By hyunjin Choi


The largest gathering of innovative startups, the ComeUp 2019, takes place from Nov.27 to 29 at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul, Korea. Korean startup industry and the Ministry of SMEs and Startups have organized the event together with the purpose of making it a global startup festival as Slush, a world-renowned tech startup event in Finland.


“This is the first time in Korea to organize a startup event to bring together all the domestic and international startups through the collaborative efforts between a private and public sector. It is going to be a big moment to show that South Korea is a thriving startup hub in the world full of innovative entrepreneurs and leading investors. With the amiable support system from Korean and global ventures, nine Korean startups have joined the “Unicorn”, which is a significant number for the size of the Korean economy. The barrier between capitals and countries is crashed. Through this startup event, we expect to have chances to collaborate with global startups and nurture more unicorns,” said one of the co-chief organizers of the ComeUp 2019, Bongjin Kim , CEO of a unicorn, Woowa brothers.


“ComeUp 2019 will be globalized with governmental support aiming to attract international startups into the Korean market and vice versa. The government is planning to fully support for the event, but is not going to interfere in the set of process, keeping the festival to have autonomy,” stated Junghoon Cha, the official of the Ministry of SMEs and Startups.



ComeUp 2019 is held for two days under the theme of “Meet the Future through Startups.” 

The main event is composed of eight sessions: △Food Tech △Edu Tech&Life Style △Bio&Health △Beauty&Fashion △FrontierTech △Mobility △Entertainment △FinTech. In each session, about sixty speakers are to make speeches on the startup ecosystem of each field. The main speakers are invited from domestic unicorns such as Yanolja, Viva Republica, and Woowa Brothers, as well as prestigious companies and institutions including AMOREPACIFIC, BMW, Kakao, KAIST, Stanford University, Mirae Asset, Altos Ventures and so forth. 


On top of that, a series of programs including private-public-linked events featuring speeches, panel talks, IR, networking, exhibitions, entrepreneurial ecosystem tours are set up to discover outstanding entrepreneurs with global potential. Besides, side events are also running by 20 countries including America, France, Finland, Sweden, Singapore etc. and 11 Korean institutions such as KISED(Korea Institute of Startup & Entrepreneurship Development), KOTRA(Korea Trade-investment Promotion Agency), KIBO(Korea Technology Finance Corporation).


문재인 대통령이 10일(현지시간) ‘유럽의 실리콘밸리'라 불리는 핀란드의 오타니에미 혁신 단지를 방문했다. 청와대 페이스북

President Moon Jae-in on June 10 visits Otaniemi, a district in Espoo, Finland, known as the "Silicon Valley of Europe." (Cheong Wa Dae’s official Facebook page)

By Xu Aiying and Lee Jihae 

President Moon Jae-in has used his three-nation tour of Northern Europe to reconfirm cooperation and support from Finland, Norway and Sweden, three key partners in Korea’s policy toward "innovative growth."

On the first leg of his trip in Finland, the president on June 10 signed memorandums of understanding on sectors related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, 6G telecommunication technology and joint research. Both nations also agreed to exchange policies on information and communications technology (ICT) and cooperate in 5G, artificial intelligence and big data. 

Seoul and Helsinki will regularly hold meetings on the results of B5G (Beyond 5G) and B6G (Beyond 6G) and seek to form a next-generation global telecommunication network. 

Also on June 10, the president visited Otaniemi, a district in Espoo nicknamed the "Silicon Valley of Europe." There, he received briefings on how Finland became the world’s most innovative country in around ten years. 

On the second leg of his three-nation Northern European tour in Norway from June 11-13, he and the Norwegian government agreed to arrange a cooperative system in science and technology. 

Seoul and Oslo will also establish a joint board on science and technology by 2020 to exchange related policies, as well as press ahead with joint research or projects in renewable energy and ICT. They will also cooperate in producing, recycling and storing hydrogen, a pollution-free energy source. 

Arriving in Stockholm on June 13, President Moon will wrap up his Northern European tour after attending the Korea-Sweden Business Summit, where major corporations such as Ericsson, Volvo and IKEA will participate, to bolster bilateral cooperation in ICT and biohealth.

President Moon Jae-in on May 22 gives a speech at a ceremony in Osong, Chungcheongbuk-do Province, announcing the government’s vision of fostering the biohealth industry as a next-generation engine for economic growth. (Cheong Wa Dae)

President Moon Jae-in on May 22 gives a speech at a ceremony in Osong, Chungcheongbuk-do Province, announcing the government's vision of fostering the biohealth industry as a next-generation engine for economic growth. (Cheong Wa Dae)

By Jung Joo-ri and Lee Jihae 

President Moon Jae-in on May 22 announced the government's road map for fostering the biohealth industry as a new engine for economic growth. 

At a seminar in Osong, Chungcheongbuk-do Province, he said plans are in place to have the domestic sector for pharmaceuticals and medical devices grab 6 percent of the global market, hit USD 50 billion in exports and become one of the country's five biggest export industries by 2030. 

The Korean biosimilar industry accounted for two-thirds of the world's market share last year and the country's biopharmaceutical production was second globally, the president said, adding, "Now is the perfect chance for us to lead the global biohealth market." 

The Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Ministry of Economy and Finance also announced a joint strategy to innovate the next-generation sector. The plan's focus is the development of non-memory semiconductors, future mobility and bio-health as core industries, and stimulation of the economy through the advancement of the bio-health sector and promotion of public health under the motto "human-centered innovative growth."

The government intends to foster the innovation system for biohealth, mainly in pharmaceuticals, from the early stages of technological development, licensing, production and sale on the market. It will also expand R&D, tax support and deregulation to meet global standards.

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