progress directly to. On the other hand, as the selection criteria of the linked projects, concrete business beyond the level of cooperation with a simple human exchange between ministries, and whether there is a substantial link in the program unit are suggested.

▲ Changes for each major business in 2017 are briefly introduced.

In terms of changes for each business in 2017, a direct consignment businesses such as '6-month Challenge' and accelerator connected supporting are not confirmed yet, but the '6-month Challenge' project is known to be considering support in some way in the future. In 2016, Research Foundation made selections while each center gathered apply, but in 2017, the method has changed to make a selection from each center by itself. The Seoul Center has been selected separately from before, but this year, there was a part to be selected in cooperation with Creative Economy Town.

'Smart Factory' is to support automation and intelligence of existing factory facilities. In 2017, its budget has been expanded, and in 2018, discussions are under way on the subject of change in operation. In 'Integrated Mentoring' project, the scope of education object has expanded to towns, mentors of other institutions, center operational manpower as well as mentors of Innovation Center. In 'Investment-linked type enterprise growth R&D', only center-fostering enterprises were supported until last year, but starting this year, the target has been expanded to enterprise with transfer public technology, investment company, crowdfunding attracting. Therefore, if there is an opportunity such as transfer public technology, it will be utilized for the qualification of supporting project.

In 'R&D Enterprise, Startup Growth' project, inclusion of preferential indexes for the discovery of innovation center incubating enterprise in the performance index of private TLO (Technology Licensing Office) and priority recommendation to the center incubating enterprise as a global accelerating program supporting target are pointed out as major change points. Moreover, in 'Creative Fusion R&D, Quick Support to Industrialization' project, the innovation center participated to regional consultative group that selects the support targets, and this part is expected to continue in the next year. In terms of the additional points of applied tasks to the incubating center, Creative Fusion R&D got five points from three points, and Quick Support to Industrialization got additional three points.

In TIPS, TIPS operators do not deduct operator's recommended TO when recommending Innovation Center incubating company, so it can reduce operator' s burden on recommendation of Innovation Center incubating company and apply TIPS more advantageously. In addition, the Seoul Center was selected as a task planner in the 'Re-challenging Technology Development' project. So, it supported the advancement of the business model through mentoring, and received some comments that, although it has shortage in regional specialization, it is performing well on other parts. Besides, Pohang and Bitgaram Center are operated by private autonomy, and these centers will promote participation in the connected support project.

▲ A total of 7 consignments were carried out by the Center.

At the current state of the connected business of the Innovation Center in 2017, a total of 7 projects have been conducted by direct consignment businesses. Among them, the '6-month Challenge Platform', which focuses support for 6 months to commercialization of ideas of startup companies for pre-founders or having experience less than one year, selected 55 teams last year. However, this year, a total of 22 are supported. That is, they are divided around 10 for each center, and Seoul Center supported 12 through connection with Creative Economy Town. Meanwhile, although the '6-month Challenge Platform' will disappear in the coming year, it may appear as a new program. It is a program that is just as relevant to the role of the center, so it is expected to appear next year.

Accelerator connected support projects usually selects 8 to 10 candidates, and accelerators progress investment to about four of them. The investment amount is introduced to be about 30 million won per company usually. And this year, each center is matched with accelerators, and in case of Seoul Center, it had applied with Sunbo Angel Partners. Meanwhile, the project has a feature that can be taken over by a graduate company from 6-month Challenge Platform. It is currently being announced as a project running until this year, but since there is a direction for strengthening the functions related to the accelerator next year, the related opportunities could be expanded.

'Innovative Job Leading' project supports the process of making ideas into business models and business model development as well as employment matching through network operations in which local companies, professionals and employment support companies participate. In addition, 'Spread of Smart Factories' provides cost support for the advancement of factory facilities, and Samsung Electronics is participating with the support of 7.5 billion won. 'KT Win-win Supporters Program' is a form in which KT appears and operated by Kyunggi-center to support global advancements. This year, there were a lot of collaborative efforts with national innovation centers, and many other incubating companies were supported. Next year, it is introduced that the expansion of customized support projects, which were good in this year, is being discussed.

