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1,076 Korean and Foreign Startups Applied to Participate in the “ComeUp 2020” Online Investor Relations (IR)…Fierce Competition Rate of 9 to 1

Ministry of SMEs and Startups
□ Korean and foreign startups showed heated response and actively applied to participate in the Online IR of ComeUp Stars, which is the highlight of the ComeUp 2020 event expected to be held in November.

1,076 startups applied for the recruitment of 120 in the event and there were more foreign startups (646, 60%) than Korean ones.

□ A total of 120 innovative startups will be finally selected(84 for the Rocket League and 36 for the Rookie League) upon a three-step evaluation, including document screening, open evaluation, and evaluation of expertise.

* To produce IR videos, and be provided with global investor business matching and networking, etc.
The Korean Ministry of SMEs and Startups (Minister Park Young-sun, MSS) and the Organizing Committee of ComeUp 2020 (CEO Sophie Kim of Market Kurly, chairperson of the Private Sector Organizing Committee) announced on August 28 (Friday), the results of applications of innovative Korean and foreign startups for participation in the online IR program of this year’s ComeUp event.
According to the ministry and committee, 1,076 startups from 89 countries worldwide, including Korea, applied online during the one month (July 24 – August 23) they accepted applications for the final selection of 120 startups. They thus recorded a fierce competition rate of 9 to 1.
As the global economic order is fundamentally changing because of COVID-19 this year, even the global startup ecosystems of the United States and Europe are facing major crises and challenges.
As a result, a total of 646 foreign startups from 88 countries worldwide, excluding Korea, applied to participate in “ComeUp 2020,” which represents a new online startup festival. They thus accounted for 60% of the total 1,076 startups that applied.
<State of Applications for Participation in ComeUp 2020 Online IR (unit: number of companies)>
Category Rocket League Rookie League Total
Selected Applied Ratio (%) Selected Applied Ratio (%) Selected Applied Ratio (%)
Total 84 576 100 36 500 100 120 1,076 100
Korean 196 34.0 234 46.8 430 40.0
Foreign 380 66.0 266 53.2 646 60.0
By country, startups from India, the world’s third top startup country with 24 unicorn companies, applied the most (63 startups), followed by the United States, Singapore, Israel (each 46 startups), and Spain (41 startups).
<State of Foreign Applications for Participation in ComeUp 2020 by Country (unit: number of companies)>
Country Applications Country Applications Country Applications Country Applications
India 63 Spain 41 Germany 20 Sweden 12
United States 46 Canada 30 Indonesia 20 Netherlands 11
Singapore 46 United Kingdom 29 Malaysia 15 Others
(74 countries)
Israel 46 Hong Kong 21 France 13 Total 646
Both the ministry and committee surmised that foreign startups showed high interest and applied to participate in ComeUp 2020 because of Korea’s credibility, which has been enhanced thanks to its excellent Korea-quarantine (K-quarantine) and response to COVID-19 as well as the great achievements made by Korean startups (K-startups) in advancing into the global market. The current Korean government has continuously pursued the latter since its inauguration.
For the ComeUp 2020 Online IR, applications from promising startups, both Korean and foreign, in new industries and technological fields, such as artificial intelligence (AI), were accepted.
By sector, 122 enterprises (12.7%) applied for commerce, followed by 112 (11.7%) for K-quarantine and 107 (11.2%) for open innovation. According to analyses, many applied for contactless fields due to changes in industrial trends and life brought about by COVID-19.
<State of Applications for Comeup 2020 Rocket League by Session (unit: number of companies)>
Theme Social System Work Life
Session K-quarantine Policies Open innovation Robot & AI Commerce Education
Number of applications
Session Digital healthcare Environment Teleworking Manufacturing Entertainment Distribution
Number of applications (ratio) 97
The ministry and committee plan to immediately start their three-step strict evaluation to select the best 120 companies to participate in the event among the 1,076 that applied.
Reasons for disqualification will be first reviewed through a document screening (until August 27),followed by a second evaluation (open evaluation + evaluation of expertise, until September 4) entailing an open evaluation by predecessor startups and a people’s evaluation team as well as an evaluation of expertise, including innovativeness and global competency, for fair assessment. Lastly, 120 startups will be finally selected by the ComeUp Organizing Committee in September.
* First evaluation (document screening) → second evaluation (open evaluation + evaluation of expertise) → final selection (Organizing Committee)
Meanwhile, the 120 startups finally selected for the online IR program will get support for the free production of a publicity video and be provided with an online publicity booth prepared on the ComeUp website.
They will also be provided with preferential opportunities to participate in export and investment business meetings connected to their businesses as well as Korean and foreign venture capital purchasing agents. They will equally be able to exchange in real time with senior and fellow startups globally.
MSS and the committee plan to provide the trademark of “ComeUp Stars” to the finally selected promising 120 startups and endow them with the meaning and role of protagonists representing the current event when planning and publicizing ComeUp 2020 in the future.
* ComeUp Stars: to be decided based on the results of a survey conducted by reporters (7) specializing in foreign startups and discussions by the ComeUp Organizing Committee
“ComeUp 2020,” which is now in its second year since having been transformed into a global startup festival, will be held online to prevent the spread of COVID-19 for 3 days from November 19 (Thursday) to 21 (Saturday) at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP). It is expected to be transmitted globally online.
“We are grateful to the Korean and foreign enterprises that have applied for the ComeUp Online IR and we expect it to be very difficult to rank them for the selection of ComeUp Stars representing ComeUp as many promising venture firms and startups have applied,” said Sophie Kim who chairs the “ComeUp Stars” Evaluation Committee as the head of the ComeUp 2020 Joint Organizing Committee.
“We will do our best to select the most innovative startups with both the expertise to lead the post-COVID-19 era and growth potential through fair assessment,” she continued.
For more details and news-gathering, please contact Deputy Director Kim In-cheol (+82-42-481-1686), Startup Policy Division, Korean Ministry of SMEs and Startups.

