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International Press Conference Reference Material for COMEUP2020

International Cooperation Division
Opening Comment of the minister of SMEs and startups

(Seoul Press Center, Nov. 2 (Tue), 2:00 pm)

Hello everyone.
My name is Park Youngsun and I’m the Minister of SMEs and Startups, a ministry which strives to connect the building blocks of business to create something mighty and oversees the great transition into the new digital economy to build a smart Korea.
Last May, during the “COMEUP 2020 Organizing Committee Launch,” I stated that we are trying to turn the COMEUP event to be held in November into a festival that will lead the global startup ecosystem.
Well, after 12 planning sessions the government conducted with the COMEUP Organizing Committee during the 5 months since its launch, we are now ready to present the details of the online-oriented “COMEUP 2020 Plan” to you.
First, I would like to express my gratitude to the CEO Sophie Kim of Kurly who has faithfully fulfilled the role as the chair of the COMEUP Organizing Committee despite her busy schedule in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, and I’d also like to extend my thanks to all the reporters who made the time to be here with us today.
(Introduction to COMEUP, its meaning and preparations)
The “COMEUP” event, which aspires to become a global startup festival, has its beginnings in a humble event called “Venture Korea” that took place back in 1997. The “COMEUP” brand was launched last year and has grown into a startup festival representing all of Asia.
While major foreign startup events are being canceled (Spain's MWC) or being scaled down (Finland's SLUSH, Germany's IFA) due to the spread of COVID-19 this year,
Korea's COMEUP event was planned from the outset as an online, contact-free global startup festival, based on confidence gained from the success of the K-Quarantine Model.
The COMEUP Organizing Committee, composed of 22 startup ecosystem experts, actively took on the task of discussing and making decisions on major issues of the event, such as slogans, main conference agenda items and sessions, keynote speakers and panels, brand image, among other important items.
But in consideration of the resurgence of the spread of COVID-19, the location of the event was changed from the initially planned Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) event hall to a new location, the Ilsan CJ ENM Production Center, because it provides the optimal environment for creating video content so the event can be online-oriented.
While preparing for COMEUP 2020, we were able to witness COMEUP's elevated position in the global stage despite it only being the second year of the event. This gave us the confidence to push ahead even harder.
A total of 1,076 startups, including 646 startups from 88 countries worldwide, expressed their desire to participate as one of the 120 companies selected by “COMEUP STARS,” the innovative company that represents COMEUP, at the competitive odds of 9:1.
In the case of the “K-Startup Grand Challenge” program, which provides support for foreign entrepreneurs wishing to enter and start business in the Korean market, 2,648 teams from 118 countries submitted applications, a 58% increase from 2019 and the highest competitive odds, 44:1, recorded since the program began in 2016.
This shows there is a marked increase in interest and expectations from overseas for the Korean startup ecosystem.
(Key contents of COMEUP 2020)
I would now like to present the key contents of this year's COMEUP event we have prepared through private and government cooperation.
① Event slogan & main conference
First, “MeetTheFuture–PostPandemic,” was selected to be the main theme (slogan) that encompasses the entire “COMEUP 2020” event as it represents our goal to have “startups lead the way in facingthepost-COVID-19future.”
To realize the slogan of the event, the main conference will be composed of and conducted through 12 sessions, whose subjects consist of K-Quarantine, telecommuting, commerce, among others.
Enthusiastic lectures and panel talks by well-known speakers and trend setters leading the world of global startups will be broadcast live online.
② COME STARS selection·support
Secondly, “COMEUP STARS,” the innovative startup representing “'COMEUP 2020,” selected and finalized 120 companies during a 1-month period by soliciting global applications and conducting a 3-stage assessment.
Support will be provided to the 120 companies selected to be COMEUP STARS to create videos to promote their companies and online booths, in addition to additional opportunities for online investment and export counseling sessions.
③ Hosting of special events & additional events
COMEUP 2020’s special events will be hosted simultaneously during the COMEUP 2020 event, aligning 7 major domestic startup support policies such as AI Championship, K-Startup Grand Challenge, among others, and will be broadcast live on the COMEUP website.
We have also prepared additional events designed to provide practical assistance for startups to achieve growth, such as online investment and export counseling sessions, senior and junior networking opportunities, etc.
④ COMEUP 2020 Nurijip & Pre-registration
The COMEUP 2020 website was designed to be intuitive so you can see all the programs in a single view, including the main conference, special events, and additional events.
And general participants, domestic and abroad, can access the latest information regarding the event and view video content being broadcast live during the event on the COMEUP 2020 website (
We are currently accepting online pre-registration on the COMEUP 2020 website. Pre-registered participants will not only get the opportunity to participate in real-time networking and business matching but will also receive a variety of benefits for free, such as additional participation in more events.
(Final words)
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote that we have a “new historical divide. B.C. and A.C. — the World Before Corona and the World After.” The COVID-19 crisis truly is changing the very foundation of our lives and economic order.
But the new post-COVID-19 era facing us will provide innovative startups that thrive on challenge infinite opportunities for success.
I hope that COMEUP 2020 will be an event where innovative startups and startup ecosystem professionals throughout the world can communicate and interact, and share and cooperate to create a new economic order and business models in the post-COVID-19 era.
*And now,
CEO of Kurly and Chair of the Organizing Committee
Sophie Kim will present more details regarding the
“COMEUP 2020 Plan.”