▲ A total of four function support projects are prepared.

A function support project of the center has 4 functions. Among them, establishment of the integrated mentoring support system progresses dedicated mentoring targeting companies that enter the incubating center until October or graduate the center, through mentors of integrated mentoring operated by the center, and mentoring day once a month with mentors, entering companies, and graduate companies. However, there are problems such as very hard to arrange schedules between mentors and mentees, and for the purpose of expanding the object of support, 'Dedicated-Mentoring and Mentoring Day', which was held in November and December, received mentoring applications for 6-month challenge platform and graduate companies. It is introduced that it also received applications through matching mentors inside the center or liaising from outside, and progressed a program for 3 to 6 hours. In the future, it is added that mentors who are invited from outside by companies will be formed to form a mentor group so that they can support other teams.

In legal support, legal, financial and patent parts are supported through 'one-stop zone', and there is also a business about consulting services by the resident lawyer, as well as introducing lawyers in connection with the center and supporting a part of the litigation expenses. Patents-related consultations are conducted once a week at the regional intellectual property center, and to some good ideas, application support and consultation on disputes are provided. In addition to this, counseling on financial matters is also provided. In this year, there was a case that an official dispatched from the Korea Credit Guarantee Fund and has been mentoring all the time. Since November, the counseling has changed be conducted once a week due to the small number of consultations, and it is expected that the number of consultations will increase if the demand increases.

There are a total of thirteen connected support projects, and the Seoul Metropolitan Center is excluded from some projects related to regional specialization. Among them, 'Investment-linked type enterprise growth R&D' is a business that supports R&D fund by attracting investment from a designated investment organization. It is a business that can be connected after accelerator support, and the center plays a role of recommending support targets. 'Support for Research institute and Startup Growth' supports the commercialization of regional public technologies and the establishment and growth of research institutes. The center recommends the candidates to be supported through the qualification examination of the companies, and it is explained that the activities such as creating prior consensus by collaborating with investment institutions will be advantageous for selection.

Through global innovation centers in Berlin, Germany, in China, and two in US, a total of four centers, KIC support provides startup support program for each base for the creation of local base for global advancement and expansion of activities. Besides, 'Rapid commercialization support' is supported through Techno Park, and it supports up to 20 million won and rapid commercialization for selected teams after receiving applications for every month and then evaluation. In the utilization of Techno Park, the Center and Techno Park have a relationship like a form of connecting to the next step with the initial company.

▲ There are a total of 13 connected supporting projects. The center mainly has a role of recommending candidates to be supported.

TIPS program is a program that is expected to be of great help in commercialization as up to 500 million won of technology development funds and up to 400 million won of startup funds are supported to excellent startup companies in which an operator invested 100 million won. In addition, it is mentioned that there are many TIPS operators among center-connected accelerators, and Demo Day, which was originally conducted on the existing investors, will be expanded to accelerators or VCs. Also, 'Visiting Demo Day' will be progressed. Besides, the support project for development of startup growth technology provides a cost of about 100 million won.

The creative innovative type re-challenging technology development support project supports development of new products by comeback small and medium-sized enterprises, which are difficult to participate in general R&D projects, and the project is expected to expand opportunities in accordance with the government's policy direction in the future. Moreover, as for employment creation-related project connected to the Ministry of Employment and Labor, it is recommended to get counseling or utilize consultations in job offerings and joint consultations through Matching Day, since there might be a program which can support for employing new employees.

Meanwhile, the overall business schedule starts from February to March, emphasizing the importance of communication. In terms of business systems linked to the Innovation Centers at each stage of growth, each of the support projects is matched at the stage of startup, growth and leap in the pre-startup. At the 'startup' phase, where most of the participants are involved, the 6-month challenge, accelerator, investment-linked R&D and startup growth R&D projects are considered. On top of that, rapid commercialization support for marketing or rapid commercialization, KIC support project in global advancement, and smart factory supply project for SMEs will be also continued.

▲ The various businesses that have been introduced are structured and connected to this extent depending on the location of the company.