Reference   Overview of ComeUp 2020
□ Overview
◦ (Purpose) To build a global network and secure the global status of the Korean startup ecosystem by developing the event into a global startup festival mainly based online
◦ (Date and time) Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP), Seoul, Korea, from November 19 (Thursday) to 21 (Saturday), 2020
◦ (Target participants) Startups, large enterprises, venture capital, and other stakeholders in the Korean and foreign startup ecosystems
□ Direction to Be Pursued
◦ (Post-COVID-19) To plan the program based on diverse themes related to changes in the global industrial trends and life in the post-COVID-19 era
* Slogan: “Meet the Future-Post Pandemic”
** Twelve sessions to be managed based on three major themes (Social System, Work, and Life
◦ (Mainly based online) On and offline events to be held in parallel, but mainly based online
* Online broadcasting, online digital booths, and online IR, etc.
◦(Private-public cooperation) To form the ComeUp Organizing Committee with both the public and private sectors cooperating and participating so as to make the best use of the Korean government’s support and the private sector’s autonomy and creativity in preparing the events
□ Main Details
◦ (Exchanges and cooperation) To prepare keynote speeches, panel talks, IR pitching, investment business meetings, and other fora for exchanges, cooperation, and investment, by promising future industry to lead the global trends in 12 fields.
* AI Championship, Challenge! K-Startup King of Kings, Grand Challenge, Bizchool Festival, etc.
◦ (K-Startup Week) To manage the third week of November as the K-Startup Week and connect it with startup events held by both the public and private sectors for reinforced synergistic effects
<Schedule for ComeUp 2020 (draft)>
Category Nov. 16 (Mon.) Nov. 17 (Tues.) Nov. 18 (Wed.) Nov. 19 (Thurs.) Nov. 20 (Fri.) Nov. 21 (Sat)
Opening Ceremony and main conference       (Opening Ceremony)    
Special events            
Connected event K-Startup Week ComeUp 2020