[Reference Material]

□ On the 3rd(Tue) of this month, Ministry of SMEs and Startups (Minister Park Youngsun) and COMEUP Organizing Committee (Chairwoman Sophie Kim, CEO of Kurly) announced plans to host the global startup festival "COMEUP 2020" beginning on 19 Nov. at the Seoul Government Complex.

□ This event is based on the 'Venture Korea' event that was hosted in 1997 when the nation was in the midst of the IMF foreign currency crisis, and has succeeded in achieving a solid position as the biggest startup festival in Asia after being newly re-branded as 'COMEUP' last year,

     * (Key results from the 2019 event) 21,102 persons from 61 countries worldwide participated, with 56 keynote speakers in lectures and panel talks in 8 sessions, 80 startup IR pitching and exhibition booths, and 78 media personnel in attendance

 ◦ and in its second year in 2020, COMEUP is making the great leap to become one of the top 4 global startup festivals, along with Slush(Finland) and TechCrunch(US).

□ Startup ecosystems, domestic and abroad, are faced with a big crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and many key events overseas were 'cancelled (MWC)', 'changed from cancellation to scaling down (SLUSH)' or 'scaled down (IFA)' with the spread of COVID-19,

 ◦ On the other hand, "COMEUP 2020" was planned from the outset as an online·contact-free oriented global startup festival, based on the confidence gained through the successful implementation of the K-Quarantine system during the initial phase of the COVID-19 spread.

 ◦ "COMEUP Organizing Committee", composed of 22 startup experts representing the Korean startup ecosystem was activated through private·government cooperation, and has prepared a variety of programs to deal with the post-COVID-19 era.

□ Meanwhile, during the 5 months of preparations after the launching of COMEUP Organizing Committee on 20 May, we were able to confirm the interest and expectations held by startups and personnel involved, domestic and abroad, toward COMEUP 2020.

 ◦ On a special note, 1,076 startups submitted applications to become one of the 120 companies selected as "COMEUP STARS", the innovative companies representing COMEUP 2020 for 9:1 competitive rate,

 ◦ While 2,648 teams from 118 countries worldwide applied for the "K-Startup Grand Challenge" that supports foreign entrepreneurs in entering and starting up business in the Korean market, a 58% increase from 2019, and the highest competitive rate of 44:1 since the program's inception in 2016.

□ The main agendas and programs to be presented through the global startup festival, "COMEUP 2020" is as follows.

(1) Event slogan & agenda

 ◦ The main theme(slogan) that encompasses 'COMEUP 2020', the online-oriented event scheduled to be held between 19 Nov. (Thu) and 21 Nov. (Sat) is “Meet The Future – Post Pandemic”,

   - And the changes to industry and lifestyle around the startup ecosystem caused by COVID-19 will be divided and discussed in 3 areas, namely, Social System, Work, and Life, to view and prepare for the post-COVID-19 era from the perspective of startups.

