Busan, South Korea - Korea Startup Forum held its "COMEUP 2023 Preview & Workshop in Busan" from August 31 to September 1, setting the stage for November's main COMEUP 2023 event.
About 100 people attended the workshop in Busan, a microcosm of the startup ecosystem.
The audience included 27 companies from the COMEUP Stars 2023 cohort, 15 startups based in Busan and the Southeast region, COMEUP 2023 advisors, investors, and Busan city officials.
Why it matters
The workshop provides a lens into the expectations and planning for the more significant event, signaling the evolving dynamics of South Korea's startup ecosystem.
Panel Discussions: Reality Checks and Solutions
Moderated panel discussions explored the realities of creating and investing in startups.
Startup CEOs Kiwoong Park and Jinhee Lee and KB Investment Executive Managing Director Jiae Lee explored the challenges and opportunities in the regional ecosystem.
They identified gaps in the relationship between investors and entrepreneurs and offered solutions and advice for early-stage companies.
Fireside Chat: Investment and Risk
In a subsequent session, Jaewon Kim, CEO of Elice, and Pilgu Yoon, CEO of Big Basin Capital, shed light on venture capital considerations, sharing personal failures and outlining key elements that attract investment, including the art of cold emailing.
Debates and Mock Pitches: A Microcosm of the Main Event
In a "Death Debate: Entrepreneurs vs. Investors" segment, executives discussed their most challenging moments and stress-busting tactics.
Meanwhile, a mock IR pitch session featured ad-hoc teams of startups, investors, and advisors.
The presentations wowed the audience by addressing global economic trends and incorporating cutting-edge technologies.
What they said
Sungjin Choi, CEO of Korea Startup Forum, expressed his optimism for COMEUP 2023 and praised the workshop as a successful precursor.
"The workshop was well-received and filled with practical stories and activities that can help startups," Choi said.
He thanked Busan City for fostering connections between the COMEUP stars and the startup community in the Southeast.
The Big Picture
For context, COMEUP is an annual global startup festival. In 2022, it attracted 57,000 attendees and featured 250 startups from 19 countries.
Founded in 2016, Korea Startup Forum is South Korea's largest startup membership organization, with over 2,100 active startups and partners.
COMEUP 2023's flagship event is expected to build on these numbers, offering online and onsite participation opportunities.
It aims to catalyze startups, investors, and policymakers in South Korea's evolving startup landscape.
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