DAEJEON -- Startups from across South Korea, global startup community leaders and representatives of Daejeon Metropolitan City flocked to Daejeon Convention Center Thursday to mark the end of the three-day Exit Daejeon 2019 event.
Located some 140 kilometers south of Seoul, Daejeon served as a venue where local startups were given an opportunity for more international exposure.
In the meantime, global startup community organizers like Slush and Junction, as well as early-stage startup investors like Wave Ventures and HAX observed the potential of the nation’s startup ecosystem.
As Minister of SMEs and Startups Park Young-sun visited the event on Tuesday, anticipation was high as it signaled a room for Korean startup ecosystem’s state-driven collaboration with global leaders.
The closing ceremony of the first-ever global startup conference in Daejeon took place at 5 p.m. Thursday. The event was co-hosted by Daejeon Metropolitan City, Herald Corp., Daejeon Center for Creative Economy & Innovation and CEO Clubs Korea.
Investors, buyers and startups who sealed a contract during Exit Daejeon 2019 pose for a photo in a closing ceremony on Thursday. (Son Ji-hyoung/The Investor)
Venture investors signed MOUs to back a combined 14.2 billion won ($11.9 million) funding for six Daejeon-based startups during the closing ceremony.
Of the total, Plasmapp, maker of a low-temperature plasma sterilizer for medical devices, received a combined 9 billion won from investors including Samsung Venture Investment and LB Investment.
State-led Korea Technology Finance Corp. also rolled its sleeves to back two Daejeon-based startups. It invested 2 billion won in bHaptics, a startup dedicated to full-body haptic solution for virtual reality technology, and 1.5 billion won in KeunNanum MTN, devoted to digital taxi top advertising technology.
Alongside the deals, autonomous robot maker Twinny, also based in Daejeon, sealed a $4 million sales and purchase contract with Chinese buyer Guangxi Kegao Group to export autonomous shopping carts and a beauty product recommendation system.
Also during the closing ceremony, Exit Daejeon 2019 announced three winners of English-language pitching event and rewarded them with free entrance to the forthcoming Slush event in November this year in Helsinki, Finland and chances to set up exhibition booths.
Winners are tissue imaging flourescence microscope maker for cancer surgery VPIX Medical, neuromodulation guidance software developer Neurophet and Twinny.
The last day of the conference featured seminars, such as one for Korean startups targeting entry in India by Bengaluru-based K-Biz Korea CEO Kwon Ki-chul and meetup with Tripstore CEO Kim Soo-kwon, dedicated to an online platform for tour package recommendations and price comparison.
Winners of Exit Daejeon 2019 Investment PT Audition (From left: VPIX Medical Senior Research Engineer Chris Lee, Daejeon Vice Mayor for Administrative Affairs Chung Yoon-kee, Twinny co-CEO Cheon Hong-seok and Neurophet CEO and Co-founder Been Jun-kil) pose for a photo in a closing ceremony on Thursday. (Son Ji-hyoung/The Investor)