(2) Main conference structure·operation

 ◦ Main conference will be composed of and conducted through 12 sessions in order to address the event's slogan in detail, including K-Quarantine, Telecommuting, and Commerce,

   - Enthusiastic lectures and panel talks with well-known speakers and trend setters of global startups participating will be broadcast online live.

 ◦ On a special note, a total of 114 persons, including speakers(15) and discussion panels(99) leading the trends of domestic·foreign startups in various fields recruited from the beginning of the year, have committed to participate in the 12 sessions of the main conference.

   - Along with CEO of Kurly, Sophie Kim, you will have the opportunity to meet professor Kim Jungsang of Duke University, co-founder and CTO of IONQ, and professor Henry Chesbrough of UC Berkeley, well known for his contributions to Open Innovation,

  - Chun Jongyoon, CEO of Seegene, manufacturer of COVID-19 test kits and widely regarded as an exemplary company of K-Quarantine and Kim Jinyong from Incheon Medical Center, Division of Infectious Diseases that established global standards with its 'Drive-through testing' will participate in the K-Quarantine sessions.


(3) COMEUP STARS selection·support

 ◦ 'COMEUP STARS', innovative startups that represent 'COMEUP 2020' solicited global online applications during the 1 month period between 24 Jul. and 23 Aug.,

   - 1,076 innovative startups from 89 countries worldwide submitted their applications for a competitive rate of 9:1, and 120 companies were ultimately selected after going through a 3-stage assessment process.

 ◦ 120 COMEUP STARS startups will be provided support for creation of corporate promotional videos and online booths free of charge, and additional opportunities to promote themselves to global investors, online investment·export counselling sessions and senior·junior networking.

(4) Hosting of special events and additional events

 ◦ (Special events) A key program of COMEUP 2020, startup support policies, such as AI Championship, K-Startup Grand Challenge and other events that represent Korea will be hosted simultaneously in alignment with COMEUP 2020.

 ◦ (Additional events) Additional events prepared through cooperation with key domestic startup support institutions that consist of online investment & export counselling sessions, senior·junior networking, and other programs, providing practical assistance for COMEUP STARS(120 companies) to scale-up and achieve growth to become a global startup.

 ◦ Regular event participants, domestic and abroad, can access the latest event-related information and watch video contents live for free during the event(19 Nov.~21 Nov.) through the "COMEUP 2020 Nurijip" (

   - ‘COMEUP 2020 Nurijip’ was designed to be intuitive so you can see all programs in one view, including the main conference, special events, and additional events,

   - And will provide lively video contents by implementing a Virtual Showroom within the homepage through VR technology.

 ◦ On a special note, "online booths" in the COMEUP 2020 Nurijip will provide corporate IR videos and materials for the 120 'COMEUP STARS',

   - and support all business processes online by allowing investors to connect to online booths and access IR videos and materials, make business matching requests, and enabling real-time matching and one-on-one counselling sessions between startups, investors and buyers.

□ Anyone that wishes to enjoy the COMEUP experience can login to COMEUP 2020 Nurijip( and pre-register,

 ◦ And pre-registered participants will receive benefits free of charge, such as real-time networking and business matching, as well as participation in various events.


∘Networking with well-known speakers & COMEUP STARS, domestic and abroad, participating in COMEUP 2020

②Business matching

∘Opportunities for online investment counselling sessions with prospective global investors participating in COMEUP 2020

③Information provided

∘Newsletter containing information about the COMEUP event programs, keynote speakers, and investors


∘Pre-registration events, such as prizes and souvenirs through SNS channels

□ Minister of SMEs and Startups, Park Youngsun said that "The COVID-19 crisis is changing the very foundation of our lives and economic order, but the new post-COVID-19 era facing us will provide innovative startups infinite opportunities for success."

◦ And "I sincerely wish COMEUP 2020 will be a grand festival where innovative startups and startup ecosystem professionals throughout the world can communicate and interact, share and cooperate to create a new economic order and business models in the post-COVID-19 era."