COMEUP 2023 Startup Festival Recorded Record Number of Applications as Global Interest Peaks.
Why it matters: The COMEUP 2023 Startup Festival, organized by the Korea Startup Forum, saw a surge in global interest, with 960 companies from 53 regions applying to participate in the COMEUP Stars event.
The festival serves as a critical nexus for emerging startups, facilitating networking opportunities, promoting exposure, and providing an avenue to seek potential investment.
- The application period for COMEUP Stars, which ran from May 1 to June 2, saw intense competition for 130 available spots, the most significant number in the event's history. The Rookie League, for companies with cumulative investments of less than 1 billion won, received 828 applications for its 100 spots.
- The newly established Academy League, for early-stage startups and budding founders from university institutions, received 132 applications for its 30 available spots, resulting in a competitive ratio of 4.4 to 1.
- The festival saw a spike in applications from early-stage companies, which accounted for 71.8% of Rookie League applicants currently seeking pre-seed and seed investment rounds.
- International participation increased by 9.4 percentage points over last year, with 22.6% of all applications coming from abroad.
The Big Picture: This year's COMEUP attracted diverse startups from various sectors, including software, healthcare and bio, lifestyle, commerce and shopping, media and entertainment, finance, energy and sustainability, and education.
The increase in international participation solidifies the event's growing global footprint.
According to Choi Sung-jin, CEO of Korea Startup Forum, the festival aims to enhance its international standing by focusing more on nurturing early-stage startups.
The event is scheduled from November 8-10 at Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul, South Korea.