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COMEUP 2024: Record Applications Spark Global Startup Buzz

Philip Lee, Pickool

Seoul, South Korea - Korea Startup Forum announced on Monday that a record 1,208 startups applied to participate in COMEUP Stars 2024, part of the global startup festival COMEUP.

Applications were open from June 3 to July 5, and 949 early-stage startups vied for 100 spots in the Rookie League, creating a 9.5-to-1 competition ratio. 

The surge in applications underscores the increasing vibrancy of South Korea's startup ecosystem. 

The Rookie League, targeting early-stage startups with less than KRW 1 billion in cumulative investments, attracted 949 applicants for 100 spots, intensifying competition from last year's 8.28:1 ratio to 9.5:1. 

More strikingly, the Runners League, newly expanded to include the general public, saw 259 applications for just 20 positions, achieving a record 13:1 competition ratio.

Healthcare and biotech led industry sectors at 12.1%, followed by software at 11.8%.

Korea Startup Forum will announce 120 selected companies on August 2, along with 20 startups for the Rocket League. 

After acceleration programs and preliminary rounds, 40 teams will advance to finals at COMEUP 2024 in December.

COMEUP 2024 is scheduled for December 11-12 at COEX in Seoul, with plans to expand its audience beyond the startup ecosystem to include potential entrepreneurs and the general public